Venus Williams Interview - Fed Cup

Posted on July 15, 2007

FEDCUP SEMIFINALS: RUSSIA v USA

July 14, 2007

Zina Garrison
Venus Williams

STOWE, VERMONT

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. How would you describe your energy level after playing your first match since Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was definitely an interesting match because in the first couple games I felt like I was going a little bit for the point too fast, missing some shots. I reeled it back in, was tough in the tiebreak.
The second set was just a real emotional letdown. I just emotionally couldn't and didn't hang in there. Even a bit in the beginning of the third, it was really frustrating when I was missing.
Ultimately I wanted to do this for the U.S. I had a very similar match in '05 against Myskina. I just didn't want to have that same result.
It felt good at 4-All with Nadia. I was not nervous. I was not tight. I think it was a little bit more for her. But after all the matches I played at Wimbledon, that stress level, I don't get nervous any more (laughter).

Q. I thought the first and third sets were similarly played. You had the 6-0 second set. Can you explain more about that. How do you resume your play level, the third set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think a lot of it -- obviously when I'm serving well, I hold serve, the match is a lot easier because I feel like I'm a very good returner, too, so I'm going to get breaks.
So today my serve was a little off rhythm. I wasn't finding the rhythm the way I wanted. That hurt me a little bit. But also she played well. Ultimately just the better player won. I got a little bit better in the last two games.

Q. Venus, when was the last time you dropped a set 6-0? Was that frustrating? Did you really try to regroup?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't even realize it, to be honest, that I dropped it 6-Love. I was so in the moment. I don't know. I think my energy level went down a little bit in the second. To be honest, I was so focused and in the moment, I didn't really realize the 6-Love until it was 6-Love. I was like, Okay, it happens.

Q. Quick turnaround for you coming right back onto the court tomorrow against Chakvetadze. What are you going to do in terms of rest? What do you expect from her different than from you faced today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I watched her play today against Vania, so that was good for me because I haven't really seen her play or played her. I played her once a couple years ago.
Obviously, I mean, at Wimbledon I played four matches in a row, quarters, semifinals, fourth round, that's a lot. Physically I think I'm ready. I'm feeling good. I don't have any injuries nagging at me at the moment, which is a real blessing because I haven't been so blessed in that category.
I'll just hydrate, rest and get advice from my doctor and from my physio, get ready for tomorrow.

Q. Venus, how was the crowd support today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That was amazing. I had people throwing at advice at me. C'mon, V, mix it up. I was like, Yeah, that makes sense (laughter).
Everyone was there with me. You could feel everyone's heart right there, even more than Delray. Plus the stadium is so close, it's really intimate. I think people have a chance to feel like they're really right there on the court with you. I think that last game, I mean, everyone was just so amazing. It felt good. It really did.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Zina.

Q. Zina, you have some options tomorrow in the second reverse singles match. Is Vania still your player or are you going to leave that open-ended for now?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I'll make a decision. I had already basically decided that I could possibly split them up and let them both get a match. I think it was just unfortunate for Vania 'cause we were asking a lot from her. To kind of go out there, you know, start the match off against a top-10 player, it was a bit much.
She was very, very disappointed. But I think that's a good thing at that age. It's a lesson. You have to learn to go out and make those adjustments. Just a couple adjustments here and there.

Q. When a player is down 4-Love in the second set, do you conserve energy and think about the third set or do you continue to go for broke?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I think V and I come from the same type of thing: every point counts (laughter). It's funny, because when she got down 5-Love, I was thinking to myself, I'd really like for her to lose this game so she could start serving, but I didn't tell her that (laughter).
But it's just, you know, I always try to tell them just every point we play, every point to the last, so...

Q. When you go behind Love-3 in the first game, Love-3 in the second, you lose a break in the third set, are you talking to yourself, saying anything to get you going?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A lot of times I don't see the score. I'm just focused in. A lot of times when I don't know the score, I know that's when I'm most focused. It's not about the score; it's about the performance, me sticking to my plan and going for it. I really didn't realize I was down.
I was probably thinking, yeah, hold, break, it's even. That's what I'm always thinking (laughter). Sorry, Zina. I gave everybody a heart attack.

Q. Will fatigue be a factor tomorrow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. I'm in good shape. I've been working real hard this year. Even if I was fatigued, I'd just go out on the stretcher. But I got to get it for the U.S.

Q. Seems like doubles could play a big part tomorrow, Zina. Can you talk about how Lisa is feeling and playing? I'm assuming she's going to partner with Vania.
CAPTAIN GARRISON: Lisa's ready. She's been ready. It's funny 'cause Lisa and I have talked for many years, like she would love to be in a situation of playing for a tie. It's like normally, you know, either we win or we're down 2-0, 3-0. I think it would be exciting.
She played for Florida University. She's used to team experiences. It would be very exciting.

Q. When do you decide on the lineup tomorrow?
CAPTAIN GARRISON: I think I actually have 40 minutes before, right before. I'm actually -- as far as the singles is concerned, I'm actually leaning toward letting Meilen go ahead and play tomorrow. But we'll see.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

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