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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 14, 2013


Venus Williams


MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

V. WILLIAMS/G. Voskoboeva
6‑1, 6‑0


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ That may be the best match you've played at a slam since your comeback.テつ Would you agree with that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ (Smiling.)
I mean, the stats looked good for me.テつ I haven't seen them all yet, but I got a high first‑serve percentage and more winners than errors, so that always makes a good match.
I don't think my opponent quite got the hang of ‑‑you know, it's hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure.
I did my best to just close it out.

Q.テつ What did you do in the off season to get yourself physically the way you want to coming into this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I just tried to run and hit balls.テつ Tried to get to the gym.テつ The usual, nothing like secret or anything like that.

Q.テつ But you had enough energy and your body was responding the way you wanted it to?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, sure.テつ (Smiling.)

Q.テつ This is the kind of match in the past that you would have expected yourself to win.テつ It would have been routine to win.テつ Did it feel at all that way today?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ I don't think about the score when I'm out there.テつ So even if I'm up 5‑Love, I don't see 5‑Love.テつ I just see I need to get the set.
That's kind of what I'm thinking about.テつ Nothing is really routine.テつ You never know how well your opponent is going to play or if you don't have a good day.
Obviously it's nice to spend less time on the court, and not be in long sets.テつ Obviously a win is a win no matter what it is, but it's nice when it's more routine.

Q.テつ How encouraging was the Hopman Cup for you?テつ Speaking of time on court, you had a lot of time on court that one day.テつ Just getting through that, was that important?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Definitely.テつ I mean, it seems so long ago now.テつ (Smiling.)
I haven't played a competitive match in over a week.テつ I definitely wish it would have been closer, but I got to play matches in Hopman Cup.テつ That's great.テつ I played six matches, singles and doubles.テつ That was my first time.
So I thought it was like really good, because you get to play a lot.テつ You know, the regular tournaments if you lose in the first round or something then you're out of luck, so the Hopman Cup, even if you lose you still have got some luck left.

Q.テつ Are you still trying to maintain that kind of vegan whatever diet?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah I think it's pretty well known I'm a cheagan.

Q.テつ What do you get to cheat with when you get to cheat?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ If it's on your plate I might get to cheat.テつ If you're sitting next to me, good luck.テつ You turn your head once and your food might be gone. (Laughing.)
I'm not perfect, but I try.

Q.テつ You have been coming down here for a long time.テつ How has this tournament changed in your eyes?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I feel like this tournament definitely has the best facilities out of any of the majors.テつ Constantly improving.テつ I think it's unbelievable what they have done at the National Tennis Center over there in just improving the player facilities.
So that's fantastic, you know, reinvesting back into the tournament.

Q.テつ I think this is the 18th season you have gone into as a player.テつ Talk about your nongeneric goals.テつ I'm sure they have changed since, you know, '94 to '95.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, trying to celebrate the 20th anniversary.

Q.テつ Of Venus.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Trying to make it there, 20 years.
My goals in '95, I didn't even know what I was doing.テつ I just thought I had a dream and thought I could do it.
Now I have done a lot of things and I don't really have anything to prove except for I have my desire to play and to play well.
That really is what it's about at this point, is getting the best out of me.

Q.テつ Have you made up your mind about Fed Cup yet?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ About Fed Cup?

Q.テつ Yeah.テつ Are you going to play in Italy?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, yeah.

Q.テつ 100%?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think I'm confirmed for the team, but I don't know.テつ But at this moment, honestly, I'm thinking about the Australian Open, and everything else is after this.テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ You've got the win today, but what have you taken away from the match from a performance perspective and to build on moving forward?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, just continue to have depth on the balls.テつ For me, I'm a net player; I like to get to the net.テつ But the courts are a lot slower, so you have to be selective on how you get to the net, especially.
You know, the stronger players you play with, the more experience.テつ And continuing to serve well always makes the match easier.
So those are some of the big‑picture things.

Q.テつ I have heard Hisense is a lot slower than the outer courts that maybe you practiced on also.テつ Did you sense that at all today?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm a very unsensitive player.テつ (Laughter.)テつ I can't sense anything almost.テつ No feel.
Yeah, I'm not the one to ask because I don't notice differences that much.テつ I just play, and I don't care if the racquet is tight or not tight.テつ I just play.
So I'm not really a sensitive player.

