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August 6, 2013

Venus Williams


K. FLIPKENS/V. Williams
0‑6, 6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ You haven't been able to play that much this year.テつ First match since Roland Garros.テつ Assess how you felt about everything out there.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, you know, I wasn't expecting to play that well in the first set, so I think in the second I just didn't handle it well.テつ But, you know, I was pretty close there to closing that match out.
You know, then I got down in the third.テつ I think I just sprayed a few balls early in the second and got a little tentative.テつ I just hadn't played a lot, really very sporadically in the last few months.
I definitely probably didn't make the best choices out there all the time, but in general it was really fun to be back out and just getting ready for next week.

Q.テつ Physically are you 100%?テつ Seems like at times during the third you weren't maybe getting a push off your serve.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I just really started serving a lot more in the last week, so I'm not really, you know, 100% on the serve yet.
So, to me, it was better not to take too many risks and just do something I felt more comfortable with.テつ This week I will definitely be practicing my serve a lot more and getting more confident in it and more comfortable with serving out there.
So definitely today my service games I didn't feel like myself, because usually I step up to the line, I go for it a lot, but I didn't really feel like I could do that today.
So I think that definitely made a difference in the match, as well.テつ My opponent, she's been playing awesome this year, and she definitely showed a lot of resilience by fighting back.テつ It's never easy to lose a 6‑Love set and come back.
Definitely a lot of different factors.テつ I feel like this is just my first match.テつ I just want more matches.テつ That would be really good for me.テつ (Smiling).

Q.テつ This tournament hasn't obviously been that kind to you in the past.テつ Obviously there are circumstances this year and probably in the past, as well.テつ How do you rate this going into the US Open?テつ Obviously you would have liked to have played more matches.テつ How do you rate it overall?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I want to play more matches.テつ If I had to not win this match, I'm excited to being able to at least play three sets, at least, because that's more games.テつ I don't know if I have actually won around here.テつ Have I?
I just don't know.テつ I have got to somehow change my luck here.テつ I'm going to keep working on it.
But, you know, I haven't been able to play here as often as I would have liked just with injuries and having to withdraw and maybe not winning, so I have to somehow change my luck in Canada.

Q.テつ You seem pretty cheerful at the moment.

Q.テつ Is it possible for you to have fun out there like at moments in the second set when you find you're not playing well and you're making errors?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, in tennis I learned that you're going to lose some matches.テつ In my career I have been fortunate to win a lot more than I have lost.テつ So my expectations coming to this tournament maybe weren't as much as going to other tournaments, and I realize that I just ‑‑ you know, in the past I have been able to win when I haven't played a lot of matches, but in general I just haven't played hardly any matches for a set period of time and that's the different set of circumstances.
So the best thing you can do‑‑ for me, the best thing I can do is to be positive and to, you know, realize that maybe I'm not going to be at my best at this point but I can, you know, just work to that.
So that's what I feel like.

Q.テつ When you're sort of in the process and coming back and doing all the work and getting in your first few matches, can you really sort of enjoy that part of it, or is that something you're just trying to get through to get to better form?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, like you have to start somewhere.テつ I feel like, you know, I'm doing better than I was maybe this time last year.テつ I don't know.
But regardless, I think I have made like four comebacks in the last three years, so it's something I'm getting used to now.
But hopefully this will be the last one for a long time.テつ And like I said, when you're coming back to, you know, the matches, you have to just take the positives and then learn from the mistakes and build on that, and so I just look forward to building on it next week.

Q.テつ You said at Roland Garros that you didn't want to come back until you were healthy.テつ I'm assuming you're healthy now.テつ But if you have only been serving for a week, did you consider maybe waiting for another week just to see how you totally felt, or did you feel like if I'm going do something at the US Open I better get some matches in before I go there?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think a little bit of both, but also coming back from injury, you have to build the confidence to just realize that you can, you know, come back and play without pain.
So I feel like I'm in that threshold of building confidence, and I really want to be able to play matches before the US Open.テつ I think, you know, that's a lot of what happened to me at the French, too.テつ I played an intense and a really fun, exciting match, but I hadn't played any matches.テつ So it was like just a tough situation to be in.テつ Do you play or you don't play.
So I feel like kind of in that situation now going into the US Open.テつ Do you play or don't play?
So it is what it is.テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ So you'll play Cincy and possibly New Haven before the US Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No in New Haven but just Cincinnati, and that's it for me.

Q.テつ Why not throw in some doubles just for match practice?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I would totally love to, but I have to be really easy on my back now.テつ I can't force it.テつ Doubles would be awesome, but it's not an option right now.テつ Hopefully I will just be able to obviously play at the Open.

Q.テつ You mentioned the doubles, and I asked Serena this yesterday:テつ Is it a goal in 2016 to play doubles with Serena in Rio?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think for us the doubles at the Olympics is more important than the singles, because I think it's a moment we're able to share with each other.テつ I think last year the singles was obviously huge for Serena because it was the only thing she hadn't done before.
So that was definitely possibly more important to her than maybe the doubles, but definitely in Rio the doubles will be the most important thing.

Q.テつ It seemed like last year's US Open was really a great experience for you just in terms of the crowd support and everything like that.テつ Do you feel like that's something that you are getting now at this stage of your career sort of where you play, sort of the extra support?テつ Is that something that helps keep you going?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ For here, that was really, really nice and felt good, and I tried to win for my Canadian fans, but I'm working on that whole winning‑in‑Canada thing.
At the US Open it will be wonderful to feel that same support as last year, would be great.

Q.テつ Is the red in your hair a Canada thing?テつ Did you sort of want to match the flag or something?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know there is red in the U.S. flag too?テつ (Smiling).
Actually my hair was supposed to be pink, but it didn't come out pink.テつ So it's red.テつ So I had to be happy with that.テつ (Smiling).
But hopefully I will get it right next time.

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