|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|Jul 7th, 2007 09:41 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
V.Williams - 7 July
Saturday, 7 July, 2007
Venus Williams (USA) def Marion Bartoli (FRA) 6-4, 6-1
Q. Is this win, your number four, sweeter than the past three?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I would not give up any of the other wins, of course. This win, it's so much different from the others because the other ones I felt like I was playing in championship form from minute one.
Here I really had to focus on my game, you know, overcome a lot of challenges, including obviously being seeded low, those kinds of things.
But all in all, it's wonderful. But, I mean, the last time I won, it was a really outrageous way to win. I keep that trophy by my bed. That's the only one I keep close to me. I don't know if it can replace that trophy, but it's so wonderful.
Q. How are you feeling now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm very tired. This is my fourth match in a row. You don't expect that at Wimbledon. With the weather going the way it was, I got myself ready for that.
I feel fantastic. Obviously, I feel on top of the world.
Q. She said you're unbeatable on grass. That seemed to be the case. How different is it for you vis a vis the other surfaces now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: This is quite obviously a great surface for me. I think I know how to play this surface also. I feel like I know when to play it high or when to play it low. I know pretty much how the ball's going to bounce.
So, obviously, if there's a surface to pick, grass at Wimbledon's not a bad choice.
Q. Does it seem to you almost like you played two distinctly different tournaments, up to that ninth game against Morigami, it was one tournament and then since then it's been another one?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't feel like that. Getting through those kinds of matches, for me I feel like, okay. I mean, she played great. In a way, maybe I was destined to play Morigami because by the time I played Bartoli I was ready for those flat, short, low balls. I'd already seen that shot. For me it was great to have played Morigami because it helped me out today.
Q. Do you remember back to your debut in Oakland in '94? Did you know where you'd be going from there? And do you ever think back to that night?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I do. I was so excited. Just growing up, though, my parents, they always told us we'd be winning Wimbledon, be No. 1 in the world, that we'd be No. 1 and 2.
It was really a positive environment that we grew up in. The way we worked was toward that. In my mind, I was always thinking that. So when it happened, it was like something I had been preparing for. I mean, I think they were genius to put that in our head.
Q. Had you psyched yourself to be playing Henin and have to change your outlook when Bartoli won?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. What was important was that I was in the finals, and that's the one thing I could control. And, second, no match is a given, especially at a Grand Slam. Nothing is given to you. You've got to go ahead and take it.
So obviously Marion stepped it up and knew what she was doing. It was, I guess, a little bad luck for Justine.
Q. This is not the first time that you or your sister came back in a way and win again at a high level. How can you explain this? You are the strongest, so you just need to be fit to win against anybody?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely think so. When we're fit, when we have a chance to prepare, Serena needs even less time to prepare than me. She's really amazing. But I think as long as we're fit, we just have so much to give on the court.
Obviously I feel fantastic. My sixth Slam. I want some more. My main goal is definitely to stay fit. Right now I'm a little taxed, but hopefully it will be like finished.
Q. This one puts you back in the top 20 for the first time in a year. At any point during this journey of the last couple years, did you doubt you would win another Slam?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, no, not at all. No, never. I never would doubt myself that way.
Q. Did you feel as if you were going to be there was a lot of talk about you had other interests, options. Was that the key, that you were interested enough to want to win again?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Was that the key to winning this tournament?
Q. Yes, coming back to be able to win a Slam.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I worked hard. There's a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. I started preparing slowly but surely in January. You start getting back on the court and hitting balls.
Finally got to play in February. It's just been a process, a step by step of getting healthier and stronger, just being able to get physically back to where I was, just even my movement, the way I move. In the beginning of the year I wasn't strong enough to do that yet. I had to build my strength.
It was a lot of work. I began to realize like what level I was on. I started to realize how I was playing and like how much energy and strength it takes to even move that way, and how much harder I needed to work to get right back where I was.
It was a process.
Q. Do you feel you are in a race with your sister to get as many titles of Wimbledon as possible?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Most certainly. Well, I mean, when it comes to Wimbledon, I do have more. But in the overall count I have a little less, obviously a couple less.
It's not necessarily a competition. But we motivate each other to get more. When she sees me win here she's just going to go for it. When I saw her win in Australia I knew I could do it. We just love each other and inspire each other like that.
Q. Do you think you could have had an all sisters final if Serena wasn't injured?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think that could have been a huge possibility. I think Serena, she couldn't even hit a backhand, but she was still right in there, took a set, was rearing to come back in the third.
That's the way luck is sometimes. But it would have been wonderful. I think it could happen again, for sure.
Q. You won so many trophies. Why did you put the last one in your room?
VENUS WILLIAMS: That one is special because there were so many people who said I wouldn't do it, couldn't do it, wrote me off, said I wouldn't win again.
There were so many people who just, you know, tried to put negative thoughts in my head. But I definitely wouldn't let it happen. I believed in me.
Obviously that final being so epic, being able to come out with that win as well as Lindsay was playing, all those factors were very special to me.
After the tournament I realize in my heart I wanted it more than anyone in that draw, and that's why I got it. I was willing to do it. I realized what a strong person I was, too. It really made a difference in my life.
Q. As the tournament progressed and you advanced through the draw, did you give much thought to the 50th anniversary of Althea Gibson?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I actually did not realize that. So, no, I didn't.
Q. Does it take on a different kind of meaning for you to win it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's very nice definitely. Very nice. I didn't know until now. So it's fantastic obviously.
Q. Can you tell us how proud you are to be the first woman to get equal prize money with the men?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know, huh?
Q. And do you think you vindicated the All England Club's decision to give equal prize money?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the All England Club made the right decision. I think the women, we were ready and willing to do what it took to have equality on all levels.
It was just very important for us. As I've said many times, we're role models around the world. Every single women's tennis player, we're doing extremely positive things with our lives as young people.
So it was just so important for us as an organization, right from the top with Larry, who had a wonderful game plan, so strategic. People heard us. People believed in us.
Eventually French Open and All England Club also realized it was definitely time to be equal and that it was the right thing to do.
Q. The leg problem, was it your thigh or hamstring? When did it first pop up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I strained my adductor in I think in the beginning of the second set and I wasn't going to stop. I was just going to keep going. But she stopped. I thought, Okay, Venus, this is your chance to get help (laughter).
So I thought, you know, I was running so much side to side on full stretch that maybe I needed it. I strained that. It started going up into my stomach.
I'm so glad this is the last match because I'm done, this is it, the leg is done, needs a break. I was just really it's just adrenaline sets in. After the match it really started hurting. During the match you can't admit that it hurts. You've got to just ignore it.
Q. Which would be the next win of Venus Williams? US Open?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was going to say Fed Cup because I'm playing next week. I'll take a few days off, try to recover with this. I think I can. Just have to treat it very aggressively. Then we're playing Russia. So that's my priority. That's what I have next on the radar.
But, yes, US Open would be great.
Q. John McEnroe said you would be the best player ever on this surface. Considering how many titles Martina has won, does that challenge you? Is that a realistic goal?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not competing with Martina or anyone else. I'm just trying to do my personal best. Like I said earlier, I always imagined like winning lots of Wimbledons. But when you start doing it, you start realizing how blessed you are to be able to do what you do, it's just amazing, it really is.
I don't take anything for granted anymore. I did, but not anymore. I appreciate being healthy, being able to have a chance just to play.
Q. When did that change?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You learn as you live life.
Q. What did Serena say from the text message, you were waiting for the official party?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What party?
Q. After the match, match point, was Serena texting you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, she wasn't.
Q. Where will this trophy go?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't decided. I haven't thought about it. The last one was so special because of all the factors, I had to put it by my bed. But I haven't thought about it.
Q. The way you and Serena are playing kind of raises the issue of all Williams finals again. That's something you guys have always kind of struggled with. Do you think it would be different now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. We're extremely happy to be in the finals against each other because growing up we dreamed of that, of us being on top of women's tennis, of world women's tennis, playing Slam finals, being 1 and 2. That's what we worked for.
So when that happens, it's incredible, it's amazing. I think for us there's no doubt that we can achieve these things. We just have to stay on tour.
We both are really, really even just mentally like in the zone to like not get injured.
Q. Did you design that dress?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Serena ran and got it for me real quick.
Q. Where from?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I packed it but then I forgot to bring it for after the match. She ran and got it.
Q. How do you plan to celebrate tonight?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I'm going to have a good time. But, of course, we'll do a dinner with the whole team. After that, who knows.
Q. The way this year started and the way this tournament started for you, is there any feeling of surprise out there holding that trophy?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me? No, 'cause I know the work that I put in. For me I don't feel like I had a bad year. I feel like I had some losses that were tough, but that happens and it makes you stronger. You learn from them.
Just even at the French Open I felt like I was playing well. But then I just didn't do exactly the right things in that match. So I knew that I'm playing well. I just have to go out there and execute. I have the experience and everything to do it.
Q. Is there any connection between your hair, very simple, your natural hair and your play, your game, which you mix up a little bit more, you give something more in your game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure, but my dad always tells me to mix it up. Ultimately I like to go for it really, really hard. Sometimes the topspin really makes a difference.
Q. You mentioned Pete Sampras on court. How did he inspire you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena and I, we were inspired from anything and everything. We try to have something to be an example for us, the smallest thing or the biggest thing. We would always say that we needed to hold serve the way he did. Look, he didn't lose serve all summer. C'mon, why are we losing serve?
We would just pump each other up, do whatever it took to get to the next level. For a few years, when he was playing obviously, we would try to study it.
Q. You mentioned on court that your mother yelled at you in the first match. How fortunate were you to get out of that match, and how much better are you playing now than you were playing in the first match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, the first match, I just had a slow start. I couldn't get a ball in. I was even yelling to my box like, What am I doing wrong? I can't get it in. I've had good practices and it won't go in. It was just a matter of like having a horrible day, just turning it around.
This is Wimbledon. You can't just do that. You have to do something about it and I couldn't let it happen. That's what it was all about.
