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ROLAND GARROS


May 25, 2014


Venus Williams


PARIS, FRANCE

V. WILLIAMS/B. Bencic
6‑4, 6‑1


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions in English, please.

Q.テつ First win has to feel good, getting that under your belt early on.テつ How are you feeling?テつ Especially the second set seemed convincing and comfortable for you.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, obviously I have to give some credit to her, as well.テつ She's played well.テつ I think she's improved a lot since we played the first time, and she's a great competitor.
But, yeah, definitely good to play the first round and try to get some rhythm, just try to play, you know.

Q.テつ At the Australian Open Li Na played Bencic and she said it was like playing Martina Hingis all over again. テつDid you find it the same?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ No, I think their games are different, but I don't think I have the same opinion.

Q.テつ What's different?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Well, they're different.テつ Let's put it that way.

Q.テつ What is it like to play on a Sunday here, to start on a Sunday?テつ Is it something ‑‑I mean, how do you feel about that?テつ Do you like it or not like it?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think I have started on Sunday before.テつ Just the players, we're all ready to be called on Sunday.
In any case, maybe it's an opportunity, because I think the weather is not as good tomorrow, so I was happy to play without any interruptions.

Q.テつ Do you remember what it was like to play a Grand Slam when you were Belinda's age, 15, 17 years old?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ How old is she?

Q.テつ She's 17.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I didn't play my first major until about 17, so I think she's a little bit ahead of me.テつ She definitely has maybe more experience at her age than I did.テつ I didn't play so much.

Q.テつ Have you read your dad's book?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, he gave it to me before I got here, but I have been in school so I don't have time to read anything except, you know, what I'm doing (smiling).テつ I feel really bad.テつ Sorry, Dad.

Q.テつ In the book, he makes, he goes into a beautiful history of your family basically, and talks about your grandmother Julia, who just sort of endured and survived and wasn't confrontational.テつ And then he was just a real batter and had all kinds of struggles and impoverished situation.テつ Now the next generation, you and Serena.テつ Just talk about how over three generations an American Family has evolved.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, my dad grew up in a much different time, you know, born in the '40s in the South is very challenging as an African‑American.テつ So that experience is something that I don't think unless you lived it you can really truly understand.
So obviously people like my dad, you know, maybe he's not as heralded as maybe some other people, but he's really given Serena and I the values to, you know, come up, and that's how it's supposed to be, every generation is supposed have more opportunities.

Q.テつ His battling quality, his ferocity, is that something that you think you have more or maybe Serena more, or just talk about that quality and how it's come through the family the next generation?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think we're both like him.テつ Serena and I joke, because we will be talking, and then the other one will interrupt and say, Oh, Mr.Williams?テつ So we are talking just like him or saying the same things.テつ I think we are both proud ‑‑we do that both, our dad and our mom, we both are proud to have ended up like them.

Q.テつ You complimented Belinda for improving since your first match against her.テつ I'm from Switzerland, and I'm interested in what kind of parts of her game do you think she improved the most and what are her best assets in her game?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I think experience has helped her a lot.テつ I think when I played her, it was really one of her first professional matches, so obviously that's a complete different experience.テつ Even then she played well.
I think she has a great attitude, and it will take her a long way.テつ Just doing everything better, serving, returning, just more experience helps a lot.

Q.テつ When Bencic, the year she was born you had already been a pro for two years and then you and Martina played in the US Open.テつ I think it was the youngest pairing in a Grand Slam final.テつ What do you attribute the teenagers not having the success they did back then and players being more successful in their 30s now?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, young folks today, eh?テつ I don't know.テつ I'm just trying to hopefully stay alive myself as an older player (smiling).テつ That's a whole other conversation, I think, about different generations.
I guess it takes younger people longer to develop.テつ Maybe they don't get to play as much.テつ I'm not sure.テつ But things have changed, but there is still a lot of great talent out there, that's definitely for sure.

Q.テつ You mentioned school.テつ Are you at school taking any kind of program?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I'm in business school.テつ I have like four classes, so I don't really do a lot of leisure stuff.テつ I just do a lot of reading and stuff.

Q.テつ What school and why are you doing that?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ I'm at Indiana University East.テつ I'm officially a Red Wolf.テつ And I'm in a business degree, so only a few classes off.
I wanted to do that because I just thought it would help me out in terms of just being more well‑rounded with my design businesses.テつ And I was in school a while, but I had to take some time off because my health went down.テつ I didn't have the energy to do everything.
So now I'm back and I'm going to close it out, you know, like you're at 5‑1 in the third.

Q.テつ Sunday morning on the CBS morning show with the design business, how did that all come about?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, it's a lot of work.テつ You have to start at the bottom just like in tennis.テつ You start with no ranking.

Q.テつ The interview.
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Oh, the interview?テつ How did the interview go?テつ It was an interview, and I've done a lot of them.テつ I did another one.テつ (Smiling.)テつ She was really nice.

Q.テつ You might come up against Serena in the third round.テつ Could you describe your feeling as to playing your sister again like in a Grand Slam?テつ How different is it playing her now as compared to the start of your careers?テつ How excited are you?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I don't know.テつ I mean, we play each other, we both try to bring our best game just like in other matches, and I think we both know we have to play even better because it's against each other.

Q.テつ Your dad said when I think you were 14 that you and Serena were ready to revolutionize the game.テつ Do you think you have and if so, in what ways?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Yeah, I think there have been a lot of changes when Serena andテつ I started playing.テつ Really, it's been an honor to be part of a change in tennis.テつ When we started out, I don't think we had those goals.テつ But to become something greater than what you can do for yourself has been just I think a real honor for both of us.
Obviously power has come up in I think the overall competition, and when there are players who, you know, are playing well and are better, then everyone else plays better.テつ That's kind of how it goes.

Q.テつ A good number of the young American women, the up‑and‑comers are African‑American, women of color.テつ Does that give you some pride that you might have had a role in that, to some degree?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ You know, I have always loved to see young people do well in general, especially the Americans.テつ So, you know, I can't help that.テつ But I just love seeing just young women and young boys, as well, just do positive things with their life.
I love that.

Q.テつ You mentioned your health just now.テつ Does playing tennis, does that help you in managing your condition?テつ Does the discipline and the training help you with it or does it sometimes push you too hard?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ Umm, I don't know.テつ Does that help?テつ That's a good question.テつ I don't think it helps or hurts.テつ I just put it that way, yeah.

Q.テつ If you could take a selfie with anyone in tennis outside your family, and then one outside of tennis, who would those selfies be, those two categories?
VENUS WILLIAMS:テつ I hadn't even thought about that.テつ Probably take a selfie with maybe Monfils.テつ And outside of tennis maybe my favorite band, it would be like 311 or something like that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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