INTERVIEW WITH VENUS WILLIAMS
Defeated Monica Seles, 7-5, 6-4
Q. What do you think of the quality of this match? Was it high?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The quality?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think there was some great points, for sure, and then, you know, there was some unforced errors, also. I think it was quite a long game and good serves at very important times. It made the game exciting. We were going back and forth a lot.
Q. Do you think Monica is still dangerous? Somebody said she's almost finishing her career.
VENUS WILLIAMS: She's definitely not almost finished. Tonight she showed everyone that she's very much a force to be reckoned with and extremely serious about her game.
Q. What do you think made the difference tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I didn't want to lose.
Q. Just willpower?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I'm just really so used to winning, that, I don't know, maybe I just thought I could win. I don't really know. It was definitely a great match, and I was trying to hold the serve, especially.
She broke me when I was up 4 3 in the second. She just did a lot of great shots. You know, I did make a mistake to get broken, but she hit a lot of good shots to set herself up. I really wanted to serve well and hold my serve. That's the name of the game.
Q. You said on television that Monica was your favorite player growing up and you talk about not wanting to lose. That was a quality that she really had when she was No. 1. I assume that's something you remember from watching her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, I remember all those matches in the French Open when she was down 6 love and the tie breaker with Steffi and, of course, when she played Capriati. I remember all those things. She's my favorite player. Of course, when we play now, I'm rooting for me.
Q. Did you start grunting because of Monica?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I started grunting because of Monica. I never grunted before that, and now I can't stop. You know, I started doing things like her. She was revolutionary. She took the game to another level and makes everyone realize it.
Q. Who is the best grunter in the United States?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think definitely Monica. I don't actually hear when I'm playing. I don't really hear anything. I think she's definitely got a rhythm going. I can't keep up with her on that part sometimes, though.
Q. Do you practice your grunt much?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not anymore. I think sometimes when I'm not grunting, I think my intensity is a little lower and maybe I'm not getting the best out of myself.
Q. Talking about revolutionaries, do you see yourself and Serena as the new revolutionaries?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Could be. It looks like. We'll see in a couple of years.
Q. When you come to Los Angeles, do you still go and like to see your old neighborhood? I mean, do you go? You don't care? Are you curious to see if it has changed or you don't even think about it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Things rarely change in life, normally. At a young age, I'm preaching, but not really. There's not so much to do.
Q. Have you been there again?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sure, it's a good place.
Q. How are you and Serena revolutionaries?
VENUS WILLIAMS: How are we revolutionizing?
Q. No, how are you revolutionaries?
VENUS WILLIAMS: In which part of life are we talking about?
Q. Well, there is no real division in life. Just in what ways are you a revolutionary?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like to think of myself as a forward thinker. I'm always planning for the future, especially my future, and I always have lots of activities going on in my life. I'm always planning things out and know exactly where I'm going and what I'm doing and that kind of thing and what I want.
Maybe in that way I'm a revolutionary off of the court, and on the court, I like to think I work hard enough to stand out from all the other players, and that pretty much sums it up.
Q. Did you have any pause, take any pause, before doing your endorsement with McDonalds? They have a fair number of critics on their business.
VENUS WILLIAMS: On their business, no way. I love McDonalds. Are you kidding? When I heard the news that they wanted to be affiliated with Serena and I, I was jumping for joy. I'm so happy to be where I am.
Q. Looking ahead in the draw, have you been watching Kim and how she's been playing, and what do you think of that matchup?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She's always a great player, very strong and definitely a lot more intense since she's been able to, I guess, recover from some injuries that she's had, and I suppose she's had some very good matches, because the players she played in order to get to the championship were quite good players. She played quite good, so she won easily. I suppose I'll have to step it up.
Q. Have you been practicing your net court winners or did you feel lucky tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have been thinking about that. Whenever I play Monica, she's the one that has those shots that hit the net and roll over, and I'm, you know, getting a little it was different tonight, because it was finally me that was getting those shots, and I felt very, very, very fortunate and blessed to get those.
Q. Monica hit back a couple of your first serves. One I think was 113 miles an hour and hit it back for a winner. Did that surprise you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really, because she's a good returner and it looked like today that she was really, really keen on getting the win, for sure. Especially considering the record's one sided, she was even more intense to come out there and take the match from me. I could see that.
Also, a lot of times the ball is hard and flat, and the player is right there, the shot goes for a winner. To me, if the shot can hit every time, she has to win the match. She wasn't able to hit the shot every time. It helped me out.
Q. Kim is one of the few players in the year, other than Serena, that really challenged you specifically. What is it about her game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she has a good combination in her game, good speed, good power and good consistency. I think she's really improved her attitude on the court. She tries hard, and other than that, she's just a really good player and really talented, so it's going to be a tougher match.
Q. How discouraging can it be for a player, even as experienced as Monica, to have you run down three or four shots that would probably be winners against anyone else, but as Monica said against anyone but you and Serena?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess it's hard. I'm never too often in this position, but I like to think when I'm playing, I can go to Plan B, to run everything down, or go to Plan C.
It definitely helps that I'm also tall and have good reach. It's because my mom said you're not growing up tall and lanky, so I didn't.
Q. If you could choose a place where you would like to go on vacation, where would you go?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My house, stay home, live comfortably, be in my bed.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Vacation, could I say Italy?
Q. If you must.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes.