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September 3, 2010

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/M. Minella
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was it like to have your sister in the stands?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course, I've had her there so many matches. It was good to see her tonight. Usually we're at the tournament together. This year is an exception, but always good to have her back.

Q. You haven't faced a real tough test yet. Can you still get a sense of where your game is at?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think today, you know, she didn't have as much experience as some of the other players. I felt like my first two opponents were really on their games, but I was able to keep them, you know, at bay.
In the second round, she served so well, so every game was pretty close. But, you know, I'm just looking forward to the next round.

Q. Do you feel like where you're where you want to be at, considering the lack of preparation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Absolutely. I'm in the fourth round. That's the place to be at this moment. The next place will be the next round.

Q. After the long layoff, what questions did you have about how you would perform, how your body would hold up, and what questions have you answered with making it this far?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I mean, it's not easy to come back from injury. You know, like I said before, I came back as fast as possible, which was quick. You know, it's not easy, but I feel like I'm doing a really good job with it.
I'm doing the best I can. So far it's good.

Q. What questions were in your mind about how you would hold up after that long of a layoff?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously, you know, just kind of about making the play. My concern is always to be able to make the play and to play the level that I'm used to.
So of course, you know, it's something you think about. But my whole thing was to try to bank on my experience, which so far is working.

Q. At this point are there any lingering thoughts of shaking off rust?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Right now I'm just trying to play the best I can. So there's really no thought at all, other than really trying to perform the best I can every time.

Q. Talking of the best, trying to perform the best you can, your outfit was really amazing. Could you talk to us about why you had that beautiful outfit and top it off with a victory.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, so far this year my outfits have been based off of cities that I play in. This outfit was really about New York. It's firework bursts actually on the dress. It's like bursts of fireworks. It's about a celebration of me playing my best obviously at home and kind of doing what I love and being able to wear something fun while I do it.
So just always trying to do something fun on the court.

Q. Were there any thoughts about the hurricane raining on the parade?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Where is it?

Q. It passed us by.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Okay. I haven't been watching the news, so I don't know what is going on. But thankfully the weather was good and obviously hurricanes -- being from Florida, hurricanes are not good news.
So I'm glad that it's hopefully staying out in the ocean.

Q. When you're in a situation where you have to compete in matches without having the time to prepare or ability to prepare, is there an aspect of your game that takes longer to come back, whether that's footwork or a particular stroke?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I don't know. I think it's kind of hit or miss. It can be something a little different every time. It can be consistency, really just competing well on every point, getting consistency on the returns and the timing.
So far I think I've been okay. Really I'm just looking to take my game to the next level every round.

Q. What aspect of your game did you feel helped you take control of the match tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just moving forward. She hits a little bit of a different ball than most people, a little bit flat, and then it will float long and push you back. Other times she'll hit it short when you don't really expect it.
Really just concentrating on the footwork and moving forward. I think without the moving forward, I could have been involved in a lot of long points.

Q. So moving forward to the net, is that something you're going to do on a regular basis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think my game is based on being aggressive. Just having played doubles in the last couple years, too, it definitely gives me the opportunity to come to the net and hopefully know what I'm doing.
I like moving forward. Feels good.

Q. What are your thoughts on facing Shahar Peer?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, obviously she played a good match, and the first seed that I'll have the opportunity to play. We've had a lot of good matches in the past. I think one of the best matches in her career was against Serena - that I watched. So I know she has the talent to do something big. She already has in her career.
I want to just get out there and execute my game to the point where I get to that next round.

Q. When she played Serena, what impressed you most?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she just did everything well that day. That was her day. She was just hitting the ball from every corner. Just the competition level from both of them in that match was really impressive. I know since that time she's, you know, won big, too.
I've always had a little bit of the upper hand, so hopefully that will give me a little bit of advantage in the next match.

Q. We got to hear the audio from the player box after your first round. What do you think about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't thought about it really. There's a lot of other stuff I'm trying to think about during this tournament so...
I don't have too many thoughts on it.

Q. Have you gotten to listen to Serena doing commentary?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not yet. I've been doing stuff after the match. I'm sure she's doing a great job.

Q. What are the plans as far as Serena being at your upcoming matches?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. I didn't ask, so...

Q. Did you design that red dress?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The red dress? No. I can't take credit for everything. I can take credit for all the EleVen designs. That's it.

Q. Speaking of EleVen designs, have any female tennis players approached you trying to rob some of your designs?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, that will be fun. As my company continues to grow, maybe there will be some other representatives.
Obviously, EleVen is about sport, but I don't think the primary focus will be tennis as it grows. It's just a small feature.

End of FastScripts

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