V. WILLIAMS/S. Kuznetsova
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Venus, please.
Q. Where have you been? What have you been doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've been home, hanging out, going to practice, living life. Now I'm here.
Q. Are you as sharp as you want to be starting off here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I'm doing well. I just think that I'm just a little rusty going out there. At times I shined through, at times I was my old self. At other times, I just had some errors coming in.
I didn't expect to be 100 percent in this match, but in the next one I expect to be at least 150.
Q. Are you playing well enough to stop a "Serena Slam"?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I wouldn't exactly say that's my goal. My goal is to be my best. I guess if Serena wins a Slam, then I'll be there congratulating her.
Q. Have you been practicing with Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, sometimes, especially here.
It's warm in here, or is it just me?
Q. Who else would you practice with?
VENUS WILLIAMS: All different boys, that kind of thing. We practice in different ways at home. She likes to do certain things, and I do other things. She likes to hit at different spots more, I like to hit at other spots.
Q. Were you worried about when she had a point for 4-love?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Did she? Oh, that's not good (laughter).
I was just -- I was really just rushing out there. I wasn't able to slow time down in my mind. I was just so ahead of myself. I really just want to work on when I go out there being calm. If I can do that, I'll play much, much, much better.
Just making the errors, and I realize, "Venus, if I slow down, I'll be okay." It happened, in a good way.
Q. There's been a lot of talk about conditions, heat, etc. how did you find it out there today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Nice. I like the heat actually.
Q. It didn't feel too hot out there today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel as long as I have a hat, I'm fine. Without a hat, it can be pretty brutal. But it was nice out there.
Q. Did you have a hat?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. Was it a visor?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A visor.
Q. But your peak was still bare to the sun. Not as bare as mine...
VENUS WILLIAMS: That's true. But the visor is more fashionable and cute (smiling).
Q. On the question of fashion, can you explain to a dumb male why the one earring.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just feel it's what I wanted to do. I like the long one and the stud and that kind of thing. It's just something I decided on. A lot of things, I'll see things in my mind and then I do it.
Visionary, how about that (smiling)?
Q. How is your new company going?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Really good. Really good. It's been, you know, it's been a new company basically. That's the best way to explain it. But it's been a lot of fun. It's been really good. You know, when I get back home, hopefully there will be more assignments.
Q. Do you actually go into people's homes and say, "This works, this doesn't work. We need to do this and that"?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh-hmm. I'm not exactly -- I'm best at tennis, how about that? But I'm also very good at decorating and design.
Q. Do they ask you for your autograph at the end?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No one has. Most people, you know, if they do call my office, if they're confident enough to call, they have to give myself and my company enough trust that I can do their home, that I can be able to make their dreams come true in their home. So there's a certain amount of trust there already, so they're not really after the autograph.
Sure, they're, you know, hopefully excited about my play and my accomplishments in tennis. But other than that, I'm also serious about the design.
Q. Who's the woman who's running it for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, Bonnie Nathan (phonetic spelling). She's doing things while I'm gone. Hopefully, we have to get someone else, but it's 's hard to find the right person. The search is on.
Q. Have you done some homes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I have a model home in Florida and I'm in a charity home, Red Cross charity as a show house. So I'm doing room there - or V Starr.
Then, of course, there's some clients also, but those are the kind of commercial things I'm doing now.
Q. What would you do with this room? It's very gray in here.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the lights are straight on me. I can't see anything. I like it, it's nice.
Q. You'd change the lighting, to start with?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I guess it blinds the players, kind of like the hot seat, "Tell the truth, only the truth."
Doesn't sound like Venus WANTS to stop Serena. I sense another "gift" coming