Q.テつ Speaking of Fed Cup, have you enjoyed the contact with some of the younger Americans on the team and the Olympics and some of the other team events you have played on?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I love team events.テつ World Team Tennis, playing last year, it was fantastic.テつ Playing Hopman Cup was a lot of fun because I felt a lot of responsibility to the team.テつ I do enjoy that.テつ It's extra motivation for me.

Q.テつ Do you feel them looking up to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I try to be on my best behavior when the young ones are around.テつ You never know how something slips.テつ (Smiling.)
It's all good fun, and hopefully, you know, especially since, you know, on the American teams those young players come up and do something, hopefully set a good example for them.

Q.テつ A couple of Miami tournament questions.テつ They made a few improvements last year, temporary, but they have pretty much been okayed to revamp the site and everything.テつ You have been going there.テつ It's your home tournament.テつ How important do you think it is for them to kind of upgrade that facility?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, obviously you have to update.テつ Don't be late.テつ That's one of my mottos.テつ You don't want to keep wearing the mullet when it's not the '80s anymore.テつ (Laughter.)
You know, it's maybe a strange comparison, but it's important to update the facilities, because after a while they get old and undesirable.
I think it's wonderful for the tournament they are updating.テつ I know they had to fight really hard for that, so I'm glad it's happening.

Q.テつ Of the 13 players who have won that event, all but three have been No. 1s in the world at some point in their career.テつ All but Radwanska has won at least one Grand Slam.テつ You're part of that, obviously.テつ Is that an impressive lineup for a tournament to have?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Absolutely.テつ Ever since I can remember when I was watching on TV, it was always considered the fifth major.
The so the tournament is very important to get the best players.テつ Conditions aren't always easy.テつ It can be windy or cold.
So the best players do come through and win that event.

Q.テつ How much more patient has the illness forced you to be in the last year or two?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Not much.テつ I'm not a patient person.テつ (Smiling.)
But I think what I have learned more than anything is for me to focus on the things I can accomplish and not to think about the things that I can't do.
So that's, I think, what I have learned more than anything than last year.

Q.テつ When you come here, what match do you think of, if you think of any matches?テつ Final against Serena maybe?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No.テつ Well, I don't know.テつ I mean, we have done well in doubles, and obviously for me, the mixed doubles in '98, that was like the first title I ever had.

Q.テつ That was Justin?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, Gimelstob.テつ '98, baby.

Q.テつ And that's the only title he ever had, too.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Actually, we had the French Open that year, too.テつ That was definitely the beginning for me.テつ After that I started winning events.テつ Sometimes it takes, you know, winning a mixed or whatever it is, a major, to really understand how to win matches.
So that, for me, was a big beginning.

Q.テつ Was winning a couple of those doubles tournaments last year.テつ Like Wimbledon, the Olympics, kind of turned things around for you, to say, Hey, I really can come back and do this?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, for me, I felt like I had a great year.テつ I moved up a lot of spots.テつ I qualified for the Olympics.テつ That was my whole goal.
You know, I won doubles major and Olympic gold.テつ Gold, gold, gold, baby.テつ So, you know, that was awesome.
Then to finish up with the Luxembourg win, it was a whirlwind and bananas year, but for me it was fantastic.

Q.テつ Where are those gold medals?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I have hid them in a sack.テつ Yeah.テつ (Smiling.)
One day if I become a statistic and I lose all my money, then I have to melt the gold off the top.

Q.テつ How has it gone for you?テつ Athletes say all the time that the years fly by.テつ So much has happened to you.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ When you're a young person you just don't think it's ever going to end and you're on top of the world.テつ I realize one day it will end.テつ I mean, you know it will, but you're young.
So now I realize all these opportunities.テつ I try to take to best I can of them.テつ When it's over, I will be out and hopefully, like I said, I won't run out of money and have to commentate.テつ But if I do, I will be commentating.テつ (Laughter.)
But I'd like to move on from tennis.テつ I love designing.テつ I put my foot in that door already, and probably helping players on the side.
I love the game, and while I'm here, I'm going to go for it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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