I had tremendous support. They really helped me stay positive 'cause I was disappointed in myself like, Why am I doing this? Why is this happening? They just kept staying positive. I didn't experience too much disappointment.
Q. Are you aware when you click it into gear, playing at a level to win major titles?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Pretty much. I think a lot of times it's determination. I think a lot of times it's not even till a few weeks after you realize exactly why you were able to win. It just kind of all settles down.
You realize, This is why it happened. I was really in that zone. No one was going to beat me. I think in a few weeks, I'll have it all figured out.
Q. Did you feel it in the Morigami match when all of a sudden you started hitting it better and you know you're there for the rest of the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just felt like I was a better player. At 3 5, there's nowhere else to go except to win that game. I had to do it. That's just what it was.
Q. When you come out against Maria, are you wondering which Venus is going to show up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I like playing Maria, is the thing. My game matches well against her. I felt like that was a great draw for me.
Q. When your little sister somehow leaves a tournament, you feel sadness, does something kick in and give you extra motivation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. Before I went out to play my fourth round, Serena was after me, she couldn't hit a backhand. She said, You know, you have to do it for me. If you can't do it for you, do it for me. She was obviously handicapped. She's going to go out this and try but it was going to be very tough.
|Jul 6th, 2007 11:04 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
V. Williams - 6 July
Friday, 6 July, 2007
Venus Williams defeated Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-4
Q. How much does it mean to you to be in your sixth Wimbledon final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, it's so exciting. I've had so many great times here. It's really an amazing stat. I guess I'm feeling proud of myself for that stat, but I don't want to take anything for granted going into the final.
Q. How confident were you at the beginning of the tournament that you would be making the final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I wasn't thinking about the final at the beginning of the tournament. I was just thinking about the first round, which was pretty tough. It just seems like ages ago now, especially with all the rain. With all the conditions this year, the rain and the wind, I feel like I had to play some of my best tennis to get through that against some great players so it's very exciting.
Q. What do you make of your first and second round matches where you struggle, then beat three top five players like it's nothing? Is it playing into a rhythm, physical?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's just all about doing the right things at the right time, obviously believing in myself. I always believe in myself. I feel like no matter who I play, I have the advantage going up. I feel like I do so many things well, I actually have a great reputation behind me, too. I think it's a lot of factors.
Q. What is it about the Williams sisters and the Wimbledon final?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, Williams, Wimbledon, starts with a W probably. I don't know.
Q. You both seem to love playing here and do really well. What is it that brings out the best in you here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We just take Wimbledon so seriously, Serena and I do. We urge ourselves along. We'd see Pete Sampras winning. We just have traditions here we do when we get here. We just love this tournament. We understand what it means. So somehow we just pull it out of the bag here.
Q. If this had been the case earlier, to play Justine, maybe vengeance would have been a theme, she having beaten Serena. Does that still come into play when you have a situation like this?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's a wonderful thing for you writers. Quite honestly, I'm not going to feed into that or get caught into saying anything silly, so you're on your own. Write your own wonderful story.
Q. Will you talk to Serena about playing Justine?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, of course I will. Serena's always so motivating. She was so motivating today. We always tell each other our huge our serves are, just how fantastic we move. Oh, wow, you're so great. We just build each other up (laughter). We always are so positive to each other.
Q. You won this at 20 and 21. Now you're 27. Almost an old lady in tennis years. Do people respond to you differently? Are they pulling for you more?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think people are really positive here. I felt in my first round match, when I finally got a game, everybody was like, Yeah. I was like, Yeah. All in all, I think everyone is excited to see good tennis. That's what I try to do, is play good tennis.
Q. Why do you think you have such a good record against Justine?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always liked playing her. I think that's why. I felt like my game went well against her. I haven't played her in a couple years probably. Mostly because I just haven't been around. I always enjoyed playing her. I felt like my game went well against her. Quite obviously if she's in the final it will be a good match up for me.
Q. At what point during this tournament did you sort of feel like you were really rolling and you could reach the final? I know you always have confidence, but any point in the tournament where you felt something starting to happen for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not in particular. I don't try to think too much. I really just try to focus on my technique. When I'm out there, I really try to focus on things I've practiced on, execute those. If I play anywhere near the way I play in practice, just play relaxed, I usually have the results. Mostly I'm just thinking about doing what I do in practice.
Q. In your gut do you think you'll win this thing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I've had a great record here. I think the odds are changing every day for me. I'll just focus on every point, I really will.
Q. Is that a yes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Why wouldn't I go for it? Wouldn't just sit back and say, Great, I'm in the finals. I'm at the end now. I'm going to go for it.
Q. You had a great answer the other day of finding clarity in the rain. How did you deal with clarity in the sunshine?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was strange because there were some days where it was all cloudy, the sun would break out. It was so odd. I wanted the clouds to come back because I was so used to playing in the gloom. The sun did shine today, but I barely noticed I was so focused. Afterwards I did realize that the sun's shining.
Q. Serena was ranked 81st going into the Australian Open; wound up winning. You're one of the lowest ranked finalists ever at Wimbledon. Do you see any parallels there? Any inspiration?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was so inspired seeing her at the Australian Open. I was like, I want to be just like her. The last time I won here at Wimbledon, she won the Australian. I was just thinking, Serena Williams (indiscernible) the tournament. We just motivate each other so much. Something about us, no matter what we're ranked, no matter where we are, no matter what the next person says, ultimately we just believe in ourselves, and I think that's what makes the difference.
Q. Is there anything that's just a bit more fun about doing this when people don't expect you rather than working from the No. 1 ranking?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely, definitely, because I've been counted out so many times. And it's okay with me. I've been unlucky with injuries. That happens. But I think that I've had a little spell now where I felt good. I've had a chance to get ready. It's all coming together.
Q. People were also about to count you out on Court 2 the other day. Do you think you would have won that match if Serena hadn't been there courtside encouraging you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My family's definitely been key. Everyone who's been here has definitely been key. Everyone is a huge part of the team. Everyone on my team knows what I've been through this year, how hard I've worked, what this means to me to get to where I am now. It's just step by step. It doesn't always come at once. So everyone out there, they have, what do you call this, an investment in me emotionally. It's amazing. Of course, Serena, my sparring partner, my dad, my mom, everyone. My physio this week.
Q. Do you ever sit and think about what you and your sister have done, the statistics of so many Wimbledon finals, titles? Do you ever look at the big picture and reflect on that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Sometimes when there's video montage, I'm thinking, That's my life. Oh, my God, I did that. Yeah, it's amazing. It's definitely amazing. To do positive things with your life, for Serena and I, to be role models for other young women so they can do positive things in their lives, too. I think for that I'm most proud.
Q. What does go through your mind when you go into a junior high school, see your picture, young people in adoration?
VENUS WILLIAMS: They're so excited. It's exciting. It's just very, very exciting.
Q. How far do you think Ana Ivanovic can go?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She's already been to the finals of the French. She just has to keep playing hard. That's the name of the game.
Q. There does seem to be an intimidation. Players play really well up until the point they see you and Serena across the net and something happens. What is that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think they still play well. I think Serena and I, we have a way of shutting the next player out. We get the first shot. We have the say. That's how we play.
We've been really blessed to be able to play that way and to have the ability. I think sometimes when we miss a few shots or back up a little bit, the player can get in a little bit. But usually we go back to the way we were taught to play. I think mostly it's just about us controlling. I don't think it's the fact that the next player doesn't play well. I think they all play very well and they don't give it away.
Q. Do you remember a moment in the third round you double faulted, Morigami was serving for the match. You broke her at love. Do you remember?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just went into another gear. I was like, I don't know. I just started going for it. She was playing really well. She has a good game for this grass. She hits it low and flat. She was just peaking.
Q. Did you tell yourself any particular thing in that moment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Just hit it hard. Just go for the lines. And it worked.
|Jul 5th, 2007 02:33 AM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
S. Williams - 4 July
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Wednesday, 4 July, 2007
Q. How would you describe the last set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uhm, I don't know. I haven't thought about it too much.
Q. How is your health? Did you feel a hundred percent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely not a hundred percent at all. Not at all.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. It was probably at 40 or 50 max.
Q. Was it at all about the foot or seemed like maybe your wrist was bothering you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, my leg's doing better. In my last match I had fell and sprained my thumb so I can't really hit backhands.
Q. How much did your calf injury, how much better did it get from Monday to Tuesday?
SERENA WILLIAMS: My leg's doing really well. It's gotten a lot better. It's been doing a lot better. I mean, I'm still feeling a lot of pain, but with the taping that was done, all the treatment I've been doing, it's been doing a lot, lot better compared to the first day. Yesterday wasn't so good, but today is much better.
Q. What did you think of the quality of her game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she played a very high quality game. I thought she played probably some of her best tennis.
Q. The thumb happened when you fell with the calf injury or was it another point in the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, it happened in the third set and I fell. I felt it, but it just got worse, got really swollen, yeah.
Q. Your father said both he and the doctor said you shouldn't have gone out and played. Is that what he told you and why did you decide to go out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I hate to not try. I feel like if I could have at least tried, then maybe I would be able to fight through it or maybe adrenaline would kick in and it would just get better. I think I would feel awful just not even trying.
Q. What's the difference playing Justine on grass compared to clay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely a faster game on grass, you know, more winners. It was windy today, so I think we both had some errors.
Q. You always talk about how you feel like you can fight through anything. How frustrating is it to try to fight through today and to not be able to physically do it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it is a little bit frustrating, I mean, but I think considering I practically was hitting a one happened backhand, I couldn't have fought much more. Maybe if I could have made a shot here or there. But it was kind of hard to make a shot because, you know, my technique was totally different. My slice is good, but I don't slice that often. You know, just trying to whatever. I totally lost my thought.
Q. Are you going to be able to play doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I just withdrew from the doubles.
