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March 23, 2014

Venus Williams


V. WILLIAM/C. Dellacqua
6‑4, 5‑7, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Not a short one today, but you got through it in the end.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ She's playing so well and mixing her shots up so I knew it wouldn't be easy, but definitely looking forward to the next round.

Q.テつ You finished very strong, Venus.テつ All things considered, health issues and stuff, you must be pretty proud or happy with that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: テつI mean, obviously I'm happy with the win to close it out, and to go to a third set tiebreak is awesome.テつ What else can you say?

Q.テつ You have only lost three matches coming into here, all of them really tight.テつ How well do you feel you're playing looking over the whole long span?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I mean, if I go down it's never easy.テつ At least my opponent knows they have to go to the end of the earth to take me out no matter what the circumstances, usually.
I do try and compete.テつ I mean, being out here, even if it's not your best day, no matter what the circumstances are, for me, I just try to walk off the court knowing at least even if I didn't play my best I gave 100,000%.

Q.テつ If someone told you at age 21 that you'd be here today in this match grinding it out, what would you have thought?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ What do you mean?

Q.テつ Would you be surprised you're still out there doing this or...
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I would just hope that I still looked good (smiling).テつ I like to think I still do, so all is well.

Q.テつ Between the second and third set, there was a long break there.テつ Can you just talk about what were you thinking about during that time and getting ready for the third set?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah.テつ The heat rule was in, so we took the 10 minutes.テつ I don't know what she did, but I just went inside and did the usual.

Q.テつ Changed?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Use your imagination (smiling).

Q.テつ You did change your dress, I noticed.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I did have a wardrobe change.

Q.テつ Was that just for looks or just for...
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Something got on my other dress.テつ I don't know, but there was a mark.テつ I put on whatever I could find quickly, and that was that.
But it was still the new collection.テつ At least I didn't have to come out in shorts (smiling).

Q.テつ You touched on it a little the other day, but with each win you get, how much confidence you have and how much you're enjoying this run.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, the year is still really, really new, but every tournament I have played I have played well, I think.
Even, you know, if I had a loss, I still think that I, you know, put myself in the position to have a win.
So just want to keep getting better.テつ I know I can.

Q.テつ At this stage, do you still work on your game?テつ Do you still think things like my serve mechanics are a little bit funky?テつ I better practice for that, or is it just practice?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, definitely work on my game and try to add more dimension.テつ Everyone is.テつ If you don't continue to innovate, you're going to be left behind.テつ Each player is getting better every year.テつ So many new faces, and they are all playing well.
My goal is to develop my game, as well.テつ As long as I'm out here, I have to get better.

Q.テつ The overall level of competition in the women's tour, how do you think it compares to when you first broke through like 2000, 2001?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, it's really improved, stronger, more competitive, more confident, more everything.テつ So that's wonderful to see.
Of course I don't mind getting an easier match at times (smiling).テつ It just doesn't happen that often.

Q.テつ Why do you think that's changed?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think a lot of players are motivated.テつ I think, you know, players like Serena and, you know, hopefully myself raise the level of the game so people, in order to compete, had to get better.テつ They wanted to get better.テつ There are a lot of other things I think, too.
But basically I think just when you have people raising the level of the game, everyone else gets better, as well.

Q.テつ You two obviously, like you said, raised the bar and level of the game.テつ Even though you're not 1 and 2 in the world, you and Serena, do you still feel like you're like one of the hunted in some ways?テつ People still see you as a huge person to beat?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't think anyone like wants to play me (smiling).テつ I think they maybe would choose someone else.
But I don't really think about that.テつ I know that is a possibility that a lot of people will come out and play their best game because they feel like maybe they don't have as much to lose, so I don't know.テつ I just try to get out there and compete.

Q.テつ Your next match is Cibulkova.テつ Can you talk about that matchup.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't even know the last time I played her, but I know every time she plays Serena she competes so well.テつ I think they played here last year in the semifinals.テつ I was watching that match.テつ It may have been a three‑setter.テつ I just remember it was very tough.
When I get out there, I just have to see how she's hitting the ball.テつ I know she hits it hard and goes for it.テつ We'll see.テつ I just haven't played her in so long.

Q.テつ Have you watched Serena here?

Q.テつ She's had a few touches matches so far.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ These players are playing amazing.テつ The balls are landing and they are playing great.テつ It's not easy to be No. 1 and everyone comes out and says, Well, I'm supposed to lose, so let me just go for broke, and they're hitting the ball relaxed and the arm is loose.
I think that's what she's been up against.テつ She's just keeps rising up.

Q.テつ Have you ever had that feeling, like I'm supposed to lose, my arm is loose?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No (smiling).テつ That would be a nice feeling.テつ I try not to think I'm supposed to lose.テつ No, I don't think I have ever thought that, no.

Q.テつ In Miami, how do you see the fans?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Fans are awesome here.テつ They are really supportive here.テつ I could tell they are supporting the hometown girl, so that's an awesome feeling.

Q.テつ You have an exceptional record at Wimbledon.テつ How much fuel does that give you to keep going, to sort of get back there?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ To Wimbledon?

Q.テつ Yeah.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I didn't get to play last year.テつ I love the Olympics.テつ As much as I love Wimbledon, the Olympics is my thing (smiling.)
Just today I was like, I can't wait for the Olympics two years away.テつ My goal is to stay healthy enough, and God willing, stay alive and be at the Olympics.

Q.テつ Any difference for you between singles and doubles for the Olympics?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No, not at all.

Q.テつ Gold is gold?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ If I had to choose, for sure‑‑ I don't want to say this‑‑ but definitely doubles.テつ To win with Serena at the Olympics is an unparalleled feeling.

Q.テつ Have you ever thought about the winter Olympics?テつ Maybe you could bobsled or something.テつ (Smiling).
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know if my sprinting is up to par to be able to bobsled.

Q.テつ It would have to be a big sled, too.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Everybody be going left and I'd be going right.テつ They'd beat me up afterwards.テつ Winter Olympics is not for me.テつ I don't like cold.

Q.テつ None of those sports are for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't have the talent, so I will stick to tennis.

Q.テつ When you look back as to what you have been through over the last couple of years, the time you spent away from the court, training and practice and all that, how much have you adjusted that?テつ Do you do as much as you used to?テつ Have you had to reschedule it and cut it down? テつWhat is the situation?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, that's a very personal question, how I prepare.テつ It's secretive (smiling).
I just try to have a reasonable schedule and just try to basically listen to my body.テつ That's what I do, yeah.

Q.テつ Why do you think it's important for you to keep secrets at this stage of your career?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm not secretive, but I'm a professional out here.テつ Everyone is under the same conditions and, you know, I might have some extra issues.
But, you know, those are mine to deal with and not anyone else's.テつ I will deal with it.

Q.テつ Is there sort of like a competitive advantage almost?テつ Like a formula?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I'm always competing.テつ No, but I just think that there are some things you have to keep for yourself.

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