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August 28, 2013

Venus Williams


J. ZHENG/V. Williams
6‑3, 2‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Were you surprised after it started raining at the end of the third set that the match continued?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No.テつ The courts were dry, so...
It was dry enough to play.

Q.テつ Did it affect your game at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No.テつ I mean, I'm used to delays and what have you.テつ The courts were dry.テつ I was fine with it.

Q.テつ What are your thoughts as you leave here after the two matches that you played?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, you know, I definitely wish that I was playing the third round, but it's not to be for me this year.
I tried.テつ Really, she played well.テつ She just went for every shot.テつ Unfortunately I, you know, didn't play consistently enough.

Q.テつ What are your thoughts on the state of your health right now and the near future for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Uhm, for me, I mean, I have to play doubles, so that's what I have to focus on now.テつ You know, the doubles will be good for me just for me to continue to hone my game and to play better.
That's what my main focus is right now.

Q.テつ Does playing a longer match affect you differently than playing a shorter match?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, I didn't realize the clock was at three hours until the end.テつ I was like, Wow, this is a marathon.
But when I step on the court, I have to try to be prepared for everything and to play as long as possible.

Q.テつ How much have you replayed the point in your head when it was 5‑5 in the tiebreak?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I should have made the shot.テつ I think I was just rushing.テつ I rushed so badly.テつ I just didn't make the shot.
You know, I had a lot of opportunities in the match.テつ I was always stepping up and putting myself in a good position.テつ So this is a great sign.テつ Just not playing consistently enough.
So I have to continue to play consistently, you know, throughout the match, throughout the games.テつ I just dug myself into so many holes the whole match.テつ I just fought as hard as I could to get out of them, but sometimes it wasn't enough.

Q.テつ Obviously it's a disappointing result.テつ Were you able to enjoy the battle and the atmosphere out there at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, the atmosphere was amazing.テつ The fans were really fantastic.テつ I love that.テつ I wish I could play some more for that.テつ But obviously I'll be playing more for that in the doubles.
I want to come back here just for that at this point.テつ The fans were so behind me.テつ I enjoyed that tremendously.

Q.テつ It's been a while since you played on Armstrong.テつ How did that compare to all the time you've been an Ashe?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I've played on Armstrong.テつ The people are really, really connected to the match.テつ In Ashe, they're extremely supportive.テつ But Armstrong, as well, you feel they're right there with you.テつ It's definitely a closer atmosphere, very intimate.テつ I enjoyed that.

Q.テつ You mentioned your doubles.テつ What about the future of your singles?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I'm playing this fall, and that's it for the year.

Q.テつ Do you feel your body can continue to go?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, I've had a tough set of circumstances to work through, too, especially this year, last year, and the year before (smiling).
You know, I've been dealt some cards that aren't as easy to deal with, but I have to play with them.テつ You know, the last few months haven't been easy, you know, coming back from the back injury, one of the more challenging injuries I've dealt with.
I feel like it's definitely affected my game, but I'm working on it.テつ I'm a fighter, you know.テつ Just like today, I didn't play my best, but I tried as hard as I could.テつ You know, tried not to get down.
So, you know, I'll continue playing matches.テつ You know, for me it would be awesome if I could play another match right away, but unfortunately I have to wait weeks to play.テつ That stops the momentum.
Maybe this fall I'm going to maybe enter consecutive tournaments, so even if I do have a bad match I can hopefully play sooner so I can just get some rhythm.

Q.テつ Because of all your health issues, how has that affected your appreciation for the game of tennis?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I definitely have a blessed life to live my dreams, so that's definitely how I try to look at it every single day, even if there's challenges.テつ That's all I can do.

Q.テつ Because of your health issues, people always bring up the thought of retirement.テつ How much more do you have in the tank?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ If I didn't think I had anything in the tank, I wouldn't be here.テつ So I feel like I do, and that's why I'm here.

Q.テつ A lot of the younger players coming up, U.S. players, especially young women of color, always mention how they were motivated as young kids by yourself and Serena.テつ Is that a source of pride for you or more big picture down the road to analyze?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think that is definitely something that makes me happy, to see young people doing positive things with their life.テつ I love seeing young girls come through.
Tennis has done so much for me and my life and my family.テつ What I do on the court has been able to touch a lot of people.テつ It makes me motivated to do more, and also makes me happy that, you know, a whole new set of people and demographics all over the world are being introduced to this game.

Q.テつ Is one of the hardest parts that you played so well in these first two matches after missing Wimbledon and could have potentially made a run in this tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, the first round was a little more solid.テつ And today, like I couldn't pray a ball in in the first set.テつ It was like, Oh.テつ So you have to kind of work with that.テつ You know, I realize that some days are harder than others.
You know, like I said, I just kept trying to fight today.テつ That's mostly what I had.テつ Not all my balls were landing.テつ She just played great, hitting lines, hitting baselines, winners.テつ So, you know, a lot of credit to her for playing really well.

Q.テつ You've had some endurance issues.テつ Were you encouraged by how much you had in that third set?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, definitely.テつ Not much to say about that really.テつ I tried my best.

Q.テつ Going back to Althea, Zina, many fine African Americans, obviously you and Serena have taken it to a whole new dimension.テつ Now we see a surge in American young players, but many of them like Sloane and Madison, Taylor are African Americans.テつ Does that give you a certain pride and could you reflect on that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ Like I said earlier, I'm so happy to see them doing well.テつ They all seem really talented.
I'm looking forward to them continuing to develop their games and hopefully be able to win big matches, big tournaments, and continue to influence the next generation as well.テつ So that would definitely be full circle.

Q.テつ As you try to figure out where you're going from here, how do you weigh how well you know you can play versus your health versus the kind of reception you received at the Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think there's a lot of positives for me out of this tournament.テつ I continue to serve better and recover my back injury with each tournament.
So that, you know, is going to take a little time for me to get it exactly where I want to.テつ But this is the best I've served, and I know I can do better.テつ I know I can put more shots in the court.
So I know there's a lot more things I can do better.テつ I'll just continue to step up and give myself chances.テつ A lot of times I'm putting myself in a good position but not always capitalizing.テつ So I'll get there.テつ I just have to keep working at it.

Q.テつ What do you see in your future as a singles player at the Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, wow, like I said, I definitely want to come back for the atmosphere.テつ I mean, next year's Open is so far away right now.テつ Like I say, I have to think about the doubles, think about this fall, just playing, you know, maybe quite a few tournaments until the season is over just to get some momentum going into next season.

Q.テつ What are you thinking of in the fall?テつ Planning on going to Asia?テつ Luxembourg?テつ Moscow?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think I'll go to Asia.テつ I haven't been there in quite a few years because of injury and illness.テつ I'm looking forward to that.テつ I'd love to defend in Luxembourg.テつ Ended last year on an injured note but a good note.
I'm looking forward to hopefully being able to pull everything together and get healthy as possible and continue to play.

Q.テつ Earlier this week with Mary Joe you were on the set in ESPN and you said that fans always try to retire players.テつ Can you expand upon that.テつ How do you know when it's time to put away the racquet?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ Everybody has their own idea when they're ready.テつ That's all I can say about that.

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