Q. What was the actual technique problems with trying to hit the backhand because of the thumb?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, like any what is the word I'm looking for? The contact, like when the ball hit my racquet, the contact vibrated to my hand and it hurt really bad. I was really just struggling to hit some backhands out there. You know, I was just fighting. I wasn't even sure if I was going to go out and play. To be honest, it was because it was hurting so bad in practice. I didn't even practice yesterday. I just thought, well, it was literally a last minute decision I would go out and play. I was almost able to do it.
Q. Are you amazed how well you played?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Considering my circumstances, my leg, and most of all having no backhand and no shot, I think I did pretty well. I think it's just if I'd have been healthy, I think I would have won, a hundred percent.
Q. Considering all the circumstances, could you use one word or phrase to describe this tournament for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. Normally I would say I ran into a little bit of bad luck because I got the calf issue, which I never felt, and then I slipped and sprained my hand. But, you know what, I don't think like that. I just think that maybe it was an unfortunate circumstance at the wrong time. Maybe if I would have been on my toes, I probably wouldn't have slipped and things probably would have turned out different. I just have to think like that.
Q. Do you think you can come back and win Wimbledon next year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm always a competitor to win Wimbledon.
Q. Are you disappointed with some of the comments from some former players who said you were being overdramatic against Hantuchova? I think Michael Stich said something like that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't really read the press. I do know the pain I was in. I mean, my career is actually more stellar than Michael Stich's, so he can say whatever he pleases. I'm really excited to say that because, I mean, I have never experienced that much pain. I've never been overdramatic in my whole career. I've always been a fighter and I've always fought through things my whole life. I've never taken a shot at him. So, I mean, I guess I would say that, too, but if I were in his position to hit on, to make fun of someone in my position, I would never say that, so...
Q. You came into Australia ranked in the 80s. You won a title. A major this year. Two quarterfinal finishes against arguably the most consistent player on the tour. Do you look at this as progress, or how do you assess so far your season?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I can't be too disappointed yet. I obviously wanted to win here and I really felt like I was going to. But considering where I was last year, mentally and just everything, I should be proud of myself because I've really come a long way. I was really pretty much out of it last year. I was even 140 in the world and everyone had written me off. I mean, I don't it was just considering I'm even in the top 10 right now is really awesome. I still have another Grand Slam.
Q. You said it was a last minute decision to play. What factors went into making that decision?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, one of the doctors I wanted to see couldn't make it in time. It was like, What am I going to do? You can't keep waiting on 'em. I guess it's like, Okay, I guess I should go out there and see what happens. I think mainly that was the main factor (laughter). Yeah, I think that was the main factor really.
Q. What tournaments are you going to be playing this summer?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm scheduled for Cincinnati and the one after that, Stanford and L.A. I have a busy summer.
Q. What is your Fed Cup status now? Do you think you'll be healthy enough to show up?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I really want to. I had all desires to, so we'll see. I don't say that I can't show up. I think I'm going to get better. I think even one day, I'll feel better tomorrow. Each day I'll get better. I know it's only a couple days away, but I think I'll be okay.
Q. Do you think you lost to the eventual Wimbledon champion, or do you see your sister beating her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The eventual Wimbledon champion I saw playing in their fourth round today, definitely.
|Jul 3rd, 2007 03:58 AM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
V.Williams - 02 July
Saturday, 30 June, 2007
Venus Williams (USA) beat Akiko Morigami (JPN) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
Q. Another tough one again. What is that thing you do that overcomes your opponent?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, obviously everyone has worked hard to be here, but at the same time definitely one of my strong points is I'm a tough competitor and a huge fighter.
In my experience, I just always feel like it should go my way. So I guess experience helps.
Q. You put everything down to experience or do you think they buckle somehow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she played really well. I mean, she played nice passing shots. She played aggressive to come in. She hit the ball in the open court a lot of the times. She played tough. She didn't give me too many points. I had to go out there and take it because I knew she was going to go for it.
Q. You had a ton of unforced errors, I think 12, 13 double faults. Were you not able to get rolling? What happened?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What happened? What happened was I got down 3-5 and had to correct it quickly, so I made the correction.
Q. What was going wrong with your serve? Why do you think you had such a problem with your serve?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think you know, I think I was coming down too quickly on the second serve. I think that my serve I don't think there's anything wrong with it. If anything, I think it helped me a lot in this match.
You know, there were times when I was down Love 40 or down some breakpoints where my serve, big first serves, really brought it back to deuce.
So for me I always see my serve as an asset. In life and in tennis, there are going to be some mistakes. But it's all about how you look at it. For me, I feel like my serve is just fine, so I'm okay.
Q. When you get to this stage, a match like that, you gut it out like that, late in that process do you sort of think back on the kind of history you've had here, performances you've put on, get fuel from that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have lots of things I tell myself on the court. But I think it's definitely invigorating to win a match like that. Especially, I think she was playing well. I think this is actually a good surface for her because she hits it so flat and low.
She's obviously playing well to get to the third round. To get to the third round of any Slam, you've got to play well. She defeated Safina. I think she was confident going in, too. So I was playing against someone confident. Definitely winning this kind of match helps me going on in the tournament.
Q. Can you talk about playing Maria next.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I feel good about playing whoever I have to play, especially after this match. Very excited.
Q. Specifically how is it going to be a different challenge than what you had today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Every match is different. Every point is different. It's not predictable. It's not the same. The only way to control it is to play better and to stick to what you know and do it and execute.
Each challenge is good.
Q. What do you remember from meeting Maria here in '05?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I played well. I think she played really well. I think she was playing some of her best tennis at that time.
Q. Do you remember her running out of gas at that time? She kind of talked about that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It happens. It happens.
Q. When you had difficult spots in your first round match here, Serena was in the stands, was really supportive, cheering you on. Today you looked up in that direction where your mom was a few times. Of course, Serena was there. Can you talk about how you fed off that and how you got through it without her being there today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely really, really needed it in the first match because in the first match I couldn't find the court. I felt like in this match I was making some errors, but my game wasn't off. So my mom was there, and I definitely looked to her sometimes.
By the time I got down 3 5, I wasn't really looking over as much. I really needed to take care of business.
Q. It looks like your friend Hank is here. Is this the first time he's come to see you play?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No.
Q. He's been at other tournaments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah.
Q. Is he an inspiration when you look? He's a fellow athlete.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, he's a fighter also. He also understands what it means to compete. So, of course, I can discuss things with him just the same way I can discuss things with Serena because we all know what it's like.
Q. It was reported this morning that you and Serena were cutting up towels in the locker room. Can I ask what you were doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Did you seriously ask me that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm going to act like you didn't.
Q. We were just interested.
THE MODERATOR: Next question.
Q. Did you have to fight more because of that court, Court 2?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I like Court 2. Court 2 is where I've had a lot of great times, so it's okay, yeah.
Q. Your dad said he thinks you're playing beyond the baseline too much. He was wondering why you don't move into the ball. Do you agree with him?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think at times I was too far behind the line. But usually when I was really just on defense. Especially here, if you're too far, the ball doesn't come up.
I will look forward to moving forward in the next matches. I try to when I feel like I'm going to get a good hit on it.
Q. What are some of the things that you say to yourself, that you tell yourself? What do you say to yourself?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not going to reveal those.
Q. When you were trying to dig yourself out of that hole on the last changeover before you started playing really well, you looked very angry. Were you angry?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have a lot of emotions. Like I say, I had my game face.
Q. Were you angry at yourself? Your expression now is quite the opposite. That's why it's so striking to me.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I leave it on the court try to.
Q. If you're playing someone like Maria, two time Grand Slam champion, is it more mental or physical?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think going into the match it's everything. If you aren't ready physically, it's going to be tough. I felt like at Nasdaq I still wasn't a hundred percent physically. It really hurt me a lot. I wasn't as fast as I am now. I feel like I've come a long way since then.
Q. Did you get the impression had that match gone to 6-6, they were going to call it because of the rain?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think so. I don't think the umpire had a choice but to let the game go, at least until it was at deuce or something. But then when we were at deuce it slowed down.
Then we got to the advantages and it picked up. It was a tough one for him. But I think he did the right thing.
Q. Were you torn between rushing to finish it, but you still seemed to bounce the ball all the times? Were you fighting with yourself about that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I had to take my time because I was serving for it. That's a huge advantage on my serve, for her to have to try to defend that. So I wanted to take my time.
Q. When you arrived this morning, you had to walk through rather unusual concrete ramparts outside. Were you warned it was going to look different?
VENUS WILLIAMS: The driver did say, but we got in just fine. I got to practice.
Q. You didn't find it disconcerting to find this sort of thing around a tennis tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I think that Wimbledon has to do the best thing that they can do to put on a successful event and safe for the competitors and for the fans. So whatever it takes in this day and age I think is necessary.
Q. How did the whole weekend of events affect you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I actually have heard about it. I just do not watch a lot of TV at all. I tend to read more books and listen to music, so I didn't really hear about it until I just don't turn on the TV.
Q. Today at crunch time you really stepped it up with your level. You've done that earlier in the tournament at tight times. Can you talk about why that level wasn't there at earlier stages in the match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess that I just at the end of the day, you have to do what it takes. I felt like when it was time, I did what it took. I definitely would like to do what it takes earlier, take that kind of set 6 2.
But I think on the other hand also that kind of competition is invaluable in this kind of tournament. So either way it's good for me.
Q. Is it annoying for you to play this type of player early on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Who?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. Why should it be?
Q. You enjoy that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I enjoy this type of competition. I enjoy being able to be at a tournament and not at home. I enjoy all of it.
Q. It's been a bit of a struggle coming back from the wrist injury since February. Did you feel like two great sets of tennis are coming soon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always feel like I'm playing well, so yeah.
Q. But here, have you hit the level where you say, I'm going to be serving, hitting my groundstrokes, like you did in the last four games?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I haven't thought about that. I don't think about, okay, I can't do it. For me, I'm just focusing on what I need to work on. So for me it's not like in my mind that I'm like, okay, I have to play this certain way. I feel like I know how to play. These kind of thoughts aren't in my mind.
