Venus Williams Quarter-finals
Miami, Fl., U.S.A.
March 30, 2010
V. WILLIAMS/A. Radwanska
6 3, 6 1
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. A little bit easier today than yesterday?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A little more straightforward, yes. Of course, we had some kind of interesting times in the first set where we traded breaks.
But, I mean, of course getting through a match like yesterday makes me more confident because it wasn't exactly my best game.
So to know I can beat a player who's playing so well like yesterday when I wasn't at my best of course gives me a lot of the confidence.
Today I was kind of eager to clean up my act. We had some really good rallies and really good points, but I just see me keep coming out on top, so of course I like that.
Q. Do you feel you're the player to beat here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, that's not really how I perceive it. When I'm out there, I'm focused on that match and executing that match and doing what I need to in that match.
Not necessarily if I'm the player to beat or if I'm not. You know, I'm just really focusing on what I need to do then and there.
Q. Were you a little bit worried at all the about the quick turnaround?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, because I've done it before many, many, many times. I mean, I've done, you know, singles, doubles, matches, matches, matches. This is what the pros are about: being ready for everything.
So I was ready.
Q. When you and Serena and probably Kim and Justine are at your best, do you feel like it's hard for anyone to really breakthrough the four of ayou?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I can definitely speak for me. I feel like when I'm executing and playing my best, it's great. It feels good, and I feel like I'm definitely dictating the points and that I don't give my opponent as many chances to have a say.
So that's ideally how I like to play.
Q. Because you've missed because of injuries and things like that. Do you feel like you're happy with your career, or are there things that you feel that you missed out on because of that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I've been so blessed on and off the court. I've been able to live my dreams on the court, and still doing that.
Off the court, I've had a balanced life thanks to God. So I really can't ask for much more. Obviously I will, but I guess more than anything I'm grateful for what I have and obviously not complacent at the same time and seeking more.
Q. There were a couple times that you were playing the second serve way inside the baseline. Someone who is not serving nearly as hard as you are and doesn't of that kind of power stroke, can they hang with you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Um, I mean, obviously I have an advantage with my serve. It's kind of always been that way, so I obviously it's a huge part of my game.
Her game is based on just kind of being a counterpuncher. She can still move forward, and she really is very consistent and relies a lot on her wheels. That's what makes it interesting. Everybody plays a little bit different. So we're out there having these long points, interesting points, and that's what makes it entertaining.
Someone like that you just got to take your time and sometimes not go for as much, even though it seems like you should. Kind of just go for it when it's in your strike zone, so that's what I tried to do.
Q. Were there a couple times she seemed I don't want to say scared but maybe like intimidated with the serve? She was almost like ducking out of the way. Did you notice that as well?
VENUS WILLIAMS: There was some that came pretty fast, and it was pretty sunny out there, too. The glare comes off the court.
I guess with those two combinations, some of them quite possibly could have been tough to see or return.
Q. We talked the other day a little bit about how you haven't volleyed as much as many people, including Billie Jean, thought that you should with your wingspan and ability to move. Is there something you get from standing in the back of the court wailing a ball that you feel like you're gonna miss a few volleys and cut the point quicker?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My game is so strong from the baseline that that helps give me the opportunity to be at the baseline and hopefully set up my points to come into the net.
These days I get in when I can. I don't know. I just when you have such some strong sometimes groundstrokes are not always necessarily a huge priority to like move forward for most people these days who play tennis.
Q. Is that satisfying to hit a great volley?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Great volleys feel great, yeah. They feel good. Anyone who plays, they know that when you kind of hit that crisp volley or save it with a drop volley, it's awesome.
Q. When will you make an absolute decision on Fed Cup? After the tournament?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I'll see how I feel physically after this tournament. So far, I'm doing okay. We'll go from there.
Q. I wanted to ask, there were a couple plays like I said when you came to the net you just didn't let up at all. Most of the time it went in. A couple times it went long. Was it kind of a change or a flow from yesterday where you felt like you had to be more aggressive and still kind of flowing in your veins like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think I play my best game when I'm more aggressive, because that's my style.
Others don't play as well as aggressive because that's not their style. Just seems to be better when I move forward, and I just try to do that.
I just try to do whatever the point takes: move forward, back, to the side, whatever.
Q. Obviously you know Marion Bartoli after Wimbledon.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Uh huh.
Q. What do you know about the other possible opponent?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I played her ages ago in Fed Cup. Been a while though, and I'm sure her game is much different since then. She's had a lot of success.
I guess the best player will win and I'll meet that player. My goal will be the better player in the semifinals.
Q. She's yet another Belgian. Is it amazing to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Amazing?
Q. Yeah. That there are so many successful Belgians on the tour, not just Kim and Justine.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's great for Belgium, for sure.
Q. Did you feel something like tennis vibration in Antwerp?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, in Antwerp I had such great memories there playing well. It was actually great to go back.
And also the support they had for Kim I think was just amazing. I mean, that really made the exhibition that I played there, so that was awesome.
