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August 12, 2013

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/J. Cepelova
6‑4, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions for Venus, please.

Q.テつ Venus, it was a slow start tonight.テつ Once you got rolling, it was pretty good from your end.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I had a slow start.テつ I was missing shots but I was being aggressive, so I realized if I had made a few more that it would probably be the other way for me.
She was really determined, I thought.テつ She just looked really determined and really just energetic.テつ She was definitely going to take it to me, so it was good to turn around and get a win.テつ Feels good, yeah.

Q.テつ First one in a while for you, right?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ My matches have been pretty spaced far apart.テつ It doesn't really give you a chance to get any rhythm either.
For me, that's what I'm looking for.テつ For the remainder of this year, hopefully just play a lot of matches and have those situations where I'm up 40‑15 or down break point or in a tiebreaker or just kind of get the feel again.

Q.テつ Did you feel some of that flow in tonight's match?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, a little bit.テつ You know, I do have a lot of experience, and that helps, but I do have a lot of rustiness too.テつ That doesn't help.テつ So it's like those two things kind of going against each other.

Q.テつ Venus, what were you thinking down 0‑3?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm thinking, It's only a break.テつ A break and hold and it's even.テつ I'm thinking, Get a little closer.テつ Put a little bit of pressure on her.テつ Probably she hasn't played as many top players on center court before.テつ So it was probably a new situation for her, which I had the advantage.

Q.テつ When you're down like that, are you thinking tactically or just thinking mentally stay tough?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Definitely tactically and definitely thinking about the error count, missing approach shots by just too far and overhitting.テつ Some of those errors, I think that happen sometimes to more power players.

Q.テつ With the ups and downs and the fits and starts, how do you keep your motivation going?テつ How do you keep your determination?テつ You seem to be fairly upbeat through it all.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, what else am I going to do, get down?テつ The same amount of time you spend down is the amount of time you can spend up.テつ I don't like being down.テつ I don't like feeling bad.
I have a great life.テつ I've had an opportunity to live all my dreams.テつ I still have that chance.テつ The only thing I can do is continue to work hard and enjoy being out here, so that's what I try to do.

Q.テつ Do you ever have to give yourself sort of little pep talks when things are not going well?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ Always.テつ Always lots of pep talks, lots of positivity.
And I realize that I'm going to have to continue to really fight my way into my best form, but everyone has to do this at some point in their career.テつ I've just had to do it more often than most.
So I'm up for the challenge.テつ I realize that I might not win all the matches I want to win right now, but keep working and I can get there.
I mean, I definitely can hit the ball.テつ There's no doubt about that.テつ It's about putting it all together.

Q.テつ How much does crowd support help you now, Venus?テつ When you got down, everybody really got behind you.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ It felt nice.テつ When I'd lose a point, the crowd would be like, Oh.テつ Me too.テつ That's how I feel.テつ So that feels good.
Last year I had so much support here.テつ Especially last year, the first time I hurt my back, everyone was really pulling for me and that felt good.
So just to come back and just have that not miss a beat and everyone for me and encouraging me and waiting on the end of their seats right with me is a good feeling.

Q.テつ Venus, what do you remember about last year hurting your back here?テつ It was during the warm‑ups for your semi, I think, is that right?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ Last year it was so sudden in the warm‑up.テつ Normally sometimes you might feel something and you just tape it or fix it or rub it and you're okay, but it wasn't okay.
So, yeah, that's pretty much what it was.

Q.テつ You played through that match, I know, and you played the Open and stuff.テつ Did you realize at the time it was going to linger, that injury?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No.テつ If I would have known, maybe I would have done things differently.テつ You can never know.テつ I just try to make good choices, not always make them in terms of when I should play and when I shouldn't because I always want to play.
So sometimes you have to miss some matches so you can play some better matches later on.テつ That's what I ‑‑ I've had to make that choice obviously during Wimbledon and stuff.

Q.テつ Venus, did you get to see that ESPN special?テつ I don't know if anybody's asked you this yet, but did you get to see it?テつ And what did you think about it and how it turned out?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, I just did an interview for it so I had no idea how it was going to turn out.テつ It wasn't like I produced it.
So I saw the video and they sent me a CD.テつ My agent kept saying, Have you seen it?テつ I was like, Yeah.テつ But I left it at my dad's house.テつ He just kept saying, Have you seen it?テつ Have you seen it?テつ I'm going to get to it.
I watched it with my dad, and he was very proud.テつ My mom told me she was proud, so I felt good.テつ It's like, Thanks, guys.テつ They don't necessarily tell me they're proud of me for tennis.テつ I mean, I know that they're proud, but they both made it a point to tell me they were proud, so that made me happy.テつ So, yeah.

