THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Are you someone that feels like when you’ve got a good experience at a tournament the year before, do you feel like you pick up on that momentum coming in this year? Because you played so well here last year.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I think it could be both. I think it can be, yes, you have good experience. I think that’s kind of starting to happen for me here.
Also, you could see it as, Oh, my gosh, I have pressure.
I don’t really play that often, so when I do, I need to play well. You can’t have too many misses. So I think it’s extra motivation for me to play just a little bit better out there.
Q. What did you feel like — I think she was up 5-3 in the second set. What do you think was the key to turn it around?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think at 5-3 I feel I had opportunities to be even. I felt like I was controlling the point, and then either I missed a shot or I got a little bit unlucky.
And I just felt, okay, I know her game now. I never played her, so it’s also you’re out there learning, like, what they do well, what shots they select. At that point, I’m, like, okay, I understand. And I felt comfortable with trying to control the point from there.
Q. You have been asked this many times, but when Serena has a tough day at the office, so to speak, a loss, does that give you a little bit more motivation?
VENUS WILLIAMS: You know, I think I have watched her win so many times, and those wins just always felt like we were all winning. So when she loses, which isn’t often, it’s just a really foreign feeling, to be honest, and probably a shock for everybody (smiling).
I don’t think anyone wants to play her. If you can get through it and you’ve got a win, it’s kind of like a career moment, you know.
Q. Can you share if she’s doing a little better? Is that something you can share with us?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I’m not here to talk about that, definitely not.
Q. Is it right you spent some time in Arizona before you came here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I went to Arizona.
Q. Was that practice stuff, or what was that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I had a little practice there. It’s nice.
Q. Were you practicing with collegiate players or who did you use there?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, I did hit with some of the kids. I loved hitting with them.
Q. Careers are built on making decisions again and again. If you had to look into your career and just talk about maybe the two or three decisions that you feel in your career were just so important and formative for you…
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, man, I don’t even know. I think the decision to work hard, fight hard, and put the ball in the court. Those are pretty good, important decisions. But at the end of the day, you live another day to fight.
Q. When did you sense that you were a really tough fighter, tough competitor?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don’t know. Maybe today.
Q. Up next is Mona Barthel. She just beat Goerges. What do you know about her and…
VENUS WILLIAMS: I have played her a few times. Not recently, but it’s definitely a different match. I feel definitely more comfortable going into that match than, for example, today. I had never played her before, so you feel like — you don’t really know what’s going to happen.
At least tomorrow I’ll walk out on the court knowing what to expect, having played her, and then adjust as the match goes on.
Q. Has it been important for you game-wise to have had these last few tough matches in order find your rhythm on the court?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I prefer to have a straightforward match where I’m just dominating. No, I don’t want tough matches.
Q. You talked on court about going beyond your limits and something along the lines of 11 being beyond 10. If you had to rank your own career on a scale of 1 to 11, what would you rank it?
VENUS WILLIAMS: In terms of effort? Well, if 11 is the max, definitely an 11. Definitely.
Q. And enjoyment?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Wow, to work this hard and have no life, you have to enjoy it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-12 00:22:00 GMT