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June 15, 2011

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/A. Ivanovic
6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about that one?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Today, you know, I felt -- obviously it's great, no breaks of serve. That's ideal for me in the match. To get a double break at the end just feels awesome.
I was really happy to have those clean service games and not a lot of errors. To be honest, I thought she played really well. When she had a chance to strike the ball she was hitting the corners.
I felt good to be able to get on top of her today.

Q. Do you feel like this is still a work in progress?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm focusing on all the positives, and I think there's a lot of positives, because especially taking the amount of time off I have taken, it's so important to focus on those positives. It's so easy to focus on, oh, I was this, that, and the other, you know, when I was in the game before, few months ago.
Right now I feel that I'm playing very tough, and I'm playing well on big points. I just need to continue. These matches have been huge and crucial for me to just get back in the swing of -- literally the swing of things.

Q. Has it gone as well as you expected it to?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was just hoping not to be injured, honestly. The first match was definitely kind of nerve-wracking, hoping to come off the court on two legs. That was the first goal.
Then to win a match is the ultimate goal. Just to have the opportunity to play another match is a great start. I'm starting to have a couple of dominos on some of my goals here.
I'm excited to be able to play a third match. I just need matches.

Q. What have you made of Eastbourne these last few days? It's obviously a bit different to New York or London or Paris.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Absolutely. But when the sun shines, it's gorgeous. I don't remember too much from when I was -- from back in the days. I remember it rained a lot, so we were forced to stay in. We didn't really get to do anything, just kind of waiting to practice, waiting to play a match.
This year I have had opportunity to go out a little bit more. I quite like it, actually.

Q. What have you been doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I took a walk around town a little bit. I had a couple karaoke spots, but I didn't get a chance to go.

Q. When you come back like this, does the freshness of returning to tennis almost make up for the fact you haven't been playing week in and week out?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think definitely a lot of it, I definitely -- I have to make sure I stay focused.
I think when I was playing before, I was so used to being focused and concentrated on every point that I really have to remind myself out there, Stay focused, stay in the moment, and not to let anything wander around my mind and technique.
All the opponents I'm playing are very tough. This draw is tough. I can't get away from that in a moment. Hopefully being fresh will help me.

Q. Is it harder to get focused after a break? Do you find it...
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. The moment you lose focus, you see a ball go by you, so I'm right back in.
Everyone is playing so well, everyone is serving well, returning well, playing focused. There is no room to lose it.

Q. I don't know if you know the Wimbledon seedings from today?

Q. Serena has been seeded 8; you have been seeded 24. Did you hope you'd be seeded higher? You have won it five times.
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I didn't hope anything at all. I just hoped to be able to play. That's it.

Q. You're not worried about where you're seeded?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I just want to be in the draw.

Q. Potentially if you and Serena have those seedings, you could play as early as round 3 if you both win early matches.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I mean, I'm still in this tournament, so that's pretty much my focus. I mean, for me, a seeding is not a big deal.

Q. You can still win it anyway, can't you, wherever you are in the draw?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'll do my best to win each and every match. I know that.

Q. It looks like Kim Clijsters is injured for a couple of weeks. Is that important that she will not compete at Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I have had my own issues. I most certainly can't focus on anyone else's.
I wish everyone luck with their injuries, but I'm really trying to do me. I'm just trying to get there myself.

Q. How are you physically now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel good. I'm really taking a lot of extra precautions on and off the court. So that way I can continue to rise in my form with each match.
But so far, so good. I feel better than I expected.

Q. Could you sort of elaborate on what the precautions are? Extra stretching? Is it painkillers?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's extra of everything. Extra, extra with everything, strawberries and cream on top. (Laughter.)

Q. Why do you still keep doing it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You see, I love this game, so plus, you know, I really have no say when I get injured. It just happens. It's not something that I could control, so definitely I want to be in control of my career, my destiny.

Q. You came out to support Serena yesterday. What did you make of her performance?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I thought her opponent played just stellar. She was just going for it, and it's a tough match in the first match back. I thought she really showed a lot of fight and concentration to win that match.
That wasn't an easy one, especially after the first set, because her opponent's shots were just landing everywhere. I thought she did a great job.

Q. Quite unusual for her to lose a set 6-1. Doesn't happen for her often.
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it doesn't. A year off, it's probably -- you'd probably expect to have a couple of cobwebs and figure things out. She's a champion. Champions adjust.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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