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August 26, 2013

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAMS/K. Flipkens
6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Given how difficult your previous match with her was, today seemed pretty different.テつ Why was that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, in Toronto I started out really strong, actually, and didn't end up as well as I like, I think.
Obviously, you know, she's playing very well this year.テつ She's confident.テつ Her game is a little different than other people.テつ You're a little impatient sometimes you can overhit a little bit with her.
But, you know, my serve was a lot better.テつ In Toronto I wasn't really feeling that great about my serve.テつ Just coming back I've had to do a lot of work on my serve.
Honestly I think that made a huge difference.テつ I think I was serving in the 40 percentages all my matches this summer, so it was very challenging.テつ You can only go up.
So just kind of held on to that second set.テつ She played some competitive games, dug out some points that you kind of think are going to go your way, and she dug those out.
That shows why she's been playing so well.

Q.テつ You have talked about having to alter your diet to help manage your Sjogren's.テつ What are a couple of your favorite vegan dishes now and what are the foods you miss the most?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I used to love steak, so I do miss that.テつ I'm a cheagan.テつ I cheat a lot.テつ I'm going to be honest.テつ You see a picture of me eating the wrong thing, that's why I have already confessed.
I really am a big proponent of like green drinks and smoothies, so if I could I would just eat that.テつ I'm not a big food person.テつ I eat to live.テつ I don't live to eat.

Q.テつ You heard of course that James Blake today announced his retirement.テつ What are your thoughts on what he has meant to the sport?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, James, obviously the US Open was a special place for him.テつ I understand how he would want to end here.テつ You know, I think he still has, you know, a lot of great tennis in him, but he's decided that now is the time for him.
He has a family now, so those are important priorities from what I hear.テつ He's ready, so all we can do is support him.テつ Hopefully he will be able to contribute to tennis outside of the game, outside of playing pro tennis, in whichever way he chooses.

Q.テつ What have you admired most about him during his career?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ What I admired period about him was how he gave back, you know, obviously using his tennis career and celebrity to give back, especially to cancer because his dad passed.
And also the excitement he brought to the game.テつ I think he brought a lot of people into tennis.テつ It's always great and also sad to lose someone who helps grow the game.テつ People are always interested in James, so that's what I'm going to miss.

Q.テつ You've mentioned many times how Billie Jean King is a hero of yours and a pioneer.テつ Have you paid any attention to these recent reports that that classic match against Bobby Riggs may have been fixed?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, I haven't even heard that.
How could I speculate on something like that?テつ I would seriously doubt that.

Q.テつ You're a strong, lovely woman with restankulous hair.テつ I love the new hair.テつ When will women be allowed to wear pants?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ What do you mean?

Q.テつ All women wear skirts.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think the women want to wear skirts, but some women have worn shorts.テつ I don't think anyone wants to wear pants.テつ It's hot.テつ It kind of went out in the '30s.

Q.テつ Capris maybe?テつ You'd look great in a pair of capris.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Like I said, once you start playing it's warm.テつ Unless it's cold, you don't want to be in a lot of clothes.テつ I don't see that trend coming around unless it's like winter Olympic style tennis on ice.テつ That could happen then.

Q.テつ How difficult has it been to get through this summer, and, you know, how do you stay positive when the results just aren't there for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ For me I stay positive because I know I can play great tennis.テつ Sometimes you just have to go through more than what you want to go through.テつ Sometimes you have to have losses.テつ When I had losses, it always motivates me a lot to do better and to work harder.
So I realize that I haven't had a lot of chances to play this year or a lot of chances to play healthy this year, have had injuries and what have you, so I'm just going to have to keep working my way into it maybe more than some of the other players, but I know I can do that.テつ That's what it is.

Q.テつ No player reaches the top without a lot of good counseling and advice, which you have had for years and years.テつ If you could reflect and say maybe what was the one or two best pieces of advice that you have gotten.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I would probably say ‑‑I don't know.テつ They probably all came from Serena.テつ I don't know if I want to share them now because they are so crucial.テつ They are life changes.

Q.テつ Your fans want to know.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, when I retire and am not competing anymore.
I mean, I have said it before, but she's definitely given me some great advice, you know, that I still think of to this day.テつ As an athlete you need continuous motivation, as always, and a new hurdle to get over as an athlete.テつ It's never a given.
I'm always trying to find that motivation.

Q.テつ If I'm not mistaken, your father's new son has the same middle name as you.

Q.テつ What's that about?テつ Did he just like it so much?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think his mom just liked me so much.テつ (Smiling.)
He's a pretty cute little guy.テつ He's massive.テつ I'm sure he will be nice and tall.

Q.テつ Do you think he will be a player, possibly?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, I think my dad is tired of tennis, so if someone teaches him it will probably be up to Serena and I and the rest of our sisters to, I guess, get him on the court.
I mean, looking back at all the number of hours and the dedication both my parents put in, I don't know how they did that.テつ I don't know if he's ready to do that again.テつ I have to put it on my shoulders.

Q.テつ Can you talk about that fifth game of that second set today?テつ That seemed to be the pivotal game, how you hung in there, what she saw from you, how important that was.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I realize I have to hang in here on this game and I don't want to lose serve and have a momentum change.テつ We had games like that in Toronto that I lost, and I realized maybe I'm not exactly on my game or getting the first game points like I'm accustomed to.テつ But I have to keep going for it and get comfortable in these positions.
She played well and she got balls back and played shots that, you know, most players don't play.
So I had to kind of accept that and just start over again back to deuce.テつ Yeah, it was a crucial game.

Q.テつ Great new stamp of Althea Gibson.テつ When and if there is a Venus Williams stamp, what image would you like?テつ Leaping at Wimbledon in victory or what would you like?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I would probably prefer a Venus and Serena stamp.テつ If we ever reach that pinnacle, that would be great.テつ I'd rather do it with her.

Q.テつ Which one of you two?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Maybe a gold medal beating image.テつ That would probably be best.

Q.テつ Where do you see the state of your game right now?テつ How are you feeling?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Um, I try not to think about the state.テつ I try to think about how I'm going to execute each point on the court.テつ There can be times you play amazing in practice or in the round before and not play well the next round.
I try more than anything to get the best out of myself in that game and that point.テつ That's kind of what I'm looking at, and of course trying to get better each round.テつ But, you know, that's it.

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