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March 23, 2012

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/P. Kvitova
6‑4, 4‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ So how do you feel?テつ You don't look tired or old out there.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ Is that a compliment?

Q.テつ Yeah, I think so.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Okay.テつ There you go.

Q.テつ No, how did you feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Um, you know, I don't even know.テつ Like it was just, you know, a tough match.テつ Going into it, I know she's playing well.テつ I wanted to stay focused on my game.
I was just trying to stay tough and make the point.テつ That's the best I could do.

Q.テつ You just won a third set 6‑Love over the No. 3 player in the rankings.テつ After having not played, how gratifying is that after everything you've been through?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I mean, I didn't really realize the set was 6‑Love.テつ I was just trying to win the match.テつ I was trying to get to 6.テつ So I didn't even think about that it was 6‑Love until like long after the match was over.
So it was definitely gratifying.テつ I know she's playing well and I know, you know, that I have fallen off the ranks and she's risen up the ranks since I have been injured.
So in many ways we've changed places.テつ It's definitely satisfying.

Q.テつ On paper it looks like a big step forward for you.テつ Do you see it that way?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Definitely to win these matches definitely a lot of it's mental to get out there and believe you're gonna win and execute.
Um, definitely.テつ It's definitely, of course, a big step forward.

Q.テつ Did you expect coming in that you might be able to beat some of these top players right away?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I didn't know what to expect.テつ Um, at all.
Just to try to be here was pretty much‑‑ I mean, I know I can play.テつ This is one thing that I know.テつ But how I'm gonna do, I never really know.テつ Definitely I don't know that every day.テつ So it's great to have a win like this.

Q.テつ One thing people were wondering about after your first match where you did so well was what your recovery would be like stringing matches together.テつ Did you feel physically different between the second and first‑round match?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I have definitely come a long way physically.テつ I think I know a lot better how to recover.テつ My recovery is definitely similar tobefore.テつ I definitely have to cut out a lot of extracurricular actives.テつ I'm not gonna to be the one having fun dinners.テつ I am gonna be the one stuck in the room.
The price to pay is definitely worth it.

Q.テつ Did you surpass Harold's bedtime?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Harry is with his Aunty Serena.

Q.テつ How did you feel in that third set physically?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Um, you know, more than anything mental came into play.テつ I really was trying to hold serve, serve smart, get some first serves in, just try to bring me out on the court.
You know, I think I'm a pretty good clutch player, so that third set is a good place for me to be.テつ Even though I would like to win in two, it's like ‑‑ this third set is like where I try to bring my best tennis out.

Q.テつ A bunch of people online and Twitter seemed upset that your match and your first set weren't televised.テつ Were you aware of that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, I'm ranked 130‑something in the world; I didn't have a bye.
So when it's like that, probably the matches aren't gonna be on TV yet.テつ I think I've fought my way towards some TV time (smiling).
I'm looking forward to hopefully my fans being able to see me after all this time, you know, playing hopefully better than ever in the next round.

Q.テつ Do you find after a long layoff like this that you enjoy the tennis more, appreciate it more?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I'm definitely‑‑ I'm pretty pumped out there.テつ I don't know if you can tell.

Q.テつ Seems like it, yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I mean, I've got nothing to lose.テつ Like literally I have nothing to lose.
So I think if there's anyone on this tour besides me and maybe Kleybanova, we have the least amount to lose than anyone on tour.テつ Everything, every shot is a victory and a blessing.
So it's like I'm just, you know, going for it.

Q.テつ Have you talked at all to Alisa?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, briefly.テつ You know, I just‑‑ I was happy to see her win her first round.テつ You know, I obviously didn't have anything life‑threatening, but, you know, I live day in, day out with an autoimmune disease, so it's not like it goes away.
I hope that these things never come back for her, just totally behind for her.

Q.テつ Looked a little bit like your second serve was the only chink in the armor out there.テつ Anything you can do different, or is it just a matter of getting more match play to get the serve going again?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I didn't see it that way.テつ I thought my second serve was effective.テつ I thought it was bouncing above her shoulder which made it difficult for her to attack.テつ I think typically she attacks second serves very well.テつ I don't think it was in her strike zone.
I spent a lot of time hitting second serves because I couldn't move when I first came on the court.テつ So it gave me a chance to work on my second, which I think has helped me a lot in these matches.

Q.テつ What do you see going ahead?テつ You have Aleksandra Wozniak in the next round.テつ I know you have played her before.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I played her?

Q.テつ You played her in Australia.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, well that was a long time ago.テつ I'm sure she's improved (smiling).
Um, hopefully I have a new lease on life.テつ I just want to feel good.テつ I just want to feel good enough to play.テつ That's all I ever want when I get on the court.
If I don't, then I just try to mentally be tough.テつ So that's what I try for.

Q.テつ I want to ask you a question about Roland Garros.テつ What's your best memory related to Roland Garros?テつ It could be one of your matches or something happened to you in general in Paris.テつ Your best memory?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think my first title there was doubles with Serena, and it was a crazy three‑hour match with nine rain delays and a windstorm on court and us having a huge lead and blowing it, me getting tight and her getting tight.
Then finally we won.テつ That was like an epic battle.テつ That was a great memory.テつ Probably my best memory there.

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