Q. As you get closer to the finals, semifinals, do the juices get flowing a little more? Does it feel more like now the tournament has started?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, the tournament starts from day one. I mean, as you saw yesterday, nothing is a given.
But of course as the tournament progresses I like to think that my best tennis comes out, so I'm looking forward to bringing even better tennis.
Q. Going back to the aggressiveness, you are at the net, you're hitting an overhead and you missed a few, but you're hitting them like out of your mind, just that hard. Does that frustrate you at all, or do you say, Well, I'll give it my best shot?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I mean, sometimes when I miss a shot that I shouldn't I just tell myself that the match is not based on that one point and not to let it rattle the next point.
Sometimes when you miss an easy shot, the next point you can try so hard that you kind of force yourself into an error. Like I missed an easy swing volley. Actually, it wasn't that easy. It was really high.
But in any case, the next point just kind of step back and regather and just play better.
Q. I know you can't speak for Serena, but have you discussed if she's healthy whether she has an interest in playing Fed Cup?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I think she definitely wants to play. That's definitely a call she'll make. I guess she'll figure it out.
Q. Does she indicate how she's feeling?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think every day and every week she's progressing. I mean, I don't know exactly when she'll play. It's obviously how she feels.
Even once you feel better, you still have to take some time to actually train to get ready for the tournament.
So it's her call.
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was really executing her game. Conversely, I was a little bit off and struggling to find the court and everything else.
You know, days like this you just have to figure out a way to win the point, even if it's not pretty. So I enjoy that battle.
Of course, I'd like to win more straightforward, but when it counts and times get tough, I always feel confident that I'm gonna find a way to win the point.
Q. Tell us about the final game. It's like you decided no more messing around. That was a pretty emphatic last game.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd like to play every game like that. Like I said, when things get close, I'm gonna find a little extra something in myself.
I just wanted to obviously play better, and it was a perfect game and ended that way.
Q. Between the first and second sets, you said the first set you couldn't really find the court and everything else. What do you tell yourself in between sets where you're just kind of sitting there, kind of staring blankly, looks like? But what are you telling yourself to get back on track as quickly as you can?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm thinking, I'm gonna come out even more aggressive. On a day like today, I'm just trying to find the balance of really working the point and playing aggressively and seeing what's gonna really work for me on a day like this.
So, you know, I enjoy obviously that I won, but I enjoy getting through a day where the conditions are good and the opponent is playing great, and, you know, maybe I wasn't finding the court the way I wanted to.
Q. So rather than just pulling back a little bit and trying to make sure you find the court, you just go harder; is that kind of the game plan?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's a combination of both. Obviously at 5 All I was going pretty hard.
I enjoy those moments.
Q. What's the mental challenge of playing somebody you've beaten nine times without a loss? What's that like?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously I think for her I think the motivation is even greater to get that win and to try something different and just to go all out.
So I think it's a little bit more on that end, because obviously I'm feeling confident with my record against her.
I imagine it's just more from her. Just, you know, let's go for broke.
Q. I notice that you don't call for on court coaching. Do you enjoy trying to figure out the puzzle on your own?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've called before. It's been a while. I like being on the court alone. I enjoy that. I'm not a player that looks at my box every point. I look inside myself, because I feel like I have the answer.
And all I need is my box to say, Go, go. You can do it. That's enough.
Q. When the coach did come down, he was basically telling her you come up big in these moments, and she kind of has to match what you can do. Could you hear any of that at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, it was too far away. Obviously he's speaking in a tone that I couldn't hear.
But that's some tough advice. Very true, I guess, but that's tough.
Q. Do you feel like you intimidate people even at this stage of your career when you've done it for so long? That you intimidate the opponent sometimes as far as in your ability to come up big in those segments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'd like to think so. I'd like to think that on those kind of positions my opponent is gonna know that I'm gonna be trying for more and really believing that I can execute on that point.
That's what it all comes down to. That's what I train for, are those moments and coming through them.
Q. What does this match bode for the rest of the tournament for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, this match got me to the quarterfinals, so I need to get to the next match and get that match to the next one.
So it's just all about playing well in the moments. Of course, I want straightforward wins, but if they don't happen, to figure out how to win, that's good enough.
Q. I think it was like the next to last game where you broke her to win. Your serve was clocked between 115 and 119 every serve, and your groundstrokes that they don't clock they weren't far behind. That was when you really started to up your playing ability. Was there something specific that happened?
VENUS WILLIAMS: My game is naturally aggressive, so if anything, my game is what I have to tell myself is sometimes, you know, work the point harder instead of be aggressive right off the bat. Maybe try for a shot that doesn't make as much sense.
So of course when times get tougher, I just go I hit harder. It's just me. It's natural for me, so...
Q. Were you surprised that she could match your groundstrokes?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She was playing well. She was playing really well and giving it 100% effort. When I hit it hard she got it back; when I hit it high she got it back.
So just a real testimony to how well she was playing today.
Q. How did you spend the rain delay?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just relaxing. I'm glad that I got my match in today, though. So that's the good news.
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