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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Q. How do you handle players and even the media who sometimes say negative things about you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, they don't say too many negative things. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I'm not in the business of trying to mold people's minds. So I just have to go on my program.

Q. When you see where Martina Hingis is at very close to your age, do you think if you had played more, in more tournaments at age 15, 14, you would be close to where she is now? Do you look at her and say, "Gee, I could be there"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I really can't say, but I really wouldn't want to take anything away from Martina, because she's doing a great job and she's helping women's tennis, and everyone is interested in watching her play. I definitely think I like the way I did things. We just had different agendas. I had different things to do. She had different things to do also. I don't regret any of it. To say what I could have done, I'd rather not say that because that's in the past now. I can't change it. I'm happy with how everything is going now.


Q. In general, do you detect any kind of hostility from older players toward younger players? And if so, how do you detect it? What do you pick up?

VENUS WILLIAMS: These things do not matter to me. Everyone has to have their own opinion. I can't change the way someone feels. I just kind of have to move on in my own life. I can't get involved in other people's lives to that degree.

Q. But do you pick up on it at all? Are you aware of it out there?

VENUS WILLIAMS: To be honest, I mean, I can't change the way someone feels if there's angry or hostile or jealous. I think if people feel this way, what they should do is go out there and say, "I'm going to pull my game together."

Q. Joannette says you're confident. She said she's never seen such self-confidence.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm glad she sees that in me.

Q. Take a moment to explain. She got a little peeved by that, and that motivated her. Then today, Ms. Kruger said that when you smiled at her at one of the changeovers, she said that that was a sign that you were saying, "Hey, this is all you can do? This is all the arsenal you have? "

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I really wasn't smiling. I was (indicating). Why don't you guys tell me what they want me to do? They should come up to me and say, "Venus, I want you to smile so I can feel better." It's not about that. When I want to smile, I'll smile. If I don't want to, I'm not going to. I think it's a little bit peevish. Smiling, what does that have to do with anything?


Q. How much do you enjoy others recognizing that confidence in you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I don't think it's important that others recognize the confidence in me or believe in me. What's important is that I'm confident about me, and that I believe in me. What others believe is kind of an outside influence, outside. If I don't have confidence, then it doesn't matter if the other person has confidence in me.

Q. But it seems you really have an effect on your opponents. In fact, Joannette Kruger, who is 23 years old, said just by watching your confidence and the panache that you had on the court, she was psyched out.

VENUS WILLIAMS: That's her state of mind.

Q. Do you feel as though you psych out other players with your approach?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. You'd have to ask them.

Q. The fact that the audience was with you today, does it matter for you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I've actually never played in an audience that wasn't for me. One day, the day will come when they are going to be for the other player. I'll be prepared for that.


This is why I adore Venus Williams. She speaks her mind and is honest with herself.
 

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That kind of introspection from a 17 year old. Even then she couldn't be baited by the press. Perhaps that's why the press was against her...she wouldn't let them make a fool of her. Amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree scoop. I was stunned by how well this girl conducted herself at such a young age. Her personality as well as tennis style and abilities are what make Venus so enticing and adorable.

Notice at 2001 wimbledon, with the crowd firmly behind justine how she turned them to her side at the end of her match with a few disarming, funny, and warm words.

Her parents did a very very good job.
 

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I'm impressed. The press were just begging her to bitch about somebody. From a 17 year old (that's so young :) ) - real mature stuff.
 

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I think she said, "what do they want me to do?" because earlier she had been told that Lindsay said she (Venus) didn't say hi when she called to her.
 

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I do think that the notion that Venus is "arrogant;" "unfriendly;" etc. can be more attributed to what other players interpreted about Venus' actions rather than to what Venus actually said. As we can clearly see in this interview, Venus was questioned about what someone else said. When something is repeated often enough, it becomes truth. Sometimes when we are envious, we try to defect attention off of our own shortcomings by putting the onus on something else..."she looked at me funny," "she didn't say hi." I remember when I was in high school, before people even knew me, I would always hear, "she thinks she's (cute, smart whatever). It used to hurt, and I retreated further into my own shell. The more I did that, the more people said things about me. As I've grown older, I've come to realize that people like groups and anything or anything that does not conform to the herd is fair game.

It scares our sense of self and what we think is right, when we are shown that another way can be equally meritorious. When Venus showed up on the scene, she had some obvious flaws in her game, mainly she didn't know how to compete and use her many skills effectively, but she learned and she learned quickly. Her coltish nature on the court, and to me her basicly shy nature became lightning rods. For the "A" players like Martina, who played a more mature tennis game, they could clearly see that Venus was a colt on the court and they knew deep down that one day she would stand up because her talents were enormous.

I like to watch all the players. Venus is my favorite, not because I believe she is a flawless player (which she is not), but because on some level I identify with her as the outsider. To me she has always been humble, and she has grown stronger as a person.
 

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I do think that the notion that Venus is "arrogant;" "unfriendly;" etc. can be more attributed to what other players interpreted about Venus' actions rather than to what Venus actually said.
EXACTLY!!! Don't forget her supposed behaviour has also been filtered through the media's interpretations... :rolleyes: :mad:
 

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:D I don't see no arrogance anywhere!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Me either :)
 

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Nice interview! I didn't saw this one from 1997 of Venus :)

Great to see another new one! Thanks Cybelle

I don't see arrogance in there either!
 

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Scoop,
I am sure you really ARE cute and smart. :)
 

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Well, I really can't say, but I really wouldn't want to take anything away from Martina, because she's doing a great job and she's helping women's tennis, and everyone is interested in watching her play
Venus even gave Martina Hingis a compliment. I can't believe that people would suggest that these statements are arrogant and cocky. At 17yrs old, Venus was very mature and media conscious. Go on girl!:wavey:
 
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