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January 23, 2010

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/C. Dellacqua
6-1, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A 6-1 first set and then a tiebreaker. How would you sum up the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, it was my third lefty in a row, which is a little unusual. You know, hopefully I'll be able to get back into the rhythm of playing right handers.
But I think she played really well in the second set. I had a lot of chances to go up breaks at 4-1 or 5-2, and she just hung in there and kept playing tough, which, you know, that kind of play and experience will really serve her well throughout the year and her career.
You know, I start playing a really good tiebreaker, so that was good.

Q. Do you feel your progressing well towards, say, a final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, of course I want to progress well to the final. That is my goal. So far, I'm getting closer. That's also part of it, too. Yeah.
You know how it works. Just got to play well every match. (Smiling.)

Q. You are playing now an Italian girl. You beat her 5 times in a row. Can you describe the game of Francesca?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, obviously a big part of her game is her foot speed. She moves really well. Also just really determined and really a fighting spirit. I feel like she does everything well off both sides. Good forehand and backhand. Pretty strong serve. She really just does everything well.
Playing someone like her, for me, is just important just to play a little better than her.

Q. During the off-season, did you think maybe this year coming up I'm gonna make a couple changes or keep things the same or I want to do something different next year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course in the off-season I'm always thinking of ways to improve and add to my game. Obviously with professional sports you can't remain stagnant. Every off-season I'm thinking of which ways I can play better.

Q. So primarily, what were those ways?
VENUS WILLIAMS: (Laughter.) You know, there are a couple things here, couple things, da, da, da, da, here, da, da, da, there. And then you know it was like, da, da, da, da.

Q. Was there any part of your game that you were completely satisfied with, say, my backhand is completely solid so I don't have to worry about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I mean, who's ever satisfied? The people that have retired. The people still on tour, we're not satisfied. I think that's definitely my attitude.

Q. During the off-season, I think I remember reading you did want to learn how to play the guitar. Did you accomplish that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Unfortunately I don't practice. I try to get myself to do it, but I don't know why. I think something with just all the training that goes with tennis and then the gym and on the table. After that, I can't make myself, like, practice anymore. That's my excuse. So I'm still a hacker.

Q. Guitar Hero?
VENUS WILLIAMS: If I spend spent time playing Guitar Hero I might as well play the guitar. I mean, I play the guitar, but not, especially like, well. I can play and I can play songs, but I want to get better, like get to the next level. I need to just practice, and I don't do it.

Q. Which sort of music do you like the most?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yikes. That's hard, because I really like all kinds of music. I think especially when you travel the way I have, just listen to everything. It's really hard to chose to be honest. Whatever sounds good.

Q. You have not one music you can take for you ever?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I do like live music and guitars and base and drums. My favorite is probably like rock and house. It's a little bit, you know, traditional for me.

Q. Your dress seems to be getting a little bit of -- attention. A couple dress related questions. Did you have a hand in designing it and how do you as a fashion designer describe the dress?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, this is completely my design. I kind of just sketched it out. It was a process. Over time it was one of my old sketches and kind of got recycled and I kind of sat on it for a while.
Finally it came out. The whole idea is just about an illusion, and the illusion is that I'm wearing, like a deep V-neck. Obviously the most effective part of the illusion are the slits. Then the idea was to wear shorts that were like the same color as my skin, so it works very well apparently.

Q. What were the chain of events that led to your latest Twitter posting about the underwear?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What do you mean?

Q. Were you getting --
VENUS WILLIAMS: I got on my computer and I posted to Twitter.

Q. Were you hearing that there were a lot of questions about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Like I said, I never read the press. Like I don't listen to all of that. So it's kind of hard. I'm not always like in on the latest news.
But, you know, like when I'm here, like I hear things.

Q. How is it different now being a tennis player, because you all have Twitter and Facebook pages and you have this platform where you can interact directly with the fans? How is that different than before?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's amazing actually. That's a good and a bad thing, because I've always been a really private person. So I do try to keep a part of my life very private.
There's a lot of things I like to share, too. When people are following you, those people are really your fans and want to hear what you have to say. I mean, I personally do all of my Twitter and I respond to people. There's a few people that I respond to over and over again.
So it's fun actually. But of course there is a limit to how far for me I'll go with sharing too much.

Q. How often are you checking and updating?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just depends how busy I am. Right now I kind of don't as much because of everything going on. If I'm at home and I'm having days off, then I Twitter a lot more. Just depends.

Q. When you design some clothes, do you think just to Venus Williams, or do you think to fat ones, people. ..
VENUS WILLIAMS: To fat ones?

Q. Yeah. Not your size. (Laughter.)
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, my dresses are obviously cut for me, which is long and tall and lean. This is for me.
But, I mean, when I design, I just try to stay true to me and just try to express who I am in the designs. I think I'm fashion-forward, but at the same time I think I'm really classical. Anything I wear on the court probably you could wear 20 years from now. I try to find a balance of who I am and putting it into the design.

Q. Do you find tennis as fascinating as design?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Tennis is more fascinating than design. It's all challenging. It's all challenging, to be honest. You have to work hard at anything that you want to be good at. This is definitely what I found trying things off the court. It's all challenging, but I like this best.

Q. Millions of people would love to hit a ball with you. Who would you like to hit a ball with whom you've never hit with?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, Prince William. (Laughter.)

Q. Did you ask him?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, no, I guess not. I didn't get to meet him. I don't know if he's still around.
Gosh, who else? That's a tough one. I got one. Maybe next I'll think of someone else. Maybe you, huh?

Q. Do you think that your form is better than, say, this time last year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't quite remember. Obviously I didn't win last year. I got to the second round, but I don't really remember exactly how I was playing or thinking. It was just kind of a year ago. So who knows. But hopefully yes. Thanks.

End of FastScripts

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