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August 17, 2012

Venus Williams


6‑2, 6‑7, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ You were clearly delighted by that win.テつ Did it feel like that was a wall you broke through to get to the semifinal?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, in a lot of ways.テつ In a lot of my semifinals I fell short and couldn't play my best and what have you.
I didn't realize I was going to be that excited when I won.テつ You know, of course under the circumstances, you know, when you serve it out at 6‑4 it's always very exciting, but I think that made it very exciting.

Q.テつ Talk about the second set.テつ Did you lose concentration or what happened in the second set?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think she just played well.テつ I had to give her credit for that.テつ You know, I missed some shots.テつ You know, that happens in tennis.テつ That's why there is three sets.テつ It had to be decided in the third.

Q.テつ You have been serving well earlier in the tournament.テつ This match you were in the mid 40s for most of the match.テつ Were you going for a little bit more today?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I couldn't really buy a first serve today.テつ It was really frustrating.テつ I tried to take some off.テつ In the third set I just put everything back in.テつ That's my serve.テつ I serve big, and I'm a lot more relaxed when I can just go for it.
Those last two serves, you know, I needed it, so, you know, I know I'm going to go for it.テつ Felt good.

Q.テつ This is your first semifinals since 2010 in singles.テつ Is it a bit of redemption for you after all you have been through with illness and injury?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, I'd like to think that this is only the beginning for me of more semifinals.テつ Of course I'm going to stay focused and try to make it a final match as well.
So for me I'd like to take it a lot further.テつ I haven't played a lot since 2010, so this is awesome for me already.

Q.テつ Did you know it was your first semifinal since then?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No, I didn't.テつ It doesn't surprise me because I haven't played that much.

Q.テつ You get the winner of Li and Radwanska next.テつ Can you talk about each of them?テつ I don't know if you played either.テつ You played Radwanska a couple of times and lost.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, Radwanska is having a great year.テつ Wimbledon final doesn't get much better than that.テつ Li is always a dangerous player.
Either one I know I'm going to have to bring my best game and try to up my first serve percentage if I can because that makes my life a lot easier, makes everybody's life easier in tennis.テつ That will be my main goal.

Q.テつ Seems sort of your off days have come against Radwanska.テつ Are you going to see a completely different player across the net when you play her the next time?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think I will be a bit better next time around.テつ I will try to get off to a fast start.テつ Yeah, just focus in on my game tomorrow.

Q.テつ Third time you have played Sam this year; first two were on clay.テつ How was this match different?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, my gosh.テつ You know, I always know she's a tough competitor.テつ She has a great serve and power and also great movement.
It's just about playing a little better than her pretty much when you walk out against a player like her.テつ That's what I try to do, and I'm glad I did.

Q.テつ What's your tactic against her kick serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ It bounces pretty high.テつ She hits a good one, then I'm probably not going to get too much pace on it.テつ There was some I got a lot of pace on, so, I mean, if she hits it out of my range, then it's too good.

Q.テつ It seems like some tiebreaks in big matches haven't gone your way recently.テつ Does it feel like that?テつ Why do you think that is?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, I think the tiebreaker you just have to play one point at a time.テつ You know, today I let it get away from me.テつ Once that happens, you have to just move on.テつ That's pretty much it.

Q.テつ I saw that you met with the tennis team from IU East.テつ Can you talk about how that came about?テつ Did they ask you for any advice?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I go to IU East by distance, so I'm a Red Wolf.テつ You know, they always send me great encouragement online by Twitter, and I'm always getting caught wearing my IU East sweater.テつ I have a lot of school pride, actually.テつ I love my school.
It was nice to meet the tennis team and some of my professors who I have talked to, of course.テつ I didn't get to meet them last year because I couldn't play.テつ That was disappointing.テつ This year was kind of a reunion.テつ I can't wait until I have an opportunity and time to go to the campus.

Q.テつ What are you studying there?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Business.テつ Yeah, I transferred from interior design because it was too tough.テつ I had to go to business.テつ It's tough, too, but it's fun.
Right now I'm not taking any classes because I had to put all my energy into qualifying for the Olympics.テつ That was a lot in itself.

