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An Interview With: Venus Williams (Round 2)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Q. Another tough three-setter. What do you take away from that match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she really competed well. Played a great tiebreaker. I was really impressed with those dropshot returns off her serve. It was insane. Just great hands.

Always definitely in a position to win the match, win the set, so that's always a positive.

Q. You play Bencic next. She was in her earlier talking about her first match on the main WTA Tour against you. What do you remember, if anything, from playing that match against her? What have you seen in her evolution as a player?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you're right. It was a first match for her. I thought she was a great competitor at the time. I thought that she was very determined and focused, no matter who she was playing or what the circumstance was.

I thought she handled it really well. Clearly she's come a long way since then. It's wonderful to see her doing positive things, not just in tennis but with her life.

Q. What's so challenging about her game right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She seems to just really be in good form, making a lot of shots, just probably confident, you know. I haven't, like, watched her every day so I'm not exactly sure.

Q. Did you see her beat your sister?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I actually didn't see that match, so I'm not sure how that transpired.

Q. How much do you think you might talk to Serena about Bencic specifically ahead of facing her now because Serena played her so recently? How much do the two of you talk to each other about common things?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, we always give each other advice, especially if one of us has played the other opponent recently. So, yeah, we always are there for encouragement and advice.

Q. Specifically about this next match?

VENUS WILLIAMS:
She'll probably give me some pointers like tomorrow or Friday. She's got pretty sage advice. I like to think she knows best.

Q. What are your observations of how she's dealing with the special situation that she's in right now?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think she's handling it like another tournament that she feels like is within her reach. She feels confident. She knows she has the game. That's how she's handling it.

Q. She talked about dealing with nerves. How do you conquer that? How much have you experienced that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, nerves are normal. You can't be cured from them unless you're a machine. So it's normal to have nerves.

It's just about how you deal with it and how you conquer that moment. You can see it as a burden or see it as something you go through and get used to hopefully.

Q. Have you had periods of dealing with it and then better and then worse?

VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I think sometimes you're nervous in the beginning of a match. Sometimes at certain points. Sometimes you just feel determined. You can't always say exactly how you're going to feel at that moment because it could be any variety of feelings.

But it's like you buckle down and you've got to start playing.

In my circumstance, I just try to play aggressive no matter what.

Q. What do you feel like is working best for you right now in your tennis in those two matches?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I don't know. Just playing the third set really well. Playing the first set well and the third set well, and almost finishing in the second. Then a combination of errors.

Also my opponents are just playing inspired tennis, too, and having some interesting shots at certain moments, as well.

Q. You've shown great perseverance not only today and Monday but throughout your career. What's the key to that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: For me I realize that it's impossible to win every match, but I'm going to walk out there as if I can. And if I fall short, then I'm going to find a way to come out stronger the next time.

Defeat is only when you accept it, it's not when you actually lose. It's when you accept that you are defeated. So I always try to do things on my own terms.

Q. Are those some things that your dad instilled or you developed that?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Absolutely. You learn so much from your parents. We grew up in a home where we were definitely taught to be confident. I definitely give me parents a lot of credit.

Q. You just mentioned confidence. One of the things that sort of defines Serena this year has been her ability to come back when she's lost a first set. It seems like she almost relishes putting herself in a situation where she has to escape from it. How would you describe the belief you see in her when you watch her in these situations that sometimes seem almost impossible to get out of?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think sometimes when you don't play your best, then you feel like, I can only play better. Sometimes when you're down, you just feel like, All right, now I have to play better.

So I think she finds that moment. Okay, I can only go up from here. Then she goes straight up to the top.

Q. How does that make you feel when you see that in her?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it's great, because then you don't have to be as nervous when you watch because you feel like, Okay, maybe she's got the extra gear.

So when you're in the box on her side or watching TV as her fan, then you just feel like you're on the winning team.

Q. A lot has been made about Martina Hingis and her mom helping out Belinda in a variety of ways. Do you see any of Hingis' game in how Belinda plays?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I do think they play similar. Counter punchers. Do try to take advantage of the opportunities as they come.

Definitely similar, but I'm not sure what the evolution was of her game. If she started out like that or was influenced, I'm not an expert on her game at this moment.

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