Venus Williams US Open Interview - September 5Posted on September 5, 2007
An interview with: Venus Williams
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
V. WILLIAMS/J. Jankovic
4‑6, 6‑1, 7‑6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Must be relieved after three losses, turning it around and beat her.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, obviously winning a match like this is good, especially in a Grand Slam. Just for it to go to the wire like that, I mean, the tiebreak went so well for me.
I mean, obviously it's great to win.
Q. Is it good to have a test like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's not how I planned it to be. I would have loved to have a couple breaks in the third set and cruised. She's a very good competitor, and anyone has to play a lot of balls against her. I just went for it all the time non‑stop and it paid off.
Q. How much did experience play a role in that tiebreaker because she got a little bit nervous and you seemed to stay mentally strong there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I obviously wanted to be in the tiebreak because I was serving to stay in it. So for me getting to the tiebreak was a great thing.
For her trying to break me, it's probably a little bit of a letdown that it goes to a tiebreak. The two mental sides of that.
I felt really strong in the tiebreak, I felt fairly fresh, and I stopped missing, so that helped (laughter).
Q. Do you remember a time when you've charged the net that much in your life? 55 times.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I wanted to come in today. I got lobbed a few times. I got passed a few times. But ultimately I think it really made a difference because I was trying to move forward.
I think it made a difference in the tiebreak, you know, on the last point, just charging down the line and coming in. It's worth it.
Q. You didn't completely start out charging, but when you started pushing at her it seemed like she got a little more uncomfortable from the back court. She wasn't sure if you were coming or when you were coming.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't find the court so well in the first set. In the second set I felt, you know, like I really wanted to play my game. My game is an attacking game. I really wanted to change it around to that, at least play things at my pace.
Q. Can you look ahead to playing Justine. You're 7‑1 against her, but you haven't played in four and a half years.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it will be a very similar match. I'm playing a player, Justine, a player very similar to Jelena. A little more power. A little more power off the serve, which quite honestly I think I like it when the serve comes with some pace. It's nice.
So I think it will be pretty similar. I guess I'll be ready for it.
Q. Do you take it personally that she beat Serena? Do you take that loss personally?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I wasn't happy with the result at all, to say the very least. I was sad that Serena lost because I didn't like to see her so upset.
But I definitely have to try to win for Williams.
Q. How was she able to beat Serena, do you think?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I felt like Serena was just a step slow yesterday, and I don't think she quite ‑‑ there are some days where you don't quite get your racquet on it.
I think she got a little frustrated in the second set and it went quicker because she really wanted it to go her way and it wasn't and she kind of didn't settle down.
I think that hurt her a lot. I think she had Justine in a position where Justine was thinking about it like, Wow, I might lose this first set. Unfortunately, Serena didn't get it.
But she'll be back.
Q. What did Justine do, do you think, in that match? What do you give her credit for?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she played some of her best tennis. But I think that Justine knows that she has to play her best tennis against Serena. She can't have a loose minute. So she definitely stepped it up.
Q. What does she have to do to be successful against you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena and I, we play different, even though we're both very powerful. So I think she'll definitely obviously have to play well. Quite obviously I'll have to play well, too.
But it's not really my focus on what she's going to do. I'm trying to show up and do my thing.
Q. There's a lot of talk that you're kind of the hope for the Americans to reclaim the chair here at the US Open. Obviously now with your sister not being here to help you out, do you feel the extra pressure? Do you feel like this really could be your year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Thank you. I would like it to be. I really, really want it. I'm doing everything for it.
Honestly, I think it was really exciting for American tennis the first week, a glimpse of what it could be in the future. I was excited watching all of it.
Andy is still out there. I hope he can figure it out. As for me, I'll try to win, too.
Q. Having won back‑to‑back titles years ago, is this your year to reclaim that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would love to. I can sit here and say, yes, for sure it is. And I will do everything in my power to make it so.
Q. One of the hardest things for any athlete to do is, after a crushing defeat, come in and talk with us. You're probably the best big sister in all of sports. Yesterday was a tough day for Serena both on and off the court. Did it sadden you to see her have sort of a tough time after the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't watch after the match, so I can't really comment on that. But I can say Serena's an unbelievable competitor, very fierce, and she hates losing. She loves to win. We both hate losing.
It's just a shock. Like I don't believe I lost when I lose. I have to like actually start settling in and realizing, Oh, my God, it happened.
We are both unbelievable competitors, so I would understand if she was upset because I know her personality.
Q. How much of that characteristic came out in you tonight in this match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think a lot of it definitely came out because I didn't want to lose. I was doing everything I could. I picked up my serve, tried to really cut down my errors, especially in the tiebreak, whatever it took, move forward, whatever. I didn't want to lose.
Q. You were so focused it looked like you were all business. Did you notice how much fun she seemed to be having out there? She was chatting with people in the crowd, kind of laughing and smiling with some of your good points, too. Did you notice that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's her thing. It's nice to see people with different personalities. I laugh and stuff after the match, especially if I won (laughter).
I try to stay focused, because for me it works best. I think it just really helps for me if I keep myself in the zone. For her maybe that works.
Q. You realize Justine has won six slams, but you have not played her since she won her first one. Are you expecting a different Justine? I think the last time was Australia 2003. Is she a different player when you watch her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she's definitely improved. She's done what she can with her game. Just like you have to improve every year to stay on tour. You can't be stagnant.
But I feel like I've seen her play quite a lot. I feel like I know what to expect.
Q. What do you respect most about her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I respect the fact that she does what it takes to win. She puts in the work to have good results. You have to respect that.
Q. You're only the 12th seed here. You won Wimbledon. If you were able to win here, that puts you basically right back on top of the women's game. Did you think you could get back to this after you went through the past few years?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always think that I'll be on top. I never not think that I'm not the one. I believe always I'm the one, and when I'm not the one it really bothers me. So I always work very hard to be on the top. I'm continuing to work hard.
Q. After Serena won Australia, she was asked about how many Slam titles she would like. She wouldn't give an exact number, but said it was in the double‑digits somewhere. You have six. Is double‑digits something you'd like eventually?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely would love double‑digits. Definitely had a few years there where some slams were lost between injuries and a lot of other stuff happening. I look back on that and definitely feel blessed to come through and be on tour and winning.
But ultimately I look forward to the future because I love winning and I love competing. I love what I do, and I love the battle. So ultimately it could work out very well for me.
Q. How much are you really looking forward to this upcoming match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: How much? I'm in the semifinals of the US Open, baby (laughter). I'm ready. Doesn't get better than this, except obviously the final and then the win.
So I'm gonna go for it. I feel like I've done it before, know what to do, so I've got to do it.
Q. Aside from Serena, anybody else you'd like to face more than Justine?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't pick the draw. I just play the draw. Whatever.
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