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August 18, 2012

Venus Williams


N. LI/V. Williams
7‑5, 3‑6, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How is your back doing?テつ Looked like it was affecting you for a lot of the match.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I pretty much couldn't serve.テつ But I wanted to try.テつ I mean, especially since this is my first semifinal of the year, I wanted to try to see if I could get to the final.
Didn't work out for me.

Q.テつ Did it start bothering you before the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Just in my warmup it was bothering me.テつ I was like Oh, no.テつ I tried to fix it between the warmup and the match, but it didn't work.
Right now I don't know why my back hurts; I just know it hurts.テつ After this I'm going to get an evaluation and see what exactly is happening.

Q.テつ This was nothing that affected you all week?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No, just started suddenly.テつ It's like really bad luck.

Q.テつ Is it something as an athlete that does come and go or you're used to these things popping up but not being serious?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I usually don't have an injury that affects me that much like tonight.テつ Usually things pop up and then you have some time to adjust or fix it, but that wasn't the case today.
Or sometimes if you have an injury, over time you get used to it to a certain degree.テつ But, you know, just all so new right now.

Q.テつ The massage seemed to do the trick for the second set anyway.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ (Laughter.)テつ I don't know what happened.テつ I really wanted to try win, so I think more than anything that's what did the trick, just desire.テつ I thought, Even if I can't win, let me at least try to continue to work on my game.
If I can't do my best tonight, let me just try to develop my game and hit balls and just do the best I can out here.

Q.テつ Did the comeback take out of you too much for you to be effective in the third the way you would want to be?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think it was just difficult to focus with the injury.テつ It's hard to really focus and give 100%.テつ You just have to really like try to focus on the now.テつ That's just difficult, you know.

Q.テつ Do you have to consciously make an effort to play certain shots because you're not able to serve a certain way?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, the serve is a huge part of my game, so like when I didn't have the serve it was just like, Get it in.テつ So it was probably the highest first‑serve percentage of the whole tournament for me actually.
But, you know, I just tried to do what I could.

Q.テつ Why did you continue to play?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Because I like to live life with no regrets.テつ I don't want look back and feel like I gave up or say I could have done this or that.テつ That's not me.
I wanted to go the very end and at least know that maybe I missed some shots or maybe I wasn't feeling my best, but I gave it all.

Q.テつ Did this feel at all the same as the injury you had in Australia a couple years ago that also affected your serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, God, no.テつ That injury was horrendous.テつ That was my stomach, so I hope no one ever goes through that.テつ Right now I don't know what it is or how I'm going to feel tomorrow.テつ I just don't even know.

Q.テつ Pretty happy about your form?テつ You made the semifinals here going into the US Open.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I wanted to be better, but I'm going to try to focus on the positive.テつ Right now my priority is figure my back out ASAP.テつ The Open is eight, nine days away, and I still want to be able to get on the court and practice, too.
I want my serve to be there, too.テつ That's my lifesaver. テつWe'll see.

Q.テつ You're 8‑1 in three‑setters in 2012 coming into this match, 3‑0 this week this week.テつ Did you think when you 'got to the third you might not just work on you game but pull it out?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, I tried.テつ I think I had some loose shots.テつ I just wasn't able to do it today.テつ Obviously she is very good off the ground.テつ I have to give her some credit as well.

Q.テつ Injury and tactic effected all your strokes or just the serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, it affected my serve, but I could still hit groundstrokes.テつ Toward the end it started to 'bother me on my groundstrokes as well.テつ I did everything I could.
The more you play on something the worse it kind of gets.

Q.テつ Have you ever served so slow in your career?テつ You served slower than Radwanska yesterday.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Actually, it wasn't too slow.テつ As the match went on it got a little slower, but I was still in the 90s sometimes.テつ Just kind of moving my arm through.
Yeah, I don't know.

Q.テつ This is her second final in row.テつ What do you think she's doing well right now?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ She's really good off the ground.テつ Her whole game is about being consistent and aggressive at the same time.テつ She's being consistent and aggressive, yeah.

Q.テつ Sounded like Serena shouted something at the end that made you laugh.テつ Can you share that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ She said, Come on, break her.テつ I'm like, I'm going to try.テつ And I did try to break her, but I just couldn't break her that time.

Q.テつ The back notwithstanding, how do you think your form is heading into the Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, it's one match at a time.テつ It's like dealing with the circumstances you're dealing with at that very moment, that very round.テつ That's what I'm going to go into the Open thinking.テつ Not necessarily good form or bad form, but going into that one match and executing and playing that person that's across the net from me.

Q.テつ I asked Serena yesterday about the effect you two have on younger players, young girls of color.テつ What do you think your legacy is and will be?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, my gosh.テつ That's a big question.テつ I don't know.テつ That's a big like serious question.テつ I like to think that Serena and I in general helped grow the game of tennis not only amongst African Americans, but all minorities and all people.
That would be an awesome legacy.テつ If we can grow the sport and get more people involved, that would be great.

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