Venus Williams US Open Interview September 2nd 2009
V. WILLIAMS/B. Mattek Sands 6 4, 6 2
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 it.
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 lot.
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 further?
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 mental approach?
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 curve.
Q. Where are you in that process?
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 it.
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 Rybarikova?
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 well?
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 draft picks?
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.
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