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January 17, 2011

Venus Williams


6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus.

Q. How does it feel to play a competitive match after so long?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's been so long. Of course, I have a lot of expectations for myself, you know, what I want to do out there on the court, but you never really know how it's going to go until you hit the court and the match starts.
You know, it definitely felt good today to go out there and play pretty clean tennis.

Q. What pleased you most about today's game, your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I was able to keep my errors pretty low. I'm not sure what the exact stats were. Yeah, I felt like in general I was able to play aggressive tennis and just kind of win the most important points most of the time. It's just important to play consistent and aggressive for me.

Q. What's it like without Serena? Do you feel a bit lost?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's definitely a lot quieter. You know, now that she's not here - I know she played a couple years with me not here - I definitely realize and appreciate how great it is to have someone on the tour that happens to be your sister, at the tournaments with them every week, what a great support that is.
So I'm counting my blessings now.

Q. A lot of people are talking it might open it up a bit more. Is that your feeling, as well? Improved your chances not having your sister here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, I'm just really focused on getting to the next round, regardless of who's there. Obviously, you know, Serena is such a great player that of course any tournament misses her.
But in terms of me actually being here and trying to win, I just have to focus on getting to the next round till it's all over.

Q. Sara is small and doesn't have your serve, but what do you think about her game? Do you think she was competing well enough?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think her intensity level was really, really high. Even when I had a 40-Love game, she really was trying to bring it back every time. She definitely came out I think with a game plan to really just be focused and to try to win every point.
I never played her before. It was my first time. So I watched Serena play her before, so from that I knew a little bit what to expect. But I think she has a really nice game.

Q. What interesting things have you been getting up to in the last few months?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been in school. I've been doing a lot of business development. I've become business development for my company. I've held lots and lots and lots of meetings. It's a totally different side of life. I've never really done that before, per se.
Between that, I stayed really busy, and of course preparing to come back on tour.

Q. School was to study what?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Interior design. So it's a lot of work.

Q. Who has changed more hairstyles between you and your sister, colors and things like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know (laughter). I think maybe we're confused on our identity, because we can't keep one hairstyle for more than a few months.
But life is fun when you can change it up and have fun with it.

Q. I can't.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have a couple of suggestions if you want to talk after (smiling).

Q. Just on your outfit today, is that one of your designs? Can you tell us a little bit about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, the design, it really was an Illusion dress, the illusion when I wear the nude shorts under. But at the last minute I decided not to.

Q. Why was that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just decided to wear the black ones. But, you know, it's just about focusing on the dress and not anything else. I mean, I had black shorts under.
But normally like it's all about the dress because it has a mesh and a satin kind of material. Of course, it's all sports gear, and it's all about that zipper, too. A lot of the focus of the dress is the zipper.
So, of course, always I have fun designing my dresses.

Q. How did the book that was published with you come out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, really well. We went to number five on the New York Times. Unfortunately, I didn't have more time to promote it. I think it could have went even higher. But I can't be in more than one place. It's hard.
But it went really well. People loved it. I think it's one of those books that says a lot and is really motivating.

End of FastScripts

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