Q. What's it like spending a Sunday when you're trailing in a match and you can't get back there for 24 or 36 hours. Was it tough today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Was it tough today? No. It was easy. I didn't have any matches (laughter).
Q. You didn't have to play. But is that on your mind, the fact you're down in the second set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think it was definitely on my mind because I was very disappointed I got down the double break. I mean, in that second set she had lucky shots, too. It just was at the wrong time.
I still feel like I was in control of my own destiny, but I was very upset about that. I think, you know, that maybe affected the second set and the third.
Q. When you turn it on, like you had to do, is there fear involved, the expression "running scared", that you just don't want to lose? Is there fear of losing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Personally I'm not thinking about losing at that point. I'm thinking about what I need to do. So, no.
Q. You said you read books, listen to music. What kind of music? Punk?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I listen to all kinds of music.
Q. Did you see the Wembley thing for Diana yesterday?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, my mom did turn it on. But I was actually reading a book, so... But I did like that band Take That. We were all promising ourselves we were going to get the greatest hits. We didn't know they sang any of those songs. You know, yeah.
Q. What book were you reading?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was actually learning a program called Garage Band. So I'm sitting there reading the book, learning how to do things. After that, then I read whatever I might be reading, a thriller, science fiction.
Q. Is that part of relaxing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just like to be busy. I have like these overachievement issues. I always have to be achieving something somewhere. It doesn't leave a lot of time for TV or those, yeah.
Q. Have to be doing something?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have to be getting to the next level.
Q. When you're hitting your first serve well, which you did in the third set, but you're not hitting your second serve, do you consider hitting two first serves?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I do consider that. I think sometimes I'm not clear on my second. I really have to keep my head still or else the ball's all over. Sometimes add some more spin.
Q. You said how important it was that you had a chance to serve out the game on your serve. Your opponent had a chance as well. She didn't get a point on her game. Did she choke?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think she choked. I don't think she gave it away. She played well, played some good shots. But I was able to play a little better.
|Jul 2nd, 2007 11:27 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
S. Williams 2 July
Monday, 2 July, 2007
S. WILLIAMS defeated D. Hantuchova
6‑2, 6‑7, 6‑2
THE MODERATOR: Serena Williams for you.
Q. At any time did you think about not completing that match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought about, uhm, not finishing, but very briefly. I thought I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I hadn't at least tried.
Q. What's your feeling now, having come through that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I feel good about the accomplishment. I've never dealt with such pain. I can't believe ‑‑ I can't believe I won really.
Q. How much of a break was it to be able to leave the court and what kind of treatment did you receive? Could you have played had you not had the rain delay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I was definitely saved by the rain. I couldn't move before the rain. Just everything stopped.
I was definitely saved by the rain.
Q. Is it a cramp?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I had a very bad acute muscle spasm in my left calf. Acute, as you know, is a really intense pain. I think I was crying at one point (laughter).
Q. What kind of advice did you get from the doctor when you went in during the rain delay?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I got a lot of advice 'cause it could be more serious than I think ‑‑ he thought it could be more serious till we got some scans on it.
You know, for me, my career for me is still young, and I feel like I have a big future. He was worried about me ruining the future potentially. But at the same time, once we got everything in order, it looked pretty good.
Q. How did you assess your options at that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: At that point I just thought ‑‑ I thought I was going to go back on the court no matter what. I thought, you know, I just had to go back out.
Q. What within you gave you the strength to come back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, like I said, I would have felt weird if I hadn't tried. I mean, if I'd have came back and I wasn't able to do anything, then it just ‑‑ I would have felt okay. At least I tried. You can't knock anyone for trying.
So I just would have felt bad if I didn't try.
Q. Do you rank this among your gutsiest matches?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Definitely because I had little to no movement at all. It was all about just hanging in there and hitting aces, you know, just going for it.
Q. Did you sense at any stage that she was crumbling, you were showing that strength to come back and that was having an impact on her?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I was just really focused on me because I was dealing with so many things, I just wanted to focus on what I was going to do. I didn't really sense it too much.
I think at some point every player senses something about their opponent, and I did get something. But I was always really just focused on what I was going to do.
Q. Straight after the rain break, it looked like you could barely run. It obviously did loosen up a fair bit during that final set, didn't it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. I just decided at one point, you know, it was over and I was going to die trying. I figured my heart wouldn't give out, so I had a good chance of making it.
Q. What kind of treatment did you have on the break?
SERENA WILLIAMS: A lot of ice, a lot of massage, drinking a lot of fluids, like tons of fluids. Ice, massage, yeah, that's it pretty much.
Q. We're not used to seeing you physically vulnerable on the court. Is that the most exposed you've ever felt physically in a match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely think so. I never really got so emotional on the court. I definitely think so. I think, you know, when you can pull through those matches, no matter what happens, it's like it's a good step in the right direction.
Q. The way you played the final set, does it tell you something that you can use that for the rest of your matches? Two, the pants you wore, the Nadal pants, you wore, you looked great in them. Are you going to continue to wear them?
SERENA WILLIAMS: First, going for broke is all I could do pretty much. You know, I have that game. It was good that the rain came. It was good that it was on grass because the court stays low, you can hit hard and pretty much go for winners.
Is it something I would do in the future? Probably not, because it's a very low‑percentage game. It's very low percentage. You make a lot of errors, a lot of winners, but it's pretty much...
Q. Did you take a pain killing shot at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I don't do shots. I don't like needles.
Q. And the pants?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This is the Serena line actually from Nike. I like Nadal's pants, so... (Smiling).
Q. Can you turn around and think in terms of playing an opponent of Henin's quality as early possibly as tomorrow?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think getting through today is great. That's the only thing I'm focused on right now, just to fix what I have going on and go from there . So I'm excited about getting that done.
Q. How did you keep going for the last four games considering you wanted to go for the toilet break?
SERENA WILLIAMS: God, I had to use the bathroom so bad because I kept drinking so much fluid. I don't know. I just kept thinking to myself, one more game. I kept saying to myself one more game, until finally there were no games left.
Q. Were you irritated when she hit the dropshot in the fourth game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That pretty much set it off for me. After that, I was so motivated to win. I was like, you know what, I'm going to do this. You know, I'm going to die trying.
You know, I just ‑‑ I don't know why that particularly made me so upset, but it was just like, you know what, this is it. I'm not going down today. I mean, no. There's no way.
Q. I couldn't quite read your lips on that. Could you share with us what you were saying?
SERENA WILLIAMS: (Laughter) I said, Well, Serena, get the ball next time (using an English accent). That's what I said.
Q. Would you have done the same thing in her shoes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Like I don't know why I got so upset. Maybe it was just something in me that I needed to give me a push. But I would have absolutely done the same thing, if not more.
But I don't know what it was. Maybe it was just the wrong play at that time against me.
Q. Did you feel anything coming on at all in the games before or before you went out?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I felt a little something. But I've never had an injury like this ever, ever. So I didn't know what it was. I just thought, okay, I need some more Gator Lights and some salt. I asked the umpire for some salt and stuff. Little did I know.
Q. When you conferred with the umpire, were you asking to stop, that it was too dark?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I had to use the bathroom really bad and he told me I couldn't go.
Q. You said you weren't going to smash the gold racquet. That was the gold racquet you smashed.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I didn't smash a racquet.
Q. You were warned, weren't you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a bad memory (laughter).
Q. What of this situation for the doubles match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm desperately hoping I can pull it together tomorrow. I'm really ready to play the doubles. I've been looking forward to this match since the draw came out. I can only hope and pray that I can make it.
Q. Given what happened today, could you walk away if you took a loss to Justine and say that you gave it your best this tournament, no biggy?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I don't want to lose. I mean, I just want to get better. But with that being said, I didn't ‑‑ when I went down, I didn't expect to be able to get up. So I was really like ‑‑ so in a way, to kind of get this far is pretty good because, like I said, I was in a lot of pain.
Q. How does this compare to the Sharapova match at The Championships when you had all that abdominal trouble in the third set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Hmm, I don't know. They're about the same. Abdominal is different because everything you do, you use your abs from moving your arms to laughing to walking, everything. You don't realize that until you strain your abdominals.
Honestly, I was literally saved by the rain. It gave me a second chance.
Q. What did you think when you went down with the injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Okay, I thought I was going down. It was slow motion. I was like ‑‑ 'cause I felt it in my leg. And I was like, oh, I tried to hit it, because someone told me if you ever get something, if you punch it like right in the area it goes away.
Just as I was trying to hit it, like I saw my leg go in and I just went down. It was like I was falling in slow motion.
Q. Daniela is obviously hurting for different reasons at the moment. How would you feel if you would have gone out and lost to a woman who was playing on one leg?
SERENA WILLIAMS: If she was Serena Williams, I wouldn't feel that bad (smiling).
|Jun 29th, 2007 10:34 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
PlayersS. Williams - 29 June
Serena WilliamsS. Williams - 29 June
Friday, 29 June, 2007
Serena Williams (USA) beat Milagros Sequera (VEN) 6 1, 6 0
Q. Pretty good all around?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, pretty good all around.
Q. Give me your assessment of how you feel you're playing, how you played today.
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I'm playing really well. I'm feeling really good. I'm feeling really positive. I'm feeling like, you know, I'm going to get there.
Q. How's the movement with the hamstring?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, the movement's well. My hamstring is a lot better, which I'm really excited about. It's the first time it's felt this good. So it's just, you know, all coming together.
Q. Is that because of treatment or it's gradually gotten better?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's definitely due to treatment, you know, just stretching it, getting everything fixed. Definitely, yeah.
Q. Must be a big mental relief not to have to go out there and contend with that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's definitely a mental relief knowing I don't have the pain I had before. I'm running better now, moving better, just seeing the ball better.
Q. You said you gave yourself 2 out of 10, then 6 out of 10. What was your score for this one?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm at about a 6 or a 7 today. Just steady pace. Peaking at the right times, playing the big points well.
