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August 16, 2012

Venus Williams


6‑3, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Talk about your match today.テつ You just basically blew Errani off the court today.テつ You were in great form.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, you know, my match today was tough.テつ I made a lot of errors.テつ I just felt like I can only play better today.テつ I think I came into the match a lot more relaxed and confident because of that yesterday, which was good news for me.
You know, I played her at the Olympics, too.テつ I was familiar with her game because I just played her a few weeks ago.テつ I think that helped me a lot.

Q.テつ How about the second serve ace you hit out wide?テつ How did that make you feel?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I needed it.テつ She was looming on the backhand side so she wasn't ready for that one.テつ That felt good.

Q.テつ Does it feel more special because you beat a top‑10 player?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I played two seeds already, players who are having exceptional years and being confident.
For me to be in this tournament and getting wins over both of those players, it feels really good, actually.テつ I want to continue it tomorrow.

Q.テつ How much easier is it for you to progress through a tournament playing a player like the caliber of Kirilenko in the first round as opposed to somebody maybe lesser?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ That was good for me.テつ The first two matches helped me find my range.テつ You have to hit a lot of balls.テつ Kirilenko is tenacious.テつ It doesn't matter what the score is, she is giving 100% and she's going to find a way to crawl back into the match.
You have to be mentally prepared to play against someone like her.テつ I think that was an advantage for me.

Q.テつ At what point do you, in this year of your comeback from all this, do you stop thinking, I just want to feel okay out there and start thinking, I'd like a trophy by now with how well you're playing?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I know.テつ I would love to have a trophy, but I have to earn it.テつ No matter what my circumstance in life is I have to earn it just like everyone else.テつ So obviously I have had some good results this year, actually.
That's been the icing on the cake.テつ You know, I already got what I wanted at the Olympics this year, so everything else for me is like just amazing.

Q.テつ At the Olympics and here you have been playing kind of back‑to‑back matches on back‑to‑back days.テつ We're about to go into the US Open where you'll actually have a day off in between.テつ Are you looking forward to that, having a little bit more time in between matches or is this actually good...
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ As long as my partner will have me I will be playing doubles in the US Open, but Serena told me we're playing doubles at Wimbledon so that's when I knew I had to be ready.テつ I had no chance to play doubles in the French, so she gave me an out.
But the doubles is, as you can tell, is very important to me.テつ Those titles add up.テつ You know, those add to your Grand Slam count.テつ It feels very good.
I'll be going for both of those and I will be prepared.テつ The doubles is easier for me because it takes less energy, so it's easier.テつ My partner helps me a lot.

Q.テつ Is it nice to kind of be able to get back on court during those off days, or would you rather have that full day off?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I mean, it's nice to have a full day off, but when you're going for both titles it takes a lot of focus, and I want both titles.テつ They both mean a lot to me.
I never, never, never throw in the towel if I've lost in singles no matter what.テつ I have been rewarded a lot of times with those titles.テつ For me, both are important.

Q.テつ I saw that Varvara Lepchenko is wearing EleVen now.テつ How did that start and are you planning on starting your range across the board with the WTA?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ Well, we just were team members at the Olympics, and, you know, she expressed some interest to wear EleVen.テつ I thought, Oh, this was awesome.テつ This is her first tournament.テつ I think she looks amazing in it.テつ I don't think I'm biased (Laughter.)
I think she looked good.テつ Pink is a great color for her.テつ I think it's also fun for her because you get to wear something different.テつ You get to express yourself more.テつ You aren't wearing everything that, you know, everyone else is wearing.
You feel good, because I like to think at least that EleVen, the clothes make you feel good because you feel like you look great.テつ That's what EleVen is really about.テつ I like to think she's taking it out there on the court with her.

Q.テつ Are you trying to recruit more players, going to the ATP some day?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Maybe a couple more; maybe even some men, as well.テつ I don't think our aim is to like have a ton of players, but it's about people who have the EleVen spirit, like very positive, feel good about themselves and what they're doing.テつ That's what EleVen is about.

Q.テつ You left the court for a moment there in the second set.テつ What was going on there?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Bathroom break.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ Heading into the US Open, the way the matches work out, best‑of‑three and there is a tiebreak.テつ Does that affect, compared to the rest of the majors, how do you see that?テつ Is that like a treat for you?テつ Is it much faster than the other matches in other majors?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ The tiebreaker is sudden death.テつ A lot of ways you have to be a lot more mentally prepared.テつ You feel like in the other tournaments you maybe have a little more room for error, but the tiebreak is like, it's gonna end.
So I guess in some way that makes it a little more pressure.テつ But hopefully it doesn't come down to that.テつ Sometimes it does, but I'd like to win more straightforward.テつ That would be great.

Q.テつ You play Stosur next.テつ What are your thoughts on that match?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, we played a couple matches this year.テつ I played her in Charleston.テつ I just felt like she played amazing.テつ She ripped every ball and served so well.テつ I don't think she could have done any more in that match, and it was actually still pretty close.
In Rome, I was able to win that match, and that was huge for me, because that like basically qualified me for the Olympics.テつ So like I needed that match.テつ I was so glad I got that one.
So this match is totally different circumstances from both of those.テつ I like to think I'm playing better than I was at that time.テつ Trying to win, basically.

Q.テつ I believe your dad's here this week.テつ Could you explain how much involvement he still has with your game and Serena's game now and going forward?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, my dad, he loves tennis and he loves being on the court with us.
You know, he has a lot of passion for it.テつ I think that's what it takes to stay at this level for this long.テつ You have to love it, and I think that Serena and I both love it.テつ He loves it, too.テつ It's like a perfect combination.
He's very motivating for us.テつ We could play the worst match, but he keeps us pumped.テつ That's what you need as well at this level is to feel that belief and confidence.テつ He does that.

Q.テつ Does he share tactics with you with respect to opponents coming up?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, yeah, he knows them.テつ He doesn't pay as much attention to the players as to our game.テつ Yeah, he nor my mom, they don't hardly know who's who.テつ (Laughter.)
Q.You have had a lot of success in New York at the US Open, but if you could change one thing about the US Open, what would that be?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, the site would be closer to the city.テつ You know, that commute is tough.テつ You know, Labor Day weekend is awesome because it's like the roads are clear.テつ (Smiling.)
That's the one thing I would change for sure.

Q.テつ It's been 10 years since you became the first African‑American woman to become No. 1.テつ You have accomplished a lot since then, but is that something that's still important to you looking back now?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, I think before all my injuries and illnesses I was 2 in the world and Serena was 1 and we were 1 in doubles.テつ We were literally on top of the world until a lot of things came crashing down on us.
I'd like to work my way back.テつ Of course that's a dream for me and a goal for me.テつ I dream of those things.テつ That's why I'm here, because I feel like I still have it.
So it's one match at a time, pretty much.

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