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SONY OPEN TENNIS


March 21, 2014


Venus Williams


MIAMI, FLORIDA

V. WILLIAMS/A. Schmiedlova
6‑3, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ How did you feel out there?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, first match back.テつ I felt good.テつ You know, she's competitive, a new player.テつ You never know what their game is really going to be like.テつ I'd never even seen her play.
But it's obviously great to be in the next round.

Q.テつ How has it been for you?テつ Fair amount of time to enjoy the Dubai win?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.

Q.テつ How has that sort of kept up your spirits?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I have been working hard since then, and I feel really confident, you know, in every situation I'm in on the court.
So I think that, you know, it was a big help for me in Dubai.

Q.テつ What do you think was the key to that?テつ I haven't seen you since Australia.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Key to Dubai?

Q.テつ Yeah, key to putting that together.テつ Looking back on that.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I have been working hard on my game, and, you know, I had some tough losses where I just wasn't able to kind of turn around.テつ But they were always really close and I kept putting myself in really good positions to win matches.
So I just started crossing over the line.テつ Even the week before I basically won the match but I lost it somehow (smiling).
So I learned a lot from that, too, and just kind of kept coming up.

Q.テつ Did you feel it coming, or was it a surprise?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, I'd like to say I felt it coming, but I knew that I was playing better and I wanted to win.テつ I tried all the time.

Q.テつ How different does it feel to be like on a winning streak coming to a big tournament like this?テつ You have had some big winning streaks in your career:テつ the Olympics, US Open, all that stuff.テつ Do you still feel like you're coming in here with extra swagger?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I do, you know.テつ I feel confident.テつ I feel good on the court.テつ I feel like I have had a chance to play more matches this year than really lots and lots of years.テつ Many, many years, like four or five.
So I think that's been a great advantage for me, as well.テつ I'm looking forward to playing this tournament obviously and Family Circle, as well.テつ I'm looking forward to playing my third round I didn't get to play last year.
My whole plan is to be playing.テつ That's it.

Q.テつ Two years ago was your first tournament back, and then last year you obviously had back problems.テつ Do you feel like in you're in a better place?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, in 2012 I was desperate to be in the Olympics, so any time I even came close to losing, I was like, I have to be there, you know.テつ I had to be there.テつ There was no other choice.
So that was amazing motivation for me.テつ Obviously now motivation for me is that I believe in myself.テつ I think that's the ultimate motivation for anyone.

Q.テつ Was there a point where you didn't believe in yourself as much?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I mean, there is always a point in anyone's career, I mean, for me where, you know, you have so many hard knocks, so to speak, and you just keep getting up and believing that you have it in you.
At the end of the day, that's what I believed, that I had it in me.テつ Not only me, but every other player is fighting every day to be their best.テつ My fight was just a little bit different.

Q. テつHow do you feel physically?テつ Do you feel pretty good?テつ Do you still have fatigue and stuff like that that you have to battle?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, I think my system works a little bit different than other athletes.テつ What do they call this?テつ I'm at peace with what I have to go through.
So I try not to think about, you know, how I feel and try to just prepare the best I can and get out there and go.

Q.テつ What are your goals for this year?テつ Does Dubai change expectations at all?テつ Do you raise the bar for yourself anymore?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I mean, I have small goals.テつ My goal, you know, from Doha and Dubai was to be seeded here, you know, and got that.
Then, you know, obviously my next goal is to be in the top 20 and ultimately the top 16.
So just, you know, one at a time.テつ To make those steps you do have to play well.
And I want to win tournaments.テつ So those are my main goals.

Q.テつ It's been a bit of time since you were back in the winner's circle maybe.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I haven't won in a minute, but at least I've won.テつ That's how I look at it.テつ (Laughing.)テつ I figure another win would be very sweet.

Q.テつ How did it feel to win in Dubai, just to be the winner of a tournament, you know?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ It felt great.テつ I mean, that tournament is one of the toughest draws all year, really.テつ Every player I played was playing so well, playing great tennis, top 20 or better.
You know, those players were beating better players, so nothing was a given.テつ So it felt great to win such a competitive event.

Q.テつ Did you appreciate it more than other wins in the past?テつ When you win one now, does it mean more or different?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, absolutely.テつ The past ‑‑ of course I deserved every win I got, but, you know, I felt great all the time and I could just keep going.
So it was a lot of work to get to that tournament and to win and to get to that level in my game again.
So it felt really good, especially the semifinals.テつ It felt really good.

Q.テつ There was a match in Indian Wells between two players, Kleybanova and Duval, and they were both wearing EleVen.テつ I don't know if you saw that.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I did.テつ I was so excited.テつ My dad called me and I went home and I said, I need to turn that match on.テつ And I kept forgetting to turn it on.
My dad called and said, There are two players wearing EleVen.テつ I turned it on.テつ I was so excited.テつ That's a big moment for EleVen, having other players wearing the clothes and to be playing at the same time.
It's huge.テつ It was great to see the girls looking good and playing well in the clothes.

Q.テつ You signed Alisa?テつ Talk about how you picked her.テつ 2012 you were both making comebacks at the same time here.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, she played a match, won, and then was off I think the rest of the year.テつ Unfortunately she had to withdraw today.テつ I have always admired her.テつ We have always had great matches.
Her comeback, I just, you know, thought it would be great if she wore the brand.テつ Thankfully she likes it.テつ I think she's having a lot of fun wearing the clothes.
She's a fighter.テつ She's a wonderful fighting spirit.テつ I just, you know, have so much respect for her bravery.

Q.テつ How much more do you want to grow EleVen?テつ Do you want to see half the tour in it someday?テつ What are your ambitions?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I know.テつ Everyone I play will be wearing the same thing as I am.テつ That would be crazy.
But I love EleVen.テつ It's been growing every year, basically.テつ We're not as big as a lot of the other companies or really any of the other companies, but I think what we stand for is something real and true and people are able to understand it.
I think that's because of the way that it's grown and that we really do have a choice.テつ And also because it represents me.テつ That's I think what makes it so different.

Q.テつ Just to step away from the Sony, like do you know at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli is the defending champion and she's retired.テつ Because I'm a fan of yours, so I know like in the past you have said like that opening Tuesday is your favorite day of playing tennis.テつ She's not going to be there.テつ So what do you think, like who are they going to choose to play on that Tuesday?テつ Are you going to campaign to play?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Man, I haven't thought that far ahead.テつ I've got a third‑round match here (smiling).テつ Maybe perhaps she should come back for one moment to enjoy that time, come back as a defending champion.
I'm sure she hadn't even thought of that herself.テつ I don't think anyone thought of it.テつ So you're way ahead of the game.

Q.テつ I'm going to campaign for you to open it.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ All right.テつ We'll see what happens.

Q.テつ Obviously you have been a big campaigner for equality, equal pay.テつ There has been a disparity here between the number of TV matches they have had.テつ Women's matches haven't been aired or streamed compared to men.テつ What do you think about that?テつ Should that be a priority for the WTA to address?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm not really aware what matches are on TV or not.テつ I guess I'm so busy preparing for my own matches, but I think ‑‑I guess there is different TV deals, so I would imagine that plays a role.
But I'm probably not the right person to ask about that because I don't have all the facts.テつ Yeah.テつ Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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