Q. You played Daniela plenty. Talk about that match up.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I've played her a lot. I think she's beaten me once in a Grand Slam. I know it's definitely going to be a tough match. It's going to be interesting. She serving well, moving well. She's really fit. I'm serving well, I'm moving well, and I'm really fit. It's going to be exciting.
Q. Can you detect different changes in strategies that she uses against you? She tends to play a lot of three setters and makes adjustments. You've seen her enough. Do you play her straightforward or see what she's going to bring on the day?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely see what she's going to bring on the day not only her, but everyone else. Everyone's bringing something different. You know, you always have to kind of look at it and bring your best game as well.
Q. You've talked about this a ton, but you'll be going into the second week. Is it a different mentality? You'll get Saturday off, Sunday off, then Monday. Different attitude? Is it game time?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. This is Wimbledon for me. This is one of my favorite tournaments. I'm ready to play now. This is great. I couldn't be more ready to compete in any event.
Q. 43 minutes. Did it feel like one of the quickest matches in a long time for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely felt like one of the quickest matches in a long time. But at the same time, I don't know, I just felt really focused. I was really just out there to play tennis.
Q. Henin in the quarters.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have to win another match still.
Q. Don't want to look any further?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I have a very tough fourth round match. I have to get over that hump first.
Q. You're on record saying I don't know if you actually said the quote, but it's attributed to you that you'd never get to No. 1 again. Do you think there could come a time you could come back again? You're on record saying that in January.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I never said that.
Q. I saw it on the Internet.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I would never, never say something so negative about myself. I know the press did. I never, never would say that about me. I always thought I could be No. 1 again. I expect to be the best in the world. Like I said, when I am playing well, I am the best. I would never say anything like that.
Q. Do you know Laura's game at all? Do you sort of feed off each other when you're playing well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know Laura's game a lot. I mostly feed off of Venus, especially in this tournament, because we're in a different locker room than Laura. I'm real happy for her. She had a good match today. I got to see a little bit of it myself. It's better than last year (smiling).
Q. If form holds, Venus likely will play Maria in the fourth round. I'm wondering if you plan to break that match down for Venus, because you've had some good success against Maria?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I didn't know that. Venus has the game to beat Maria, especially on grass. Venus has a great serve. I mean, she runs like the wind. She's so tall. She's playing well. She definitely has the game to beat her. With that being said, she just has to go out there and do it. And she can do it.
Q. On the BBC they were claiming you might have been inspired by meeting Jonathan Ross on his talk show.
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's definitely provided all my inspiration to doing well in The Championships.
Q. How was that for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was fun. He's a great guy. I had a lot of fun.
Q. Claimed he might have groped you or something.
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't get groped. I don't allow myself to be groped, no.
Q. Assess your level today. Did she just not play well? Were you really in control of the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought she played well. I mean, she had some chances. I think she was up 40 Love on my serve. I didn't want to lose serve. I just came back, just stayed focused. I think more or less it was me. I mean, I think regardless, it was going to be me to win or lose the match. That's I think what it boiled down to.
Q. Is that the best match of the tournament so far for you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Absolutely. Definitely. I didn't play so bad against Alicia Molik. She's a good player on the grass. She was playing some funky shots. It was definitely a good match for both.
Q. When you're rolling along like today, is this 2002 again, the early years?
SERENA WILLIAMS: The early years, yeah. Those were the days. Those were the glory days. Those were the glory days.
Q. Anna Lena Groenefeld claims being harassed by a former coach. There's been stories by Patty Schnyder. What can be done to protect young girls growing up striving to be tennis professionals?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know what, I think it's important to have good parents. If I didn't have my mom and dad traveling with me, especially coaching, they take advantage. You're on the tour. It's hard. Sometimes they don't give you enough rooms. They only give you one room. Next thing you know, the coach takes advantage. You know, this is not funny, but it's really important to travel with a parent or someone that knows you well. You see the girls that do travel with their parents, they have a little better results. They don't have to deal with that. Unfortunately, not everyone has that. I was really blessed to have that opportunity. That's the only thing I can advise.
Q. Are you going to play doubles with Venus in Beijing Olympics?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's not up to me. That would be nice, but it's not up to me.
Q. It's up to who?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know actually.
|Jun 29th, 2007 10:34 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
V.Williams - 28 June
Thursday, 28 June, 2007
Venus Williams (USA) beat Hana Sromova (CZE) 6-2, 6-2
Q. You campaigned for equal winnings for men and women. When you look at the amount of time spent on court for men and women, women earn almost double than men compared to per minute the time on court. Do you think that's fair?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Did you really just ask me that? I think I've been through that the past few years now and I really don't want to go through it any more. I think, especially as a woman, you should definitely see the merit in people getting paid or being treated equal as people, not on sex.
Q. What do you think need now to be more ambitious for this tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: What do I need? I have a doubles match, so I will definitely of course go out and play to win. I will definitely work on my serve, my return, my volleys, moving in, obviously go for that title, too.
Q. Speaking of doubles, yesterday Serena said you basically carry her; that with your serve and volley game, she just has to be there basically. How would you describe what each of you do on the court and what you get from each other?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, off my serve, usually my service game goes pretty quick 'cause I usually get a huge serve in. Most of the time I don't even expect to like hit a second shot at least when I was playing back in the day.
To be honest, like I said the other day, I feel like if I'm playing bad, am really down, I know Serena can do it, we both have that confidence in each other, we're always so positive with each other, and I never feel like I can let her down.
Q. What is the effect on your singles game when you're playing doubles?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it helps tremendously. I'm so excited that we both were healthy enough to play and that we didn't doubt that we could make it through the draw in the doubles. We were at a point where we felt confident to do it.
Q. Serena said you gossip on the court. Can you describe the conversations you have when you're playing with her.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, they're very relaxed. The conversations are very relaxed. We do discuss strategy, especially on the service games. But they're very relaxed.
Q. None of us can remember you playing in shorts before. Are our memories wrong or is this a new look?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I really haven't played in shorts before. But my skirt was so big, I couldn't fit it, so I had to move to the shorts immediately.
Q. Have you gone down a size?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I'm always the same size. I think they just made it too big.
Q. Also you're playing with some very distinctive chunky jewelry. It doesn't seem to bother you. Big ring on your finger, pendant.
VENUS WILLIAMS: The only time I don't wear the ring, sometimes your fingers swell or get smaller, I have to take it off. But I've always been into jewels. I wear it off the court and on the court. My pendant I got, it's jade. I got it in Hong Kong like many years ago. My earrings I believe Serena are after. She is the little sister, she's the smallest out of all of us, so she believes she has a right to everything, so I have to watch them closely.
Q. What are you doing now after tennis? Your sister talked to us about the work in Africa. What are you doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm always in school. Now I'm finally going to finish this year for fashion design. I have an interior design company called V Starr Interiors. We do all kinds of things in residential design, commercial. Right now we're working on a hotel in the Turks and Caicos, which is exciting. I got to go. I also love music. I have a sister who writes. I'd love to write with her. That's my goals.
Who knows, I might do something like really normal, have a family.
Q. And the goals in this tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My goal is definitely to complete the doubles today, to definitely stay healthy, play aggressive, play my game, stay true to myself on the court. As long as I do that, relax, I definitely have a good result.
Q. Could you speak to us about your dad, what makes him special.
VENUS WILLIAMS: He's a great guy. He's friends with everyone on the circuit. He knows players I don't know. He knows the transport people. He knows the people in the lunchroom. He knows the guy working at the security. He's friends with everyone at every tournament. He's just a really outgoing guy. He just wants the best for Serena and I.
It's great. He's always extremely positive. Even when I know I've played miserable, he's so positive. That's so important as a coach, especially at this level, because I know what I'm doing. As a coach, it's important to know how to motivate your player.
He's just a great dad. He doesn't care if we play tennis or not. He just wants us to make good decisions and to be happy. I can take him anywhere.
Q. You like his advice as a coach?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I don't listen always. It doesn't work out. But it's hard, you know, to be a daughter because sometimes you want to revolt (laughter).
Q. Is playing style nurture or nature?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Whose style?
Q. Any player. Is it something that comes from inside you or something from the environment you grow up in?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely would say both, for sure.
Q. Can you expand on that a little bit?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, for example, Serena and I, we have a lot of natural talent. We have physiques that lend itself to sports. Naturally, how could we not play aggressive? At the same time our dad taught us to play extremely aggressive, taught us this dynamic game. All these moves you might see that are new or dynamic, they came from him. He nurtured that, and then there was nature.
Q. Is it difficult to juggle your interests with a tennis career? Are there other players that are able to do the same?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm not sure what the other players are doing except when they're across the net from me.
No, I enjoy my life. I have to be busy. I don't like downtime. I'm a busy body.
Q. The all white rule, as a fashion designer, does it make it harder to be creative?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I don't think so. I think it's easy to be creative. I actually like the all white. I enjoy the tradition here. Sometimes when they update, I'm not ready to update except on equal prize money. It's a beautiful thing, I think.
Q. During the training when you play with your sister, who wins?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's even.
Q. Can you assess your form at this early stage of the tournament, how many levels you think you can go up for the bigger challenges to come?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Constantly looking to go up another level. It's so important to expect something from yourself. I think my serve is pretty dynamic right now. It's definitely winning me a lot of points. I feel like my return is really nice. I feel like I'm moving well. I'm solid. I feel like I have a good base to just keep playing aggressively on.
Q. Could you talk about your song ambitions? What are your thoughts there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I never talk about this a lot, but I just love music. I play the guitar. I don't think I'll really learn to play the piano because I travel too much. Nowadays all you have to have is a computer, and if you know a new chords, you can speed it up to what tempo you want, and you're there. So there's do overs in your own little computer studio.
I guess I'd like to write probably pop. I really love electronica and house. My sister is really a great writer. I told her, please, I want to be just like you. Hopefully it will rub off on me.
