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January 19, 2010

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/L. Safarova
6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you assess your match tonight? It looked relatively easy.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was playing a really talented player. Everyone knows how well Lucie can hit the ball. She definitely gets a lot of pace, and she's left-handed. We've had some tough matches in this the past.
Just wanted to stay focused and execute my game. Great way to start.

Q. Is there a sister rivalry between and you Serena? Did you look at her today and say, I've got to do better?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We always motivate each other. But I don't think -- there have been times where I wanted to get a score similar to her against certain players. Actually hasn't happened in a while.

Q. How is it to come out and play so well after a long break?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, obviously working hard in practice and executing in practice isn't as easy as doing it in a match.
But I think definitely -- I mean, my years of experience playing on tour definitely helps a lot with knowing how to come back and try to hopefully play well every time.

Q. Something you've done a thousand times, but having to play at the end of the day, it's like us, how do you peak at the end of the day, if you have to?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was fortunate today. I didn't come over until about 3:30, so at least I wasn't here from 9:00 in the morning. Obviously with Wimbledon I've waited it out quite a bit.
So, um, I'm actually a really, really calm and laid-back person. So I'm good on waiting, whatever, you know, let it get crunked. Whatever.

Q. You have to keep focused the whole day. That difficult?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's what I do. I've been preparing my whole life to do this. When the moment comes, gotta be in that moment.

Q. What did you do until you came over here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I rest. I rest a lot. I watch a little tennis and I rest a little more. I'm -- everyone teases me about how much I can rest. But I'm good at it, and thankfully I'm a really relaxed person (laughter.) I just rest.

Q. Is it nice to come in under the radar with the Belgian girls coming back?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I don't think about -- I don't think about the headlines. My whole life has been a headline, and I've never in my career aimed to get headlines. I aim to win matches. That's pretty much my aim here: to win matches.

Q. Do you assess the field like it's a great women's side, or do you just try to win the match, and if you win enough you win the title?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Play the ball. It's easier said than done, but that's what I try to do when I'm out there.

Q. You said you don't aim to get headlines. Have you ever aimed not to get headlines?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely keep my private life out of the headlines. Not that I'm doing any wild or racy things. Let's say if I were, I would hopefully not be in the headlines.
I've had a mild, calm life. It's definitely added to my longevity on the court.

Q. You recently tweeted that you were looking for some book ideas. Are you reading anything good right now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Haven't been able to focus. Like I try to read and then I can't focus on it. But I'm playing a few games.

Q. Video games?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A little bit. Not too many.

Q. Do you ever play your own game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm terrible a little it. I really am.

Q. Have you lost to yourself?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's the worst, huh? But, no, actually I haven't. Thank God.

Q. Over the past decade, you and Serena have won 18 Grand Slam singles titles. What are your goals for the next decade, both on and off the court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course on the court, to continue to raise the level of our game and hopefully women's tennis. What was it, off the court?

Q. Yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Off the court, obviously just to continue to, first of all, be happy and grow as a person spiritually. Serena and I started our little businesses, so of course to grow those too, and continue to develop off the court as a person.

Q. On the court, can you be a little more specific? Are there any particular accomplishments you want to make?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I want to win every match, so it will never be that, unfortunately. But I love playing. I want to win each tournament I play. I want to win the majors, play doubles, and be in the Olympics. I feel like I have so much left in my strings. To accomplish, would be more good times on the court.

Q. Today you were playing against a 22 year old. When you're facing someone like that, do you still feel as spritely as you did at 22, or did you notice some things that your body can and can't do?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. And no wrinkles yet either, so thankfully that's working out. To be honest, when you're on the court, I mean, age doesn't matter. So I never think really about my opponent's age at all. So, so far though, I'm fast and strong, and maintaining that is great.

Q. Do you want to comment on your mom's recent statement that the reason she often wears sunglasses at your games is that she's actually sleeping?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, she said, you know -- I was surprised that they even got an interview with my mom. She never does. She's extremely funny. You can see what we live with and how much fun we have with her. She's the best mom and actually a great coach. You can see how much fun we have.
Hope she does another interview. Then you'll get to have a little fun with her, too.

End of FastScripts

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