Interview with Venus Williams after her win
over Bethanie Mattek Sands 6 4, 6 2
at the 2009 US Open
Q. Of all the things you don't
like speaking about, how would you rate talking about
your knee and injuries in general.
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, you know, I don't talk about my
injuries very much. I think everyone knows that now. You
know, I don't dwell on them. I just do my best.
So I think you know how I feel about all that.
Q. How do you feel in terms of
your mobility today compared with your first round match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I mean, with the first round,
you just go on so much adrenaline. Next day everything
kind of starts to sink in. You just really start to feel
But that's the good thing about these situations, playing
in big stadiums, and, you know, the just being in a match
kind of gets your juices flowing. That kind of helps a
Q. How was your mobility from
round 1 to round 2?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I think it was pretty good. I
just I really just put all my focus on the match and
playing the ball and getting to the ball, and I didn't
focus on anything else, anything going on. Even with my
body, I really do try to put that out of my thoughts.
Q. What was different for you in
the treatment and preparation over the last 48 hours
after that late night match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Just, you know, pretty much ice every
hour, a lot of different treatments, also. But I just had
to be really, really aggressive, and I really did
everything I could.
Q. Whatever the injury is, is it
a wear and tear kind of thing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: A what?
Q. Is it a wear and tear kind of
thing? Is that something that, you know, you see a lot on
tour these days?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, wear and tear does put a lot on
your body. I mean, it's September now. I started
literally in December. So I guess it's not a huge
surprise that at this time of the year things start to be
a little sore and start to hurt.
But, you know, I'm very determined to play still my best
tennis in spite of anything.
Q. Do you feel you have the
injury? I mean, is it schedule? Is it...
VENUS WILLIAMS: What do I feel?
Q. Yeah. I mean, is there a
rationale for whatever is going on?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Gosh, little bad luck? That's the best
thing I can say.
Q. Your father made some
comments I guess to the newspaper yesterday that both you
and your sister were hurt, and he thinks you should
consider withdrawing from the tournament. What were your
reactions to his comments?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love playing this event. I'm going to
do my best to obviously win every round, so that's how it
is for me.
Q. What about doubles? You
mentioned doubles in your last press conference, that you
wanted to stay in the draw. Still there was a commitment,
but you have to think. Have you thought about it any
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I am still in the doubles. My
mentality for doubles for me is a major title. I love
winning majors, so it's not a decision I take lightly.
I'm going to do my best to be able to prepare.
Probably play tomorrow, and I'm just going to do my best
to prepare to be able to play.
Q. How does having an injury, or
even if both of your knees are troubling you, affect your
VENUS WILLIAMS: It's hard when it's new, because you're
not used to the pain. Then after a while, you start to
get used to it, as much as you can get used to pain.
So it's hard when it starts, when it's acute, because you
just have to kind of adjust and kind of get used to it
physically and mentally. So, you know, there is kind of a
Q. Where are you in that
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm in the US Open. The US Open, baby.
I'm in the process of being in the third round, so I love
Q. When your knee is taped up
like that, how long does it take to work it in and get
into the match? Does it at all hinder you when it's taped
up like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, it's a pretty big tape. I don't
like tape. I prefer not to have it, but I'm just trying
to take every precaution that I can and try not to have
any injury timeouts.
I don't know the last time I took an injury timeout since
that first round. It's maybe been a couple years. So I
like to keep playing. Most of the time I feel like I can
play through everything.
It's just about getting everything I can before I get on
the courts so the match will be continuous and I don't
run into any hopefully unforeseen kind of things that I
need to call a trainer.
Q. When you say that, when you
called the trainer in the first round, it's because it
was new, something you knew you...
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I just you know, I thought to
myself, Wow, this is the Open. No need to just play
through or just try to I needed to just hopefully get
some support, the hot word for me, I guess.
Try to get some support and, you know, I think it
definitely helped me in the match, for sure.
Q. What do you know about
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not too much, but I'll stick to my game
and continue to execute. That's my game plan.
Q. If this were not a major,
given what you're dealing with your knees, would you be
participating at this stage?
VENUS WILLIAMS: If it wasn't a major, I probably wouldn't
have taken a timeout. I probably would have just kept
playing. You probably wouldn't even know so yeah, that
probably would have happened. I rarely retire or rarely
take an injury timeout. I just keep going.
Under the circumstances, with what I was going through on
the court, I just had to do what was best to try to stay
in the match. The good part is I had some time to, you
know, recover, so that helped.
Q. To what degree can an injury
help you focus on everything but the injury, different
parts of your game? You discussed the mental approach a
little while ago. Is that sometimes part of it, that
injuries can make you think about the things you're doing
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. Sometimes you can get an
injury and tighten up. Other times you can start playing
looser because you have nothing really to lose at that
point because you're kind of, you know, kind of your back
is against the wall.
So I guess it can go either way. But regardless, like I
said, I just you know, I still am playing well, and I
feel like I will continue to play better as the rounds
go. I'm not trying to make this injury any factor at all.
Q. Does the injury give you
something new to prove that you can triumph over it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't need to improve.
Q. You say you're going to focus
just on the ball and you're not going to focus on the
injury. But are you focusing a little bit on your new
role as one of the owners of the Dolphins?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. Always following my team, and I'm a
South Florida woman. My home team. It's just been a great
journey throughout my life, and this has been beyond my
dreams. I'm looking forward to participating in
everything I can, especially in the South Florida
charities, you know, working with the Dolphins, with our
team for that, so that's going to be great for me.
Looking forward to an opening home game after the Open.
Q. You won't be involved in
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, my god, no. No, that's not part of my
expertise, so no.
Q. Can you give your thoughts on
the WTA system whereby, no matter what the result is
here, if Serena for example wins the tournament, she will
not take over the No. 1 spot. Dinara will retain it. What
are your thoughts on the system?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, my thought's that if you play
consistent, you can be very highly ranked. I guess it's
all about playing consistent these days.
Q. Is that your thought about
how Dinara has done this year to earn that No. 1 ranking?
VENUS WILLIAMS: She's played very consistently, and kudos
to her and credit to her for being able to hold onto that
No. 1 ranking and playing so well.
Interview with Venus Williams after
her win over Vera dushevina at the
2009 US Open