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February 17, 2010

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/O. Govortsova
7-5, 6-0

Q. Well, compared to your first match on Tuesday night, you started very sluggishly tonight, didn't you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I started the match with a double break. Wasn't ideal, but I just had to just start from where I was and not get frustrated about it. And obviously the match before me, I was able to see that you can come back from anything.
I stayed focused and I was really happy to win the first set, because, obviously, I felt even more, the odds are better in the second set with me and with my experience and everything, my level of play.

Q. Then you just ran away with it. Once you'd taken that first set, her spirit seemed to disappear then, didn't it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she definitely tried to hang in there. But I felt like I got more first serves in. I was able to move forward a lot better, and I think I started to flow a little more.
You know, she did make a few errors maybe trying to press. But, obviously, everything went the way I wanted it to in the second.

Q. Any idea why that happens that sometimes you start slowly?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody sometimes has a slow start. I want everything to be perfect, but when it isn't, that's what makes the real champions is to find a way how to turn it around. So each match you have to deal with each set of situations.
Hopefully, that said, it's perfect. But at this point I know it never will be perfect.

Q. Was there any change in your tactics through the match? Did you change your game plan because of the way it started?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think a little from the front. I wanted to just hit winners a little bit. And I quickly had to realize that mentality is not going to work, so just try to work the point a little more.
She hits a lot of deep balls, so a lot of times I wasn't able to maybe move the ball around as much, and I found myself running and I really want her to run. So kind of tried to turn the table.

Q. Two of the top players didn't show up here, and the other two lost today. Does that make you a really hot favorite to win this again now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I don't know. I guess maybe it does, doesn't it (laughing)? But it's not a given, and I know that. So I will still be just as focused even though the players -- and learn that those players that lost played against players who, you know, they probably didn't think they were going to lose to today. But it happens, so you have to really be alert.

Q. You're here with your father. Can you tell us how much time you spend with him on the courts and, you know, at this stage of your career, do you still feel you have things to learn?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, absolutely things to learn, ways to get better, things to really pinpoint.
The thing about tennis is if you stay off two weeks, three days, you can lose your rhythm quickly. So it's just constant diligence and vigilance and all of that. So I'm always on the court with my dad, you know.
I'm not training five hours on the court, because that would be like counterproductive to a nice, long career. But I put in the time and it pays off.

Q. Does he help you with stretches going into matches with different opponents?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The strategy might change a little bit with each opponent. But I try to think of myself in my own world, my own bubble on my side of the court and just playing the ball. More and more and more these days I think less and less and less of who is across the net. It just doesn't appeal to me. I'm just really about what I'm doing, so it's actually comforting.

Q. You've played your opponent today before. Are you saying if you play a new opponent, you don't really necessarily worry?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, if it's a new opponent, I do watch what they're doing. To be honest by the time the warm-up is over, and the first couple of games I have a really good feel for what is happening.
Someone like her, she's young. You never know what the difference is going to be with her game in six months. So I was definitely curious to see if she had any new patterns or what have you.

Q. Shahar Peer said today how much she appreciated the help that you gave her last year and that she'd been to see you to thank you for that. Have you spoken to her much?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I literally haven't even seen her. It's so funny, because it seems like out of all the players I've seen her the least amount.
I mean, she's just a brave -- she's got so much character. I can't imagine being in her shoes. I can't imagine playing so well with this kind of circumstance. I mean, I just give her congratulations and props. She's courageous. I don't think anyone else on tour could do what she's doing.

Q. Last night you said you had two plates of pasta for your dinner. What was it for tonight's dinner?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I had to avoid the pasta today. It's potatoes. I hate pasta. Just thinking about it just stresses me out. I hate it. When I'm off tour, I don't eat the stuff, but when I'm here, I do. I hate it. It makes me really unhappy (laughing). Don't laugh. It really makes me unhappy.

Q. So is it just one plate tonight then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm avoiding it tonight. But I'll have another one tomorrow right before the match. It's terribly sad.

Q. Why do you eat it if you don't like it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the energy. I guess it sticks to you better, and the lounge usually there's only pasta. Sometimes there's rice, but that's it. Pasta and maybe some chicken, and that's just the option.

Q. Have you tried requesting something different? They might help?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, most players like it. It's just I'm the odd-ball that doesn't like it. So if it was up to me, I'd just eat like some meat and vegetables, but I'd be out of energy after about five games, so, yeah. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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