Q. You play the Czech girl next Sromova (sic). Do you know her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have no idea who she is. I had no idea who my first opponents were. I don't know.
|Jun 29th, 2007 10:33 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
S. Williams - 27 June
Wednesday, 27 June, 2007
Serena Williams defeats Alicia Molik 7-6, 6-3
Q. It was kind of strange, the ending. Did she make the challenge or did the umpire ask her to make a challenge? What happened there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was weird. The umpire said because I don't think Alicia heard that the ball was called out. She said the ball was called out. If she wanted to challenge it, she could, so...
Q. That was fine with you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I mean, I would have. I told her, I said, You may as well. I would have challenged it, too. I'm not upset. I'm not going to hold it against you. She was like, Okay.
Q. Yesterday you encouraged your sister. Today you were sort of like yelling at yourself, agonizing. Was this a tough match? Were you just not playing well? She was serving well.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, she was serving really well. She's playing really well on the grass court. She has one of the biggest serves in women's tennis. She has a very consistent serve. She's hitting a lot of slice. She's really a good grass court player. If she probably hadn't have played me, she probably would have gotten really far in this tournament. I knew that going in. It was just a match like that.
Q. What is the state of your game right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm feeling better about it. I'm excited to get through today because I knew it wasn't going to be really easy at all.
Q. Were you troubled to any degree by the hamstring injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. Not today. I was feeling better. Don't jinx me.
Q. What are you thinking when you're down 4 1 in the first set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I was really angry. It's like, Okay, Serena. I don't know, I just got really angry. I thought it was unfair that I got down so far. I was like, Okay, it's just one break. But 4-1 looks worse than one break. I thought if I could just hold and break and hold, I would be okay (laughter).
Q. What do you think the cause of the unfairness was?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I was just saying that. She's a tough match to play in the second round I think more than anything. She's been off a while, which is probably why she isn't seeded here. But it's not an easy second round match.
I don't think that was unfair. I mean, obviously I was just saying I just need to play better.
Q. Yesterday you were so into Venus' match. What goes through your mind when you're out there?
SERENA WILLIAMS: She was playing really bad yesterday. It was like Venus never gets down on herself. She's like she's the type of person I want to be. You can never see if she's angry. You can never see. She doesn't have any emotion. She's just like one track. You can't read her.
Yesterday I could read her. I could tell she was frustrated. She was hitting every ball out. It was like she wasn't playing well at all. I was just thinking, Oh, my God, I just got to tell her to stay in there, just like stay focused.
Because she's practicing much better. It was just one of those days that you don't want to go out in the tournament in the first round when you're playing so bad. It's like, okay, if you could just get through this, it would get better.
Q. Is it weird because here your sister is, you're so close to her, but yet she is such a different personality type.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I know, it's so weird. We're so close. We have complete opposite personalities almost. I guess it works well. Geminis and Libras are like a perfect match. That's what I credit it to.
Q. Air signs?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know. Are they both?
Q. Which one are you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm a Libra and she's a Gemini.
Q. When do you play doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. We might play tomorrow. I thought we would play today since I was first on, but I guess not. I don't know. We'll see.
Q. What about your third round opponent?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I played her in Paris. Is that the same girl I played in Paris? She played well, especially in the second set. I think she was a little nervous in the first.
She has a great volley and a good slice. Just another slice player I have to play.
Q. Instant replay is new. Do you think the umpire should suggest to players they should question calls, or is that up to the players?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think they should. I mean, I thought that was a little weird. I would have appreciated the suggestion maybe. I don't know. I don't know if that's in the handbook to suggest to challenge a call.
Q. Players often go into tournaments overlooked. Is there any player in this tournament you feel has been overlooked?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I haven't been seeing anything or written anything.
Q. Let me suggest one: defending champion Mauresmo.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, yeah. Maybe she's definitely been overlooked this year. I think maybe that happened last year. Look what happened, she won the tournament.
I mean, if she was on my side of the draw, I definitely would be looking more into it. Right now I'm just focused on Seguera.
Q. How would you describe your sister as a doubles player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, she's the best. All she does is serve, and I just stand there. Sometimes I don't even move, she plays all the points. My favorite word is "yours." Her volleys are way better than me. Mine are good, but hers are on a different level.
Q. How would you describe yourself as a doubles player?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm aggressive and I love to hit angles and lobs. I don't know. It's weird. I hit lots of soft balls in doubles.
Q. What do you enjoy most about playing doubles and what does it do for your singles game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It definitely helps our return and serves, and volleys obviously. What I enjoy most about playing doubles is just being out there with V because we just laugh and talk, just gossip the whole time really.
Q. You were wearing at the start of the match an impressive pair of earrings, which you have on now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: One fell out.
Q. You took them out, didn't you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: One fell out. They didn't fall out in practice. I guess they got jumpy and nervous. One jumped off. I just took the other one off.
Q. You handed them to the ball girl. Did you get them back?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got them back. She was really sweet.
Q. Have you ever met or encountered Barry Bonds in your travels?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes.
Q. He's about to set a huge record. What are your thoughts about his record?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's amazing. Is he going to hit more home runs than Hank Aaron? Records are meant to be broken.
Q. On Saturday you mentioned when you're playing well, nobody should beat you. You think you ought to be the favorite.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I said I ought to be the favorite.
Q. Not favorite, but you think no-one can beat you.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I said when I'm playing well, it's hard for anyone to beat me. I think it's just a fact.
Q. After two matches, are you playing well?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm playing okay. I actually don't think I'm playing that great, no.
Q. You gave yourself a 2 out of 10 the other day. What would you give yourself today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think out of fighting, you add all that stuff together, I give myself like a 6. I played a little better today.
Q. What do you think about tennis players being on dating shows like Mark Philippoussis? Did you see the show?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I didn't. But I did TiVo it. I can't wait to go home and watch it. Can you find love on a reality show? I don't know.
Q. Would you be tempted?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think I'd be able to find love on a reality show personally 'cause I think I have to get to know someone for years. He's a little older, so he might have more of an idea of what he's looking for.
Q. You're probably aware of the Russians. Do you have any awareness of the former SovietRepublic, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, players coming from these countries?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah. Like yesterday I saw this guy, LAT, I assume it was Latvia. I assume it's one of the Russian countries. I don't even know how I heard of Latvia. All these countries are just producing players like a factory.
|Jun 29th, 2007 10:33 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
V. Williams - June 26
Tuesday, 26 June, 2007
Venus Williams (USA)  beat Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
Q. Will you agree that match was very tight and very close?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was definitely a well competed match. I think the fans enjoy that. It was nice because I could definitely feel that they were enjoying when I was playing well and coming back.
Q. Did you enjoy it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I enjoyed the part when I was winning (smiling).
Q. On the final changeover when you were getting ready to serve for the match, pounded your knees with your fists. What were you saying?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was excited to finally get the break because the ball was clearly in at the 40 15 game. I mean, that ball was just in. I felt in my heart that it was. Players have been wrong.
But anyway I knew I had a chance, I was going to serve it out, and I wasn't going to let that go.
Q. What was going through your mind after that first set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, the first set went so fast and my balls were just flying out and I didn't have any answers. That really bothered me because when things are going wrong, I can figure it out and change my game or adjust.
But that first set, I was like, Okay, what am I doing wrong? 'Cause there has to be something if it's not going in.
Q. Could you talk about the support that you got from your family, particularly Serena, throughout, what that did for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it's so important to have that support because I wanted definitely to play better and I was disappointed that I wasn't playing well. The fact that I can play well, the fact that I've been practicing well, and suddenly the match comes and it wasn't going right. So it definitely can be disappointing.
The fact that Serena was there, my mom was there, too, they were like, you can do it. Just to hang in there and not focus on what went wrong. Just focus on the future. So it was definitely key today I think for my win.
Q. Is it useful to have a tough workout like this at this stage of the competition?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, you know, I haven't played a match in a few weeks, so I think that could be a factor. I think I've made my mistakes in the first round, and I think that it helps definitely to helps definitely to work out some of those cobwebs.
I think being able to hit a lot of balls in some pressure situations will definitely help me in the coming rounds.
Q. You said you were asking yourself what you were doing wrong. What was the answer and how did you fix it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I eventually had to take something off the ball because I just couldn't seem to get it in today. So I just kind of had to add a little more spin, go for consistency. Because, you know, I like to go for the shot and I like to try to move forward.
They were just going out. So I just needed to change my game plan, like take a step back and take a couple steps forward, kind of like that.
Q. Do you think Birmingham, Eastbourne, Netherlands, is that out of the question for you before Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: For me it's nice to go home. It rains so much, the courts are so different, for me it doesn't seem like an advantage. I suppose the only advantage would be match play. For me, I just rely on my experience and fight.
Q. Has this broken the famous Court 2 jinx in your mind?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't want any of that on me. Whatever court it is, I still got to play well. That's how I try to think of it.
Q. How much could you hear what Serena was saying? How much did you listen to what she was saying?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely listened. I mean, at one point I was like, The ball's flying. What am I doing? Sometimes you just need that support.
She was saying all kinds of things. You can do it. Stay down. Mix it up. Just simple things, but more than anything encouraging. Not any coaching, but just encouraging words.
Q. Did you feel she was rushing you in the first set?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think maybe I was just rushing because I just wanted I was really eager to get the ball and play a good shot. I think I just went too fast and I needed to slow down.
Q. Late in the third set you each had at least a call or two that you weren't sure, sort of questioned. Given that, would you have preferred that you had played this match on a Hawk-Eye court? Were you thinking, Boy, now I wish I had replay?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I was not thinking about that at all, no.
Q. What is your view on that in general, particularly here at Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Update. Don't be late. Why not?
Q. The next group of African American women after you, Jamea, Shenay, Alexandra, are struggling a fair amount, not getting very top level results. Why do you think that is? Will there be another surge among African Americans?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven't analyzed their game. On a day to day basis, I haven't thought about African American tennis in general. I think for me just staying on tour and not being injured is a huge priority.
