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January 27, 2010

Venus Williams


N. LI/V. Williams
2-6, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us about the conditions. There were so many service breaks.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, you know, I would have loved to have held serve more. I think that definitely would have helped my effort, yeah.

Q. Take us through the second set, what happened through the end of the second set.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess the match is so fresh, I mean, I can't quite say exactly, you know, what happened. You know, I'm still processing it.
But she obviously started to play a lot better. She obviously hits the ball so well. You know, I give her a lot of credit for playing really well.

Q. Did she take you by surprise? You appeared to have her beaten on several occasions.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, I felt confident going into the match and I felt confident in the match. You know, the thing about tennis is you really have to close it out.
Unfortunately, today I didn't do that.

Q. Why do you think you weren't able to do that when you've been able to do that so often in the past?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I really wanted to. I can tell you that.

Q. Did you feel that you had it in your control?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, like I said, I felt really confident going into the match. And, obviously, you know, I felt confident throughout the match, even in the third. I was leading.
You know, like I said earlier, in tennis you have to close it out. It's not like there's a clock ticking and then suddenly it's over. You just have to close it out. I didn't do that today.
It's really important, obviously.

Q. What parts of your game do you think you'll look at to ensure you do close it out next time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, it's important to put the ball in the court. I mean, I felt like sometimes I made some errors. You know, I played pretty clean for the first half of the match, but I let the errors creep in. That didn't help at all.

Q. Why do you think your record here isn't as good as Wimbledon and the US Open? Is the surface a bit slow for your game, do you think?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I grew up on hard courts, so, uhm, you know...
So I don't think it's the surface, no.

Q. Do you think you need to play a lead-up tournament before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, definitely not. I just am not going to do that. I won't play the week before hopefully any Grand Slam. I'm just not ever going to do that.
Obviously, I think I was playing good tennis. I don't think it has anything to do with whether I was playing good. You know, I have to give her a lot of credit for playing well and picking her game up.

Q. You kept her waiting at the start. Then you really jumped and got a huge lead early. Did you feel like you could psychologically dominate her? Was that part of your plan?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, tennis definitely has so many components: physical, emotional. It's all of it. So it's important to hopefully be on top of your opponent in every way. That's my aim in every match.

Q. When the errors started to creep into your game, did you feel like you lost focus or started to lose a handle on what you wanted to do on the court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I really think, you know, I just started -- I think I just started rushing my shots a little too much instead of just taking my time and really just hitting a clean ball.
Sometimes I was able to back off. But, you know, sometimes it's so easy to get so eager. Uhm, yeah.

Q. Why didn't you try to dictate more in the third set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, she hits a good ball. She hits a low ball. Sometimes it's not as easy to move the low ball around as much.
You know, we both did a lot of moving in the third set.

Q. Six service breaks. I've heard people describe it as excruciating. Other people painful to watch. How do you describe it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: When you're on the court you're in the moment. You can't worry about the last game or the last point because it doesn't really help you win that next point.
So for me on the court, I'm just worried about what is happening right then.

Q. The Chinese players are doing well in the draw here. Are he they different types of players to play against?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody's game is different on the tour. There's no two games alike.

Q. Is it a different sort of matchup?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody's game is different.

Q. Do you get shell-shocked by defeats, or at this stage of your career you've seen it all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't like losing at all. No one does. I mean, put in a lot of hard work to come out here and get a win.
You know, not at all pleased.

Q. At this stage of your career, how do you deal with it? Is this the kind of thing you get over in a couple of days? How do you process this?
VENUS WILLIAMS: As usual, I try to learn from my mistakes and move on. I mean, I don't hang on to things because there's lot more matches ahead.

Q. Your desire to get back out and make amends is as strong as it's ever been?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I really love this tournament. I think I've been playing well throughout the tournament, singles and doubles. I was playing pretty well throughout the match.
You know, unfortunately I let my errors creep in, and then I allowed her to dictate too much. But, you know, what, she played really well. So, you know...

Q. How do you assess her chances in the rest of the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess I don't know. I mean, I haven't thought about it.

Q. You forgot your grunting activity. Do you not grunt when you need more concentration?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know. I didn't really hear myself grunt or not grunt. I don't know.

Q. It's not a conscious action?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it really isn't.

Q. Do these losses surprise you? When you come off court, do you think, I can't believe I just lost that match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, well, I mean, I think just in the beginning I'm still just a little bit like, Okay, the match is over really. Of course, especially, you know, I expect to win this match.
I don't know. I mean, it's hard to describe the feeling unless you've been there and done that. I've been there and done that a few times.

Q. Will you watch a full replay of this match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Watching a replay of matches, wins and losses, is part of my training, if I can get ahold of them. Here they give you 'em.
I watch 'em. I keep 'em, too, so 20 years from now when I look back, see my glory days.

Q. If Serena has to play next match against Li Na, what will you tell her? Will you give her any sort of suggestion?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I mean, obviously, I'll definitely try to give her any suggestions that I can to help her win. I think in general, Li, she was striking the ball well and keeping the ball in play, forcing the issue when she could.
I don't think there was anything super secret about what she was doing.

Q. Being two points from winning, is it a particularly disappointing this loss? More Aussie Opens behind you than ahead of you probably?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I mean, I don't think about all these stats that you guys are thinking about. I think of things a little differently.

Q. Considering her level today, do you think Li Na can be a top 10 player in the near future or even she can do better to take the spots for a longer time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The good thing about playing on this tour is you play for yourself. You can do as well as you work hard for and execute. So if she works hard and executes, I mean, she can do anything.
It's really up to her. I can't predict or...

Q. What do you say to people that say Wimbledon or the US Open is your only hope of another major?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Are you saying that?

Q. No.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just making sure.

Q. Just wondering what you think of the notion.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, you know, like I said so many times before, if I would have, you know, kind of gotten involved in what people said I would have never left the ghetto.
So here I am playing pro tennis, playing well. The sky's the limit in this sport. I'm looking for that.

End of FastScripts

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