Venus' interview after def. Silvia
Q. You broke three racquets in practice. Is that a reflection of how committed you are to do well here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My match racquet, I use in practice. I'm really economical. I get the best use out of my string. I don't restring until I've broken it. Then I recycle it. The racquets I used in the match I will use in practice tomorrow until they break.
Q. How many racquets do you carry to tournaments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have nine, from six to as many as 10. Depends on the size of the tournament. A smaller tournament I might have six to seven.
Q. What tension do you string them at?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know if I want to talk about that. Maybe 65 or 66. Sometimes even I forget what tension. I don't know why I forget. Sometimes I say Serena's tension. I guess I'm not really particular on how tight it is. I guess I do 65.
Q. How much better did you play today than the other day? Was it you playing much better today than anything else?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I played better, definitely better rhythm, definitely serving better. I also think maybe Silvia didn't play to her full potential. I think in the second set she started to really get in there and the rallies were longer and things like that.
But I think I was able to take a lot of opportunities and close out the match.
Q. Is your stomach holding up well? Are you feeling more comfortable on the clay?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm just taking it day to day. That's all I can do at this point.
Q. Does that mean your stomach hurts a little bit when you're playing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no, it's getting personal. I don't feel comfortable anymore (smiling).
Q. Just the muscle part.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm doing okay. I'm really icing a lot to prevent any huge flare-ups, to be honest. But each day I'm able to serve more in practice, hit more overheads, be more ambitious. So it's nice.
Q. Do you sense your A game is right around the corner now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely feel that I can do well; it's just a matter of really executing. I'm getting to that level. Just keep it over the net and in.
Q. People are talking about Zvonareva as being the next big thing. What do you think about her emergence and your match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just remember when I was in the same position she was in, you know, starting to be on tour. At least I was having a lot of fun. She's probably having a lot of fun. Always looking forward to the big match, playing the No. 1 players in the world, the top players.
That's probably what she feels. Anyone who plays well, plays good tennis, is good for the game. So if she plays well and becomes a success, it's great for her and for women's tennis.
Q. What do you think of your encounter with her coming up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm ready. I think it's tomorrow. I believe Serena played her last year. I've seen her play a few times. I know for sure whoever I play, I have to be ready, just ready to compete.
Q. On an important topic the other day Serena revealed you had taught her how to curtsy at Wimbledon.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. What's the key to the curtsy? Is it the knee bend?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess the key to the curtsy is to concentrate on the curtsy but yet concentrate on the match also. So don't get too involved with style.
I believe the curtsy has been canceled.
Q. It has.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know why they did that.
Q. Are you disappointed, obviously?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I am. I am disappointed. I think the best part about Wimbledon is the history and the tradition. That's so nice, the curtsy.
Q. At least you'll always know your sister was the last one to curtsy there.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I actually taught a few players to curtsy on the way up to the court, to the centre court. Some of the players have never played on centre before. I'd have to show them what to do.
Q. You said you had bought the hoop earrings especially for this tournament. Are these part of a set, the rectangles?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The rectangles? I'm always on the lookout for different earrings. It's not easy to find them. I really do search hard to get the different ones.
Q. These are also especially for the French Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I buy them specially for my matches, not exactly the French Open. I really like to wear long earrings, of course a huge diamond stud. I don't have one of those yet. Anybody want to buy one of those for me?
Q. Any other shapes coming out on the court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Long and dangly or the big hoops.
Q. Where do they come from?
VENUS WILLIAMS: These I got in Italy. I get them all over.
Q. Last year you expressed some displeasure for your court assignment for the quarters. Has that been resolved? Do you know where you're going to be?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have no idea. I haven't given it any thought, to be honest.
Q. Will you be disappointed if you're not on Court Central?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm never disappointed with the court assignment. I just always want -- I don't even remember exactly what happened. A lot of times the women's matches were assigned a lot to Court Suzanne Lenglen, none really to the center, even though they were important quarterfinals.
I really haven't even been thinking about it. I've had so much other things, thinking about getting into this tournament, I haven't really given it a thought.
Q. Yesterday Serena was in here and someone asked her what the differences between the two of you were. She said she was outgoing, but I don't think she had much more to say. Do you want to give your thoughts on that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Differences? I guess the biggest difference is that I'm Venus and she's Serena. Other than that, I suppose we definitely have two different personalities. She likes -- I guess maybe she's more active and I'm a little more of a hibernator. I stay home a little bit more. She goes out and visits friends, goes and does things.
I told her not to hang around me too much, I'll get her down. She won't get to do the things she needs to do in her life because I'll be at home watching the Golden Girls.
Q. There are four Grand Slams. Besides the surface difference, could you make some comparisons?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I suppose the Australian Open is sometimes a tough one to win because it's right at the beginning of the year. A lot of times players don't have the amount of preparation they'd like.
The French Open is obviously tough because of the surface, the amount of balls that you have to hit, the amount of fight and desire that it takes.
The Wimbledon, well, that one's tough, too, to win, but it's wonderful. At least I've had that experience before. That one's nice for me because of the game I played. The US Open is really nice, too, for me because it's at home. But that's also a tough one to win because by that time, the end of the year, everyone's on their game, warmed up, ready to go. It's the last Grand Slam, everyone's vying for it.
Q. How much of your confidence is based on how you're serving? Can you say that you're hurt, you won't serve that great this tournament, but actually win it from the ground?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think a lot of my confidence definitely comes from the amount of preparation I've had, how well I feel with my technique. My serve means a lot, too - especially my second serve.
I feel either way, if I just get out there and fight, I'll be okay.
-one of those "bad" Williams fans that everyone keeps talking about
OFFICIAL BLACKSMITH OF THE ROYAL COURT
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