I pray every night, stretch, rehab, try to stay healthy. Hopefully I can represent American tennis, if I'm African American or Caucasian.
Q. You guys have been here since last Thursday.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yes.
Q. Do you and Serena play sets at all during practice? If you don't, why not? Wouldn't that be a way of getting yourself ready?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely. Definitely. We play sets, tie-breaks, points, all kinds of things.
Q. What are your thoughts on playing doubles here with Serena? Given her hamstring issues, are you concerned that might be a problem for her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, we're so excited to get the wildcard. We have to definitely thank the All England Club because we have no ranking whatsoever for years.
But I'm excited because she's the ultimate doubles partner. I know that if I have my worst day, she can hold the team up. She feels the same way. One of us going to make it happen, or both of us at the same time.
I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully she'll be healthy, we'll both be healthy, and we can do it.
Q. To what degree are you concerned about the hamstring problem she's having?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uhm, I don't know. I didn't think about it. I think for sure she's going to fight and try to be in the singles, but I can't speak on her injury. It's best for her to do that.
Q. Are you surprised your success as a team here and other places, you weren't actually seeded?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, because we don't care if we're seeded or not, we just want to be in the draw. And as long as we are in the draw, as Serena proved in the Australian Open, that's what counts. Seed, no need, doesn't matter. As long as I get a chance to be in the draw.
Q. Do you remember the last time you had an easy match at a Grand Slam?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Easy match at a Grand Slam or in a regular tournament. It's just you have to stay focused on every point against players. They come out against you, they feel they don't have anything to lose.
I recall late in the fourth set she hit a like a second serve a hundred miles an hour out wide. She feels like she doesn't have anything to lose. That's what you're up against.
I enjoy the battle. I enjoy winning matches like this. This is what I do. If you want to be successful at anything it doesn't come easy.
Q. Is it fair to say the younger ones are legitimately getting better? Doesn't matter where they're coming from, they're bigger, stronger, more athletic?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Everyone's trying to get to the next level. I could think of a few who aren't. Not to mention any names. Everyone's trying to get to the next level, and so am I.
Q. You both have great backhands. Who is going to play the ad court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always play the ad court.
Q. Before one of you is serving, is it your style to confer with each other or let it flow?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We always confer with each other. We always support each other. If there's a net cord, then we go back. Our serves are so huge, the plan is usually to hit a huge serve, the net person will probably cover it.
|Jun 25th, 2007 11:27 PM|
Re: 2007 Wimbledon Interviews
S.Williams - 25 June
Monday, 25 June, 2007
Q. You could wind up playing an awful lot of matches here, singles and doubles. How would you rate the importance of getting this singles match out of the way the first day?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, it was really important. I heard there was going to be showers from 6 on. I was extremely upset when it got tied at 3 All, I had to get off the court. I was really upset because I thought for sure I was going to play tomorrow.
Q. Were you okay physically out there today?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was doing the best I could today.
Q. Is there an injury you want to tell us about or can tell us about?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not that I want to tell you about, no (smiling).
Q. Your father had mentioned in a couple interviews you had a pulled hamstring problem.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think it's a pulled hamstring, it's just a tight hamstring.
Q. How is it faring now, or how did it fare during the match?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, it's faring. It's doing okay. I'm just taking it a day at a time. It's getting better better than it was a couple days ago. Flared up, but it's getting better now slowly but surely.
Q. How did it affect you at the French and how has it affected your preparation for Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Didn't really affect me too much at the French. As for my preparation, I took a couple days off here and there, but I was consistently hitting, which is more than I usually do.
Q. Is it the kind of thing that it will get better in time, do you think, or is it something that could still...
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm hoping and praying it will get better in time. It's gotten better since I've been getting treatment on it. I'm really hot. So it's getting better.
Q. Did it bother you enough today that it might make you rethink doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No.
Q. Why isn't it taped?
SERENA WILLIAMS: When it's taped it hurts my other leg. Like the rubbing, I get a burn on my other leg. I hate it.
Q. How would you describe the difference in the first set and the second set? Did that have more to do with your raising your game or her kind of wearing down?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think I raised my game on some points, which I think was the big difference. Out of a 10, I was probably at a 2, maybe, lucky, today.
I hit six double faults, which is more than I hit in a tournament normally. I never double fault, so that was strange, very weird out there. I think it was a little bit of both.
Q. When did the hamstring injury occur, and what has been the worst that it's been since the injury occurred?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm going to have to have a talk to my dad (smiling). When did it occur? I had it a while. I don't know when it occurred. It's just kind of happened. Like one day I woke up and I was stiff. Oh, my God, I'm getting old.
Q. And how bad is the worst it's been?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Worse than today, so that's good news, very good news.
Q. Did you feel limited at all today because of the injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Honestly, I did a little limited. But I think if things had been tougher, I would have fought through it. I just would have kept going and fighting harder and harder for sure.
Q. So how much does it affect you mentally as well as the physical limitation?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm glad I have tomorrow off. I don't think I'm going to play doubles tomorrow. That's going to help me mentally a lot. I'm not going to hit too long. I usually like to hit a long time, but I won't hit too long.
Just keep getting it worked on and treated and just go from there.
Q. What's in the book that you have on court? Just notes?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, just notes. Instead of sheets of paper, it's easier to have a book, that way I can keep them.
Q. They're going to be plowing Court 2.
SERENA WILLIAMS: What do you mean?
Q. They're going to get rid of Court 2 that you played on, and you've had some tough matches out there in your career.
SERENA WILLIAMS: So what's going to happen to it? It's going to be like one big Court 2 and like no more Court 3?
Q. They're going to do it under, as far as I understand, and bring it back as a stadium type court in '09. The question is, are you going to be glad to see that court go?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I like Court 2. I like playing on it because it's small. Like my friends come and they can see the match like really close and it's cool. I don't know. I like Court 2. I like it.
Q. When you got emotional in the first set, was that down to your injury?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I just was upset that I wasn't playing that great.
Q. Was there any point there where you think to yourself in the first set, I can't lose to this person? What goes through your mind? What are you telling yourself at that point?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I told myself, I have a better chance of winning Wimbledon than my opponent, so it's best that I win.
Q. What are the differences between the first and the second set?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if there was much of a difference. I maybe didn't make so many errors. I don't know. I have to look through my stats.
Q. Do you think you have a better chance of winning Wimbledon than any other player in the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I think everyone has a great chance, but I just thought I had a better chance than my opponent today, so... .
I just thought about that. I was like, If I lose, then no, I have a better chance. But she's more of a clay court player.
Q. You said you're going to talk to your dad about speaking about your injury. What are you going to tell him? Does it bother you when people do discuss injuries that you have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know if it bothers me. Not much bothers me anymore, to be honest. I don't know what I'm going to talk to him about. I'll probably let it slide this time (smiling).
Q. What were you thinking after the ninth game of the first set, put her in position to serve for it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I thought my my goal was not to lose serve. I was really disappointed. I wasn't serving well. I lost serve because I kept making errors. I was just really frustrated at that point. I just wanted to just smash my racquet.
But seeing that it's gold, I can't, which is great for me. I needed this. Any other time I think I would have smashed it.
Q. Could the tight hamstring have had anything to do with the frustration with your serve? Does that have anything to do with sort of pushing off?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't think it does. I don't think it does at all. Not at all.
Q. You've been drawn in the same quarter again as Justine. Does that concern you at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I'm excited to hear that. No, that's great.
Q. Are there any other times you've had to have a chat with your dad about things he said to people he shouldn't have, not necessarily in tennis, but just being your dad?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No.
Q. To embarrass you with the family.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, God, no. I love my dad to death. He's a great guy. I mean, we never I don't think I've ever had a two minute argument off the court with him. On the court because I have a bad attitude, but other than that, no.
He's never done anything that I'm unhappy about. If anything, I owe him everything.
Q. When you come to a tournament like this and the draws come out, what are you really looking for, especially if Venus is also in the tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: In advance of the tournament, the only thing I look at is to see if she is in the same half as me. I never look at the draw, ever.
Q. If she's not in the same half, you think, this is good?
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's the only thing I care about. I don't care who I play, when I play and where, whatever. Doesn't matter to me.
Q. Can you talk about the decision to play doubles.
SERENA WILLIAMS: We've been planning on playing a while. We've always done well here.
Q. What does it add? Does it help you with singles when you play doubles?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't remember, to be honest, if it helps the singles or not. I hope it does.
Q. The other day when you had the pretournament press conference, you spoke about your physical condition and you raved about it. Was it something where the hamstring was not on your mind at all or you just preferred not to talk about it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, I'm really physically fit. I'm really physically ready. It hasn't been that big of a deal. It's been getting better every day.
|Jun 24th, 2007 04:10 PM|
2007 Wimbledon Interviews
S. Williams - 23 June
Saturday, 23 June, 2007
THE MODERATOR: First question for Serena, please.
Q. You and Venus are sitting around one day, and one of you says to the other, "Why don't we play doubles? We haven't played doubles in a long time." Is that about how it happened?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, we've always wanted to play doubles and keep up our doubles experience. We were like, okay, when we get better, when our bodies are feeling better, we're going to play doubles again.
It was just a matter of time of us getting more healthy. Now that we're healthy, we'll likely play doubles.
Q. Are you excited about that possibility?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm really excited. I can't wait for the first round. We take it very seriously. We love to play doubles, especially at Wimbledon.
Q. When you left the French Open you were saying, Going to go back to Florida, it's going to be hot, training is going to be hard, going to get me fit for Wimbledon. How did that all go?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I was able to go home and train some more. Pretty redundant. I'm glad to be gone from that.
Q. How does it feel to be back at Wimbledon after year away?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's awesome. I haven't played here in a while, so... I love Wimbledon. Obviously I love the courts. I look forward to it.
Q. What message do you think Wimbledon is sending with the equal prize money?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I think it sends a great message. I mean, obviously back in the '70s, when Billie Jean King took a stand for women's tennis, I don't remember if it was six or eight, however other many players, they wanted equal prize money. '70s was a while ago. I wasn't even born then. It's taken this long to have equal prize money now at Wimbledon.
