Venus Williams Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
March 25, 2012
V. WILLIAMS/A. Wozniak
4 6, 6 4, 7 6
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Where did you find the strength to hit that last serve? Last serve was 119.
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, my mentality is to go for broke, and then from there I try to be sensible. So it's kind of a mix between that and that's the serve I wanted, just a big one to hopefully force the issue, and thank God it went in. Wow.
Q. How tired were you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Um, no, it was tough out there. It was tough, but also it was made even tougher because she played well.
I don't know if I've ever seen her play as well as she did. Obviously she was close to the top 20 so she has that tennis in her. I have to give her a lot of credit to her.
Q. Can you compare the feelings after these two pretty different wins for you? 6 Love in the third and very high ranked player, and the other one you fight to save the match point to get out against somebody who is another wildcard like you. How does the emotion compare?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She had match point? Oh. Oh, no. Thank God I'm oblivious to the score a lot of times. Oh, my god, that's not good news.
Well, you know, every time that I just kept coming back. I tried not to let anything discourage me today. I kept thinking about how I really need this match and I need these points. I keep thinking about the Olympics and I need my points.
Whenever things look bleak, I think about the Olympics and that keeps me motivated.
Q. Judging from that last answer, the confidence, does it ever waiver? Does it waiver like in a match like this where you seem to be down and all of a sudden you pick it up?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Um, you know, I think everyone has ups and downs. It's just all how you handle it mentally. So I try to handle the ups and downs mentally, especially in a match like today when the opponent is playing well.
Q. Is it all about the Olympics for you? Is that like tunnel vision?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, well, when I don't want to get up or, you know, I want to do something different, I want to make an error, then I think about the Olympics and how if I don't do the right thing I might not be there.
That keeps me on the straight and narrow.
Q. What is it about the Olympics? You have been there a few times and been successful. What about the Olympics is so important to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's just the ultimate level in sports. It's about participating. It's about having that experience. It's about having the honor to be good enough to be there.
It's just, you know, the pinnacle of sports.
Q. Are you hoping to play both singles and doubles in London?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I'm just gonna be there, so I need to be there. That's pretty much the goal. I'm not thinking about what event, just that I'll be there.
Q. Have you thought about mixed at all?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I used to think about mixed. I don't know if I'm thinking about mixed now.
Q. That's a lot of tennis.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's a lot of tennis. Like I said, Olympics. That's all I'm thinking about.
Q. Presuming your singles ranking is going to determine whether you go in or out, is that on your mind?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I feel like I have some time to figure that out, but I want to play well at the big tournaments. That makes my job a little easier, and so...
I don't even remember the question anymore, but basically I'm just giving 100%.
Q. After the match you said, I needed this match. Can you elaborate on the way or ways you felt you needed it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I needed this match so that I could play the Olympics. (Laughter.)
So any time I think about losing, then I think about that I have to get to the Olympics, so then I try to win even more and try not to get discouraged.
Q. Have you calculated your ranking now and what you need to do to get there? Are you sitting there with all the numbers?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not really, because that's like such a rookie move to calculate points.
I try not to do that, but secretly I probably am. But more than anything it's about getting the win, so that's what I'm trying to do.
Q. When your dad came on court after the match, what did he say to you as you walked off together?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, um, Great match. I think he was just proud as a coach and as a dad.
He's always a dad first, so he, I guess, came to help me a little bit.
Q. How much self knowledge do you have now about your condition and about how much a match like this could take out of you, how well you might feel tomorrow morning? Is this all still something you have to deal with on a day to day basis?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. (Smiling.)
I don't have an answer for that. I just know that I'll give as much as I possibly can. I know I'm not nearly as bad as I was. That's already awesome.
I think I have a lot to learn still, but my motto is that I can spend the same amount of time winning the point than I do losing the point no matter how I feel. That's pretty much what I try to tell myself.
That works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. I have a disconnect between my mind and my body. Like sometimes I don't get to do what I want to do, but then I have to get myself to do that.
So it's a mental battle.
Q. The other part of it, is it an emotional battle? As much as you have been training to get back and taking great care with your diet and everything else, how much do emotions fatigue you, or, for that matter, give you energy?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, gosh, that's a good question. I think, you know, fighting on the court is emotional. You have to be ready emotionally. Everything has to be hopefully a 100%.
So, you know, I have been fighting a long time, so sometimes you can't have a letdown and just say, I'm tired.
But, you know, I think about how miserable I'm gonna feel when I have a loss and I still spend that same time having a win, so I just keep try to digging deeper.
In the scheme of things, if I have to spend three hours out of 24 in the day, then I'm gonna spend the three hours and try to win.
It might not work every time, but I just gotta do what I gotta do.
Q. Was there a time when you thought you might not play again, or you always knew that you would?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I felt like I would I mean, there would be times where I would be scared for about five seconds, but it's not like I can't spend that time being afraid. I have to move forward.
So it's easy to be afraid, and it's a lot of hard work to come back to this level, especially, you know, with the time constraints. I need to play now so I can play the Olympics. It's like I have to get back. Something's gotta give.
So it's a lot.
Q. What do you do with the pins? I know you collected a lot in Beijing, for sure.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I pretty much hide them around the house to the point where I can't even find them. So then it takes me a few months to figure out where I hid them. They're my pride and joy. But I have a pin holder set, Olympic pin holder set.
You unzip it and you open it, and I have 2000 and 2004 in there. Strange enough, I haven't put 2008 in there. I need to get cracking, spend a few hours arranging it perfectly.
It's crazy, but, you know, it's all the memories there.
Q. Talk about the all the people here watching you today and what that meant to you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Serena was there, my sister Lynn, my dad, a lot of people who supported me with EleVen who are working in the tent, keep the dream alive, Jess here who is my good friend and works with me as well.
My physio, friends who hit with me in West Palm, everybody who has been with me along the way. Just so many people because I'm local down here.
So like that really helped for them to be there.
Q. How would you judge your energy level at the end of the match? Was it because she was playing so much better?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I didn't feel that great and I was kind of starting to panic. I needed to calm down and try to figure out a strategy that was going to work a little better than what I was doing at the moment.
So, you know, she was playing well. She came to play. But just hoping for a better day tomorrow.
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, my calf was fine, actually. The tape worked quite well.
Q. Ana or Daniela next?
VENUS WILLIAMS: We'll see. Not my choice. Thankfully I got a win today. I didn't ask for much more than that. We'll see.
Q. Your experience with them?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I've had, you know, pretty good records against both of them throughout the years, so hopefully that will get me a few games in the beginning.
I don't know. They're both playing well and they've been playing consistently, you know, for a while. And they're both motivated, as well.
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