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June 24, 2011

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/M. Sanchez
6-0, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Venus Williams. Who would like to ask the first question?

Q. Seemed like you came out with a plan, executed, you took away the net. Just talk about how you feel about performance.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt like, you know, I've gotten attacked enough in that second-round match. You know, I definitely knew how she was going to play. I played her here before on the grass. So I thought my best bet was definitely to make sure I took the net away from her first. It worked out really well.

Q. To what degree do you feel you're progressing the way you normally do when you do well here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm in the next round. That's my main goal regardless whether I play amazing, whether I play halfway decent, doesn't matter. It's just about finding a way to win.
So for me, as long as I find a way to win that round, I'm good. So for me it's not about any level.

Q. You're saying regardless of how you play and practice for a couple days, you really have no idea how you're going to perform in a match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, obviously really good practices build confidence. But sometimes not always a good practice. And I try not to put so much weight on that and I try to think -- you know, I've been training for the last 20 years, so that should be more weight than the one or two days of practice.

Q. You were saying at Eastbourne you don't feel there's any pressure on you this year. Is that right? The only pressure you can put on is yourself?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think the most pressure I ever feel is from me. I try not to let anything else get in the way of my performance. It's always easier said than done.
But like I was saying at Eastbourne, it's just a blessing to be here, especially after spending so much time off. For me it's just a bonus to be able to be on tour and still like one foot in front of other.

Q. Your sister was quite outspoken yesterday about being made to play on Court 2. Do you agree with her comments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Court 2's a solid court.

Q. You don't mind playing on Court 2?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I mean, like I said before, I'm grateful that it didn't rain when I played on Court 2. When I played on centre, I was grateful to be able to, you know, play that match when it rained and I was under the roof. So it's all worked out pretty well for me so far.

Q. There's a perception that it's the women. You're a multiple champion, and Serena is a multiple champion. You wouldn't get that on the men's game.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I think you made your own observations already. I think go ahead and write what you feel is the truth and what's right.

Q. You obviously didn't grow up on grass. But watching you move on it, sometimes it seems like you move on it much more easily than anywhere else. Do you find that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, uhm, I definitely was a lot quicker than Eastbourne. Maybe because I'm not moving, running against a major wind.
But, yeah. I feel like I'm moving very well, which is exciting for me, especially after all my injuries. It seems I do move quickly to the net on grass. Hopefully I can get that game going on hard court after this tournament.

Q. So health-wise, it looked like a couple times today you were fiddling with your hip. Was that just the dress?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was probably just that little pocket in my dress, you know, kind of coming out a little bit.

Q. Stitched it the wrong way?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thankfully I don't sew anymore.

Q. You're known almost as well as your style choices on court. What inspires your fashion sense?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like to have fun with current trends and ready-to-wear. I think that's where I have a lot of fun playing, kind of incorporating it into sportswear. So that's what inspires me the most.

Q. You play Pironkova in the next round. She knocked you out last year. You might not want to talk about revenge, but...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Last year, unfortunately I didn't play that well. On a competitive level, I don't feel I competed well. Regardless of how I play, I know I'll be competing this time.
This is a fourth round. I'm ready to bring my best game and my best competition. Last year, you know, I think I just got unhappy with how I was playing and I let that affect my game. This year I won't let that happen.
It looks like she's playing pretty well. I'm definitely going to compete a lot better.

Q. Do you feel a lot more confident as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I felt pretty confident last year. Sometimes you can let a few games get away and get upset. Last year I let a few games get away, and instead of coming back, I let it all get to me. You can't do that, especially in a Wimbledon quarterfinal. I won't let anything get to me this time.

Q. What are her biggest strengths?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She moves well. Looks like she can mix up her shots really well. Looks like she can get some power off both sides and the serve.
So, I mean, she does everything well. Looks like she has been competing well. To take out the No. 2 seed is never an easy task.

Q. When you haven't been competing that much, do you have to force yourself to focus more? Does it not come naturally?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's easy to get unfocused in tennis. You have to really stay in those moments. I've been really focusing on focusing, actually. When I step to the line, especially off the return.

Q. You won't have seen it, but one of the home favorites, Laura Robson, she took Maria Sharapova close today. Serena was talking yesterday that she was a big prospect. Have you seen anything of her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I haven't really seen her play a lot. But, you know, like you said, sounds like she played well. It was a 7-6 first set. Looks like she can hit the ball.

Q. There's a perception there are going to be a lot of expectations on her. What sort of advice would you give her to make sure she blossoms into a star?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just to continue to enjoy the game, work at it, and not to read her own press.

Q. Why don't you use Hawk-Eye more? Do you forget to use it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I only use it if I think I need it. If I feel like I hit the ball out, most times you can feel on your racquet. I think usually when I'm challenging, I'm pretty right on.

Q. You use it a lot less than a lot of players.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't think Hawk-Eye is there for like a chance kind of thing. I think you have to use it strategically.
If it's like the second point in a match, possibly maybe not a good time to use it. Hopefully the confidence is there that you can get the next point, some kind of thing like that.
Hawk-Eye, for me, I'm confident I can win the next point. I don't need that call, per se.

Q. Unless you think it's way, way out, definitively the wrong call is made, you're going to move on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I think it's important to have the Hawk-Eye when it really counts. If it's 5-All and you have no challenges left, that's a problem. So it's just I think important to use it more strategically than I need it and it's there.

Q. How are you going to relax for the next couple of days and get ready for Monday?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'll be definitely on the court. I'm hitting some balls. Hopefully maybe get out to Serena's match, get a chance to watch her. Just continue to stay focused.
I've played so many Tuesdays, but playing Monday and having two days off is a little different. It hasn't happened to me in a while, so it feels good.

Q. How is it different? Do you find it a lot different when you have two days off?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It just doesn't happen that often. Just continue to play tennis every day. There's no more days off until the tournament's done. So I'm looking forward to playing every day for the next, you know, till the final hopefully.

Q. What are your thoughts on Sabine Lisicki? What are your observations of the way she plays at this point in her career?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she hits the ball well, puts it in. Serves well. Is very strong. Competes really well, especially it seems when it counts. From all accounts, she won deep in the third set yesterday. That's never easy.
I think Li is very confident, and I don't think it's a match she played badly on. Apparently she's playing good. It's just about hanging in there every day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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