I think it's, uhm, a step in the right direction I mean just for not only tennis but just for women's sports, for women all around.
Q. You are not the No. 1 seed, but you're easily the betting favorite in this country to win this tournament. Do you feel confident about that, too?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I just feel really relaxed. I mean, I don't feel any pressure. I don't know. I feel really just like -- I don't know. I don't feel pressure at all.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm always confident. But I'm feeling really confident this week.
Q. When was the last time you were as fit and as well-prepared for Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know (smiling). I have a bad memory, as I always say. Maybe the summer of '63 (smiling).
Q. At the Australian Open, nobody thought you would stand much of a chance. You won the whole thing. Are we going to see that Serena this time? You've been an unknown quantity because of your illnesses and injuries over the last few years. Which Serena is here at Wimbledon?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I'm here to compete. I think the best Serena always shows up at any event whenever I'm healthy. For me it's always been about being healthy. I'm feeling pretty healthy. That's what matters.
Q. What type of statement do you think you've made with your commitment and your comeback from being at one of the lowest points in your career to having won a Grand Slam this year and to be much more at the top of your game?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I just made a statement that, uhm, I'm still, I think, the best player out here when I'm playing well. Like I always say, when I'm playing well, it's hard for anyone to beat me.
It's just a fact. I think a lot of people understand that. I don't think anyone that has to play me goes home and shouts with joy. Granted, they play me really hard and that gives them more confidence to have a chance to beat me.
Q. What about in terms of the degree that tennis is a priority in your life? That's something that others have questioned.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yes, that's also a statement I've made. I mean, tennis has always been a priority in my life. And right now, it's the same priority.
The fact that I'm feeling good and that I'm not suffering with any injuries right now, it makes it easier to make it a priority because you don't have to, like, go out and be in so much pain while you're playing or anything. It just shows the dedication I have for myself and the sport of tennis.
Q. That performance in your loss at the French Open, many of us have never seen you that flat in a performance before. Did you do some soul searching about that, why you came out and played an entire match in a flat emotional state?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did think about it a lot. I just think I was crazy maybe. I never really came to a conclusion as to why I played not only so flat but so horrendous, outrageously absurd. I think it was one of the worst matches I've ever played.
Q. How do you avoid that happening again?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's not gonna happen again. I mean, it's not gonna happen again. I'm not gonna go out without a fight. If I do go out, it's going to be with a punch, with a bang, you know.
Q. How did you enjoy being on the Jonathan Ross show? What did you make of him?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Jonathan Ross is really a funny character. He made me laugh a lot. They cut out a lot of the interview, which I think was for the best (laughter).
Q. Were you swearing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Not on my behalf (smiling).
Q. Do you feel hungrier than ever for success to win because of injuries?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm not eating as much, so... (Smiling). But I'm definitely more determined, definitely hungry, as you say, just because I enjoy playing and I enjoy winning and I enjoy the battle. I enjoy being out there.
My least favorite thing is to go home and watch someone else enjoy being out there. That's kind of tough.
Q. Have you informed Zina Garrison, or do you intend to inform her, that you will be in Stowe, Vermont, the week after this tournament?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have plans of being there. It's a shame it's right after Wimbledon. You know, I definitely plan on being there, not only supporting Zina but supporting my country, playing Fed Cup. I've already planned on being there. It's just like, I have a big summer coming up.
Q. Do you know if Venus has the same attitude right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I believe she does have the same attitude. Like we said, not only for Zina, but just to play Fed Cup. We'd like to see the trophy back in the United States, where it belongs.
Q. Do you feel your hunger and drive and determination that you have now is partly because of the last few years, the injuries, the illnesses, it's kind of made you miss being at the top, whereas if you had been there and stayed at the top, maybe it would have been hard, as a lot of the girls find? Having been away from it for a while, maybe it's a good thing for you in one sense?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I guess you can look at it optimistically like that. Ideally I would have preferred to, you know, be there and stay on the top throughout my whole career. I think that would have been perfect and fabulous.
But I think what makes a real champion is someone that can fall and dust themselves off and get up.
Q. What do you make of Centre Court this year? Obviously some changes. Do you think it will have any impact on the tennis?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't seen Centre Court. I don't really know. It won't affect my tennis, per se. Maybe someone else's. You know, I grew up on some pretty tough courts. This is splendid compared to where I come from.
Q. You talk about the injuries and the fact you're pain-free now, do you put it down to a change of fortune, or do you think you're a lot smarter now and managing things a lot better in terms of just how you prepare, how you recuperate from matches, that sort of thing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Medicines.
Q. Do you change how you go about it? You wouldn't think it would sort of change by accident that you would have a good run with injuries.
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I mean, maybe I'm doing different things that relate to my specific injuries that help me not have the same problems as before. I'm not doing anything too much different.
Q. Do you spend more or less time on the court, for example, in terms of practice hours?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I've never been one that's really huge on staying out on the court 12 hours a day. Venus always practices a lot, though.
It's about the same. Like I said, I'm just doing more things for my particular injury that helps me.
Q. Could Venus be one of your biggest challenges this year perhaps, one of your biggest rivals?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she's the best grass court player in the draw. I think with her serve, her return, her volleys, you know, she's always one to watch.
Q. Tennis is about self-belief, isn't it? Although you're not No. 1 ranked in the world, do you believe you are the best player in the world among the women at the moment?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Like I said, I believe I'm definitely the best player if I'm playing well, it's hard for anyone to beat me. Like I said, it's not even a belief; it's more of a fact.
Q. There's always anticipation of you and your sister's style on court. Can you give us an idea of what you're wearing this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm wearing white for sure. That's definitely for sure. I'm sticking with that motif.
Q. Any particular style?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, pretty similar to what I wore in Paris.
Q. Can you tell us what you think of the new look of Centre Court without the roof, if it reminds you of anywhere?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, no, I haven't seen it. I never really get a chance to see Centre Court too much, this Centre Court, too much before.
Q. Do you think it will change the atmosphere a lot with no roof?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think as long as the court is still there, for me it will be okay (laughter). I don't know if it's there or not. That's going to be a problem.
Q. What do you think of the opportunity to have points corrected?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It's great. I don't have to worry about hitting shots two feet in, having them called out. That's going to be real exciting.
I really like it. It works.
Q. Are the first few rounds always a bit of a concern, or do you think you're going to hit the ground running this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Always for me I take the first round extremely serious. From then on out I take the rest of my matches really serious. I just try to keep going.
Everyone in the first round really wants to take out a seed or a top player. I'm always really focused.
Q. You said when Venus is on, grass is a great surface for her, she's the best on grass. What is your assessment of where she is in her game and her fitness right now?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think Venus is extremely fit. I think this is the most I've ever seen her -- the fittest I've ever seen her, I should say. She's playing really well. She's moving like the wind.
Q. What are your expectations for her performance here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven't thought about it. I try to focus on this side of the street more than anything (smiling). She's my sister. I love her dearly. I can guarantee you, she has the same answer.
Q. Apart from your sister, who else will you be watching out for this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, I'm definitely going to be watching a lot of Federer and Nadal. I would love to see another repeat of that final. I like Baghdatis.
Q. Who do you think would also be a threat on the women's tour apart from your sister?
SERENA WILLIAMS: You know, everybody. I mean, like I said, everyone I play plays really hard. The girl I played at the opening of the French Open, I thought she was the champ. Everyone I have to play plays tough.
Q. Where does Wimbledon come in your own sort of to-do list? If you were to win this time, how special would that be compared to other achievements you've had?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It would be awesome because obviously I wanted it when I won it, in the past. I mean, I really want it. You have to pay the price to get it. I think I paid the price. If not, there's always next year.
Q. What do you think it's like for Federer trying to go for five in a row, having gone for three in a row yourself?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I mean, he doesn't seem to lose too much. I think he has a great chance. If I could, I'd put money on him. I don't know if I can or not (smiling). But, yeah, I think he has a really good chance.
Q. Obviously at the French we saw two Serbian players really come into form, Ivanovic and Jankovic. Is that the sign of a new breed of tennis player coming through, or do you expect it to be for a while Henin, Mauresmo, Sharapova that you're really fighting against in the latter stages of a tournament like this?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it's strange how they always come in twos, like Henin and Clijsters. Now it's like Ivanovic and Jankovic. I think they're really solid players. I think Jankovic is a really all-around court player.
I don't think it was a fluke or anything. I think they're around to stay.
Q. The Americans had a bad tournament last year. What do you think on behalf of the Americans this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I wasn't here, so...
Q. I know, but...
SERENA WILLIAMS: That's the answer. That's why. So now that I'm here, it should be different.
Q. Right now Henin and Mauresmo are battling it out in the Eastbourne final. Are you happier that you're here, not playing in something competitive like that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I just -- I've never really played a warm-up tournament before Wimbledon. This is I think the best route for me. I wouldn't want to play and have a day off, then play again. It rains a lot in Eastbourne. No, I'm glad they're duking it out over there.
Q. How do you fill your time when it rains here?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I have a lot of books. I read a lot.
Q. Will playing in the doubles help the singles as well? You could go all the way in both. Any danger of it being too heavy a load for you? Is that how you want it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, this is fine. I mean, it wasn't heavy when I did it. It won't be any different. It's like practicing, competing at the same time, getting extra practice. Maybe my volleys will be like unbelievable soon.
Q. At the French Open you might have heard about Federer, Djokovic, Nadal doing some karaoke to promote the tournament. If Wimbledon asked you to do the same thing, one would you do it and two, what would your tune be?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don't sing.
Q. Not at all?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No, not at all. I don't sing. It wouldn't be fun. It would start raining.
Q. If you're well on form and fit, the best player here, but if Venus is the best grass court player, if you played in the final, who would win that?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, I said if I'm playing well it's hard for anyone to beat me, so... Hopefully that means I would win, yeah.