Q.テつ How did it feel to kind of see everything put into context, obviously the off‑court and the on‑court stuff that's happened with you?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I didn't expect them to tell the story like that.テつ I thought it was going to be less on‑court, especially less on‑court about my own court, so I was surprised when I saw that.テつ I thought it was going to be kind of more historical piece on kind of the history of equal prize money and that kind of thing.
I didn't expect to be so much a part of the film, so I was surprised.テつ I didn't know what to expect.

Q.テつ Venus, speaking of films, the documentary you participated in is being sued, the filmmakers, by the USTA about some of the footage used.テつ Do you have any thoughts or feelings about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I have no idea what it's about actually.

Q.テつ They're suing because there was footage used in the film that the USTA says that they own from the US Open and they don't have the right to use it.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Not really much I can say about that.テつ I didn't produce it.テつ I can say that.

Q.テつ Venus, you obviously have done everything in tennis that can be done.テつ What are your motivators now?テつ How do you set your goals now probably compared to maybe what you did ten years ago or even five years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Ten years ago I had perfect health and I didn't have to worry about so much, so it was definitely a different time in my career.
Now things are a lot different.テつ I have a lot more that I have to work through.
But there's different challenges in life that happen, and so for me it's a challenge to see how well I could play and just see how far I can go.
Obviously, I come for wins, so obviously I think that I can win.テつ So that's what it's about.

Q.テつ Venus, did you watch much of this Wimbledon?テつ What were your thoughts on the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I made it a point to watch Serena's matches.テつ Most of the time I got up and I went to therapy, and then by the time I got done with that and going‑‑ I felt like I worked harder.テつ I felt like I need a break.テつ I was working harder in therapy than I was in the tournament.
By that time it was kind of finished.テつ I didn't see a lot of the matches.テつ But thankfully I didn't see the last match Serena played.テつ I would have been so nervous.

Q.テつ Do you think that women get a disproportionate amount of blowback about grunting or noise making on tour versus the men?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think it's just trends.テつ Sometimes people talk about it every few years and it comes back around, and then something else becomes more interesting.
So that's pretty much how I see it.

Q.テつ Do you see the guys grunt too, and do you think that they sort of get too much of a pass about their noise making?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think almost everyone grunts, especially the more intense they get.テつ Yeah, I don't really worry about it too much.

Q.テつ Venus, what do you make of the way Wimbledon played out, sort of opening up for Bartoli?テつ I know you beat her in the final once.テつ What does it say about tennis that that kind of thing can happen apparently?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ That's the thing:テつ no match is ever given, especially this Wimbledon for some reason.テつ So many people had some matches they just couldn't win.
I think for me and everyone else it was really interesting to watch.テつ And obviously, Bartoli, she's played well on grass before.テつ So the draw opened up for her and she took advantage of it.テつ I was happy to see that happen for her.
Once Serena was out I was definitely rooting for some of the people who have done well, like her or Radwanska who had come close to winning to maybe have the chance to do that.
So it was nice to see.

Q.テつ Is it because she'd been in a final before?テつ Is that part of why you were rooting maybe?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Which one?

Q.テつ Bartoli and Radwanska.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I didn't know who was going to win.テつ I didn't see the match actually.テつ But she'd been in a final before and gotten close.
You know, it seemed like‑‑ obviously, she won so she deserved it.テつ So, yeah.

Q.テつ You mentioned your parents.テつ What advice would you give both the parents and then people getting into professional tennis in terms of the role family should play in terms of guiding a career?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think the more normal a family you have, the easier.テつ And let's face it, most families aren't normal.テつ Every family has its idiosyncrasies, mine included.
Everybody's got the crazy uncle or whatever.テつ But you have to just be supportive and be positive.テつ I think for parents it's so important.テつ So much can be done with positive support than with negativity.
There's no magic equation.テつ There's so many people who want to make it but can't.テつ I think the most important thing about sport is what it teaches you in your life.テつ Whether you go pro or college or just play for high school, the things you can learn from it and apply to your life are crucial.

Q.テつ Venus, kind of an offbeat question, but going to the US Open, walking out on Arthur Ashe, what song do you want playing this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I never pick a song because I get distracted easily. テつNo, no song.テつ I just let them pick.
Sadly, I shouldn't have a focus problem at this age, but I'm starting to want to swing my hips, get a little excited.テつ So I don't ever pick songs anymore.

Q.テつ You defer to the deejay?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yes.テつ Pick whatever you want.

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