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August 5, 2012

Serena Williams

Venus Williams


6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Ladies, you've created history again.  You're the first tennis players to achieve four gold medals.  Your thoughts on that?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Who else did three in golds?

Q.  Well before our time.
VENUS WILLIAMS:  Well, for us it's so exciting in this Olympics winning the gold together.  For me it was amazing to watch Serena from the stands and see her, you know, complete the golden slam.  So it's been amazing for us.
We've been winning this title since 2000, but it's easier said than done.  We come in as the favorites.  But it's not a given.  We fought hard.  Our opponents played well.  They're very talented.
We're glad to keep the medal for us.  It was great.

Q.  Venus, at your lowest moments due to your health issue, how close do you think you came to not having or experiencing this moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS:  Every time I thought that I was getting close to losing, I would think about the Olympics literally and find a way to win the match.  It was very close competition to get in here from the U.S. and get my ranking up enough.  It was tough.
But I'm here.  It's all I wanted.  Just to arrive here was an amazing dream.  To bring home a gold is just crazy.

Q.  Serena, you're playing some amazing tennis right now.  Can you attribute that to any one thing that's happening with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I mean, I don't know.  I just always give all the glory to God.  You know, lately I've just been focused only on tennis, nothing else, no distractions, no life (smiling).
My life is practice in the morning, training in the afternoon.¬† Wake up to practice in the morning, training.¬† Definitely been spending a lot more time maybe on the tennis court.¬† I have a nothing‑to‑lose attitude.

Q.  Did your health scare give you a renewed interest?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Maybe.  I was totally interested before, completely disappointed that happened.  But maybe it just gave me new fire that I wouldn't have had.

Q.  Serena, you said that Venus is a big source of inspiration for you and you want to do what she achieved on the court.  You have the fifth Wimbledon this year and the gold medal that your sister has from Sydney.  What does Venus think of Serena in this case?
VENUS WILLIAMS:  What do I think?

Q.  Yes.
VENUS WILLIAMS:  I'm so proud of her.  I know what it's like to win a gold in singles.  So for her to have that achievement, I mean, she's fighting on the court and I'm fighting in the box, just giving all my energy to her, whatever I can give.
Now that we both have four gold medals, it's great.  In our house, there's a party.  Whenever we're at home, times get down, we go look at our golds, we're back up.  It's something of intense motivation for both of us.

Q.  The two of you aren't the young kids on the block anymore at the Olympics.  There's been so many young Americans that do so well.  Why is this still so important to both of you?  You've done everything in tennis.  Why do you keep on doing this?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  I think we love it more than anything.  We don't do it for any other reason outside of pure joy.  It's a great opportunity to do something that you love every day.  You know, not everyone gets to do that.  So we really enjoy those moments.
VENUS WILLIAMS:  I think for us, knowing that we have so much more to give, that we have great tennis in our racquets, is so motivating.  We want to be able to, when we're done, to look back and say we gave everything.  That's important to us.

Q.  Wondering what your program is for the coming weeks?  US Open is coming up.  At what point do you start training with the kind of intensity you need to compete there?
VENUS WILLIAMS:  Well, for me I have to train like probably this afternoon (laughter).
For me, it's all about just continuing to get more endurance, try to continue to conquer my disease every day.  So I have to be very disciplined.  I have to remind myself of that, you know, that my life is different now.
I'll be training pretty soon, you know, next week.
SERENA WILLIAMS:¬† Oh, I'm going to take a day off or two.¬† You know, this was good training going into the Open, the intensity of the matches.¬† I definitely think I'm match‑ready.
I'm playing Cincinnati, so I'll go to Cincinnati.

Q.  I think you said, Venus, in the interview that perhaps you could go out in a bang in Rio in four years' time.  That's a long time ahead.  Do you think that's a realistic possibility?
VENUS WILLIAMS:  With the doubles partner I have, absolutely.  But that's what we want.
I think nowadays tennis players are seeing that you can play great tennis into your 30s.  I think a lot of people were brainwashed early that you had to quit.  It's really not the way it is.
By the time you get to this age, you really understand the game, the nuances, you're just getting better.  As long as you can stay healthy enough to play, we stay healthy enough to play, it would be great.

Q.  Venus, you just mentioned your health.  How much time per day are you spending just on being healthy?  You mentioned great tennis in your racquet.  How much great tennis do you think you have left in your racquet?
VENUS WILLIAMS:  I feel like I have a lot of great tennis.  I had a great event here in singles and doubles.
Every day, everything I eat, drink, rest, everything is on the road to be better and better.  So I feel like I actually hit a high here.  I just want to keep getting better.  It's very exciting.  So I just want to get better.

Q.  Serena, in the mixed zone Venus said she had her eye on Rio in 2016.  Had you thought that far ahead?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yeah, I'll be there if I'm healthy and I'm playing.  I hope to still be playing by then a hundred percent.  So yeah.
I have titles to defend (laughter).

Q.  A couple of the swimmers on the U.S. team were thrilled to see you in the cafeteria in the village.  Is there any athlete you have met here or hope to meet during the games that would give you an equal thrill?
VENUS WILLIAMS:  Well, I mean, for me it's not necessarily about meeting the stars, but it's about, you know, some of the lifelong friends that you make that you didn't necessarily know.
You know, I met a British runner in 2008, and we've been in touch since.  So that's what it's really all about.  Seeing familiar faces every year.
So it's really, you know, that's what the Olympics is about, bringing people together that you never thought you would meet.

Q.  Serena, I want to ask you about Agnieszka Radwanska.  What do you think about this player and how do you think she's strong enough to be No.1?
SERENA WILLIAMS:  Yup, she's a great player.  Anybody can be No.1.  So she has a great chance.

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