Q.テつ The wins this week have been quality opponents, but your level of play has been fantastic.テつ And then now with the US Open coming up, if people start talking about you as being in the mix for the title in New York, is your response, Yes, I deserve to be discussed.テつ Or is it, Whoa, hold on?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ My response is I don't really think I care.テつ (Smiling.)
It takes a lot more than talking to win a tournament.テつ That's one thing that I do know.テつ You have to walk the walk, hit the shot, and execute.
No matter what people say, obviously it's nice to have positive things said about me, but I need to focus on every point when I get to the Open, as well.

Q.テつ Have you had a chance to watch much of Serena?テつ How would you assess her form?テつ Seems like she's getting through matches but maybe a little tired from the Olympics maybe.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, she's played so many matches since Wimbledon, singles, doubles, and going on to Stanford, and then the Olympics singles and doubles.テつ I don't think anyone has played as many matches and played as successfully as her.
I think she's just here, she wants to do well in the US Open Series, and obviously this is a great tournament to play.テつ So I think for her this is, you know, important to be here for the fans, as well.
I think some rest is in order for her.

Q.テつ You have played one match on center, three on grandstand.テつ Is there any differential between the courts as far as the speed?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ I'm not so sensitive.テつ I will tell you when I get back on center, but we'll see.

Q.テつ You have been scheduled on grandstand a couple days in row instead of center.テつ Did you notice that or do you care?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ All that matters is I get to the next round.テつ That's my biggest priority.テつ It's really fun on grandstand, as well.テつ There is a lot of atmosphere.テつ Either way is good.

Q.テつ Speaking of atmosphere, how much do you feed off the crowd when they're rooting for you in a tight match like today?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ It feels great.テつ It's awesome they're behind me.テつ When you hit the big shots they're there and everybody is pumping you up.テつ It's a great feeling.テつ This is like one of the best places to play in the U.S.
I would definitely say, yes, it's a great feeling here.テつ I don't think people could be nicer.テつ This is the nicest place.

Q.テつ You have always been pretty lean, but it seems like maybe you're slimmer than you've ever been.テつ Are you?テつ Do you feel like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I'm not too much into the weight gain thing.テつ (Smiling.)
I'm very vain.テつ No, I don't really eat as much candy as I used to eat.テつ So that, you know, took a little weight off of me.
Strangely enough, one of the symptoms of Sjogren's is loss of appetite, so I'm not as hungry as I used to be.テつ I eat to live now.テつ What a great problem for us women?テつ I'm so grateful.テつ Thank you, Sjogren's.

Q.テつ Are you still a cheagan?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, yeah, every day, every day.

Q.テつ What's everything you cheat with?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't want to admit, but I love milkshakes.テつ I really still love eggs, you know, to be honest.テつ Like if I'm making a cornbread, I'm probably going to throw some eggs in there.テつ I can't help it.テつ My hand slips and it gets in there.テつ (Laughter.)
So, you know, little things like that.テつ Or like you want some ice cream.テつ You just never know what you might find as you're living life.テつ I'm working on it.テつ It's a daily process.

Q.テつ Do you ever eat any fast food?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ (Laughter.)テつ Well, you know, after the Olympics, the treat is always to go to McDonald's.テつ I had a couple of things there.
I didn't have any chicken nuggets, but every time after the Olympics like I go to the Village and I have a stop at McDonald's.テつ I enjoy the mango smoothie amongst other things, fries and stuff like that.テつ It's great.

Q.テつ It seems like you have been showing a lot of emotion out there, more than we're used to seeing from you.テつ Do you feel like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ More than anything, my whole goal on the court is to stay positive, and no matter what shot, even if I'm a little disappointed after the shot, I just try to regroup and stay positive.
That's the name to winning matches, because you can't be down on yourself and your opponent trying to take you down, too.テつ It's just too much.

Q.テつ You had a book that came out a few years ago.テつ Any plan to author anything else?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, my God, that was such hard work.テつ Maybe I need to move on to fiction now, larger‑than‑life stories.
Definitely, but I don't know when.

Q.テつ You don't see your own story as a larger‑than‑life story at this point?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ We'll see.テつ I don't know.テつ Maybe.

Q.テつ What's your favorite thing to do in New York during the Open, if there were a spot to go to?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ It used to be Barney's, but now I would say like private‑room karaoke.

Q.テつ What song?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, strangely enough, I sing this song, White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane.テつ It's actually really hard to sing now.テつ But I only sing that after I've warmed up a little bit, my voice is all nice, after some tea.
But more than anything I just try a lot of new songs.テつ I'm not a professional singer.テつ It just lifts your spirits.テつ It's so fun.

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