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June 28, 2010

Venus Williams


6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. Venus for you.

Q. Was that a tough one this afternoon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. You know, I think we both were serving very well, so that definitely made it close. There wasn't a lot of room for error for either one of us against each other's serve.
You know, I think she just, you know, played really well today. I didn't think she made too many errors. Just really played some smart tennis and took advantage of opportunities.
So, you know, I thought, you know, I played well at the end to close it out.

Q. What do you need to sharpen up and tighten up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, as the tournament goes on, I look to, you know, maintain where I am, continue to sharpen up everything. But I feel like I'm serving well. That delivery is going good. I feel like when things get a little close, I'm able to take it up to the next level, so that feels good.

Q. What was the key to prevent her from serving out the second set twice and then the breaker?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I guess my service game, I felt like I rushed, like I really wanted to hit a great shot instead of like hitting a nice shot and moving forward.
I think in that next game, I was able to return her serve. I don't know. I just wasn't thinking; I was just playing. So I guess that's what it was (laughter).

Q. What was the cause of the delay before the match in your getting to the court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't know the procedure for Court 2, so I was waiting on someone to get me. No one came. So eventually I just came out (laughter).
You know, it was like, No one's here. Then I saw everyone else leave. I thought, Okay, time to go. Usually they come and say, Okay, let's go. So...

Q. You were able to find your way over there pretty well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just figured, Let me go out. So when I went out, security was waiting. Usually there's like a court escort kind of person, they come and get you.

Q. What uncertainty went through your mind when nobody did come to get you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just was looking at the clock. About 5 after, I just thought I'd head out, so...

Q. The response from the crowd was not exactly favorable. It was as if you had been the cause of the delay. Did you notice what the crowd was doing when you arrived?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, it's the crowd. What am I supposed to do? It's just me. I'm just one person.

Q. Not a lot of people know your next opponent, Pironkova. You played her at a slam. Talk about that a bit.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I played her a bit. She's one of those players that can come up with a win. She's talented and she can beat some top players, you know, every now and then.
So, uhm, I just have to be on the watch for that, continue to play my game as I am now.

Q. This is the one time when you're going to be playing back-to-back days. What is your physical condition now and how does that affect you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know the schedule for this tournament, so obviously I'm ready to play back-to-back days. Obviously being able to play doubles in the first week and get three matches in helps because we don't have to play doubles today. There are times when we do. We just do what we have to and keep playing.
So I'm prepared.

Q. I was reading the introduction to your book. You were talking about how you were more or less taught if you lose to put it behind you and look forward. A lot of people in your book reflect on how much they learn from losing. Can you reflect a little bit on that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Exactly. I think as a professional tennis player, I'm in a lot of matches. The way I felt like is I hate hanging on to that feeling when you lose, so I try to put that feeling behind. Learn from the loss, but not hang on to the bad feeling of losing.
So I put that behind me, because I'm a little bit older, a little more mature. That's kind of been my motto the last few years; to learn from it but not hang on to it.

Q. It's more the feelings?
VENUS WILLIAMS: More the feelings. Like let it go, move on, you didn't win this one, you'll get the next one. Be positive, learn from it.

Q. You have so much experience here going a long way. How is this road different, if at all, from the past ones?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every single one is different. It's never the same. If it would be the same, it would be great because I'd know what's coming up and I'd be ready for it. But it never is, and that's what makes it interesting.

Q. Anything from this particular experience that sheds light on what's been going on for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's been pretty straightforward so far, so nothing really out of the ordinary either good or bad.

Q. What did you learn from last year's loss?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, you know, I think Serena played well. I mean, the year before I played well. Last year she edged me out and played well, so... Got to hold serve. That helps a lot.
But, uhm, you know, last year was last year.

Q. Has the heat been a factor at all for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm from Florida. Anyone who knows Florida knows this heat is not the same.

Q. Other than just serving big here, which you can obviously do on a lot of surfaces, what makes your game so adaptable to grass?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think, uhm, on this service you can't pretend; you have to really be a good player. You have to be athletic. You have to be able to play the tough points. The points are quicker, so you can't just kind of keep balls in play and maybe outlast your opponent. You really have to be able to play.
I think that suits my game. I play aggressive. I try to make something happen. And I think that, you know, I'm pretty athletic, so that helps.

Q. There are reports in the U.S. today that Jennifer Capriati is receiving treatment in hospital. How big of an influence was she on your career growing up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Gosh, it's a little while ago. I mean, I watched her play back in the day, and I thought she was really good. I remember her match against Monica in the semifinals of the Open. I remember watching that and just thinking how great that tennis was.
So definitely a lot of fond memories just watching her growing up, and obviously even playing against her, respecting her game so much. I haven't heard any of this, so I don't know what's going on.

Q. Was there a reason you went for a bathroom break after the first change?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, bathroom breaks are for, you know, bathroom. No explanation needed for that (laughter).
Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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