What did Venus learn
Venus Williams hints at secret knowledge in glory bid
by John Weaver 5 hours, 39 minutes
HONG KONG (AFP) - A confident Venus Williams says she is going into the new season armed with knowledge that will help her defeat her rivals after a thumping win over world number one Jelena Jankovic.
The Wimbledon champion beat the world number one 6-2, 6-2 on Thursday, helping inspire her Americas team to a semi-final victory over Europe in Hong Kong's World Team Challenge.
She admitted she had gleaned vital information about her own game and her opponents' games from her final two events of 2008, both of which she won, including her first victory at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships.
"In my last two tournaments actually I learned a lot and I've just taken that knowledge into this year so I think it'll help me to play more effectively and hopefully smarter and (bring) good wins."
Williams, who also beat Jankovic in the Tour Championships, refused to be drawn on what she had uncovered. "I can just say I learned a lot," she said.
"I'm feeling fresh. I loved the break way too much. It's hard to come to terms with having to go back to practice but I did and I did a good job of practice, hopefully this result shows that," the seven-time Grand Slam champion said.
"I have a great feeling about this season. I have a great feeling about my life in general so it's across the board," the 28-year-old added.
And the world number six said she was aware it was important not to be too harsh on herself when her game was not clicking.
"I'm never satisfied. Sometimes in the past that's been my downfall, like it was never good enough for me, so then I'd lose a match I shouldn't have because I was too hard on myself and wanted this elevated standard that might not even exist," Williams said.
"I feel confident. I've won all kinds of tournaments, all different kinds of ways in all different kinds of circumstances. Obviously I want everything to be ideal.
"I want to play great, and never lose serve and feel healthy throughout. That would be fantastic but we'll see what happens when the dice roll," she added.
Jankovic, meanwhile, who is using the Hong Kong exhibition tournament to sharpen up ahead of a bid to win her first Grand Slam crown, admitted she was rusty and was also coming to terms with her new body shape after fitness and strengthening work during the close season.
"For me it's a little bit different. I'm not used to that at the moment so it will take time for me as well to get used to my new body, to the stronger Jelena but I hope that I will get better and better as I play more matches," the 23-year-old Serbian said.
The Americas will meet top seeds Russia in the JB Group Classic World Team Challenge gold group final while Europe will play Asia-Pacific in the silver group final.