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February 5, 2012

Mary Joe Fernandez

Liezel Huber

Venus Williams


USA テや 5
Belarus テや 0

6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Mary Joe, could this weekend have gone any better for the team?
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:テつ No.テつ You can't complain when you win all five matches.テつ It was great.テつ Everybody worked really hard.テつ They meshed well together and competed really hard.テつ I was proud of each and every one of them.

Q.テつ Venus, I saw you and Liezel practicing doubles quite a bit.テつ Was it your always plan to come back just for doubles here?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, it was my plan to be ready for whatever Mary Joe needed me for.
I've never played doubles with Liezel, so it was important for us to play together.テつ Obviously, I've played a lot of doubles with Serena, so I felt pretty comfortable there.
I think it showed today that we worked out together and we knew how to play together.

Q.テつ Liezel, what was it like playing with Venus?
LIEZEL HUBER:テつ Well, her arms are a lot longer than I'm used to with a partner.テつ The return comes back a lot slower than I'm used to because her serve is so hard.
I think the thing I take away from today, obviously it was an honor playing with Venus, playing in this tie, and our captain has been a great captain all along.テつ I think the thing I learned from Venus this week is to have a lot of fun out there.テつ I think kind of the age we are, it's important, so that was great today.

Q.テつ Venus, how did it feel to be back out there actually competing?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ It felt great.テつ It felt great to win the first service game.テつ It felt great to come back from those Love‑40 games, down 2‑Love.テつ It felt good to be able to move the ball.テつ It felt good when Liezel helped me out.
It was everything I expected.テつ I'm really glad the team got to a 4‑Love lead so we got a chance not only to play together for the first time so we get ready for future ties, get ready in case we have to play a clincher, but it was just great circumstances.

Q.テつ Venus, could you imagine a better situation to come back?テつ Pressure is so low, playing with the top doubles player in the world.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, it was perfect conditions.テつ It was great playing with Liezel because she believes she can win, she's going to go for it.テつ It takes pressure off me.テつ I've been in situations when I've played with a partner and they didn't handle the situation as well.
If it had been a 2‑All situation, I would have felt comfortable playing with her and would have relaxed me going for my shots.
If we ever get there, I hope it's with her.

Q.テつ Venus, what is next for you?テつ Can we count on seeing you in Miami?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm not sure what my plans are.テつ Honestly, I'm going to play next week in terms of going home and start training, really try to hone in on my singles game, see how I'm covering the court, that kind of thing.
For me it's kind of week by week, just see what happens.テつ I try not to put pressure on myself, even though I do.テつ I mean, if I could, I would have played last week.テつ But as soon as I can.

Q.テつ Mary Joe, can you talk about obviously now you have the opportunity to be in the playoffs and getting back into the World Group.
CAPTAIN FERNANDEZ:テつ It would be great.テつ You don't want to be in this group any extra time.テつ It was big to win this one.テつ Now we have another task in front of us.テつ We're going to do our best to win the next tie so we can be back in the World Group next year.

Q.テつ Venus, you're talking about coming back as soon as you can.テつ Is it a lack of energy?テつ What symptoms are you still fighting?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm still fighting fatigue.テつ I'm getting better.テつ I mean, it just takes a while to kind of find the right medicines that work, to get stronger.テつ Once you do have a chance to get on the court, it takes at least six weeks to build a nice baseline so you just don't get hurt.
The big push for me is the Olympics this year, so I can get back on the court and get my ranking up.テつ If I'm healthy, I'm not worried about my ranking.テつ I think I can hit the ball.テつ It's just about my body cooperating.テつ It's about being able to play matches in a row.テつ Right now I'm not sure how much I can do with that, but we'll see.

Q.テつ But you feel that medicines can make the energy come back a hundred percent?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I mean, some of them take six months to set in, then you just have to find what works best, similar to a lot of stuff.テつ It's definitely, you know, a real‑life experience for sure.テつ My life is going to be different, but I'm glad to know what's wrong with me so I can get better.テつ That's just like what it's about.

Q.テつ Venus, as somebody who has been No.1 in the world, defended points and everything, how hard do you think it will be for somebody like Vika to come off winning the Australian Open and being No.1 and have a lot of points to defend?テつ How tough is that to do the first time?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ Every player's a little different.テつ Even to get to No.1 shows you can handle pressure and play well.テつ So it shows that she has the fortitude to do that.
For me, I didn't care what I had done the year before.テつ I had no problems defending points.テつ That was not pressure for me.テつ But for other players, they take it differently.

Q.テつ Venus, I was looking through previous Fed Cup appearances of yours.テつ Last time you were in it, you had a similar hairstyle.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ My hair is actually not short, it's just extremely curly.テつ It's really long.テつ It's like a little slinky.
I don't know, sometimes I change it up.テつ It's interesting.テつ I wore it like this at the Olympics, Fed Cup.

Q.テつ Is it more patriotic hair?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm not sure what it is.テつ I literally shake it in the morning and wherever it lands I just go.テつ It's the shake‑and‑go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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