Venus Williams Advances In Rogers Cup

Venus Williams defeated Czech tennis player Kateřina Siniaková in two straight hard fought sets.

During her post game interview she was asked about Sara Errani’s recent positive drug test. Here is what she said:

Q:I just wanted to ask you about your energy level right now with this, you know, North American swing. It’s hot and humid and your autoimmune issues. How are you feeling energy-wise this year?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I live in Florida, so it’s a little bit hotter. This is a break for me from the heat to be honest. So I worry about my opponents across the net. That’s who I feel for.

Q. Just with the pounding and the long season and stuff like that also.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I do play a little bit less than also my opponents as well. Some of them are ranked ahead of me because of that too. But I’m going to stick with that game plan, and it’s been working so far for longevity.

Q. How does win number two in Toronto feel and what is your assessment from your match today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was definitely not a given. It was well-earned. I had to wait a long time for win number two. So I would like to build on that to win number three. I’ve waited a long time for win number three, too, and I think I’ve got a pretty good chance to do that.

Q. I know you’ve answered this question a lot, but just speaking of longevity, can you just describe what it is that sort of motivates you to go out and practice every day and continue playing after all these years?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love the game. It’s very simple. I have a lot to give.

Q. Why do you think this has been your best season in a long time?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I just — there’s a lot of explanations, but all I can say is that I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the wins. I learn from the losses. And mostly I do want to win.

Q. So that’s changed? That you want to win more now then?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I always wanted to win. It just didn’t always happen. But like I said, I’m grateful for everything.

Q. Going from win number one to win number two, how different were the conditions out there playing at night versus playing during the day? How did that work out for you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: In the day, the sun is moving so you have to watch where you’re serving. The wind was blowing. But the other night, too, it got colder. The rain came. So both of us are dealing with it, so it at least makes it an even playing field.

Q. You played here for the first time in 1995 and then again in ’97, and then I don’t believe we saw you until 2009. Did Canadians give you a bad first impression? Because now it seems like you really enjoy Toronto and Montreal. Just wondering about that gap in there.
VENUS WILLIAMS: It was that long? I know I hadn’t played here a lot, but I didn’t realize it was that long. I’m not sure why. It was a long time ago.

But I think it was either I didn’t enter or I got injured. So it was just didn’t enter or bad luck.

Q. What are your impressions of Canadians in general as tennis fans and just maybe differences between up north and in the United States?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Definitely huge amount of support. Definitely here and Montreal, like, the fans are extremely excited about it. There’s a lot of support for the players and the tournament. So it’s very flattering. I love it.

Q. What is the difference between the Venus of 1995 that was here for the first time and the Venus now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I know how to win. I didn’t know how to win then. It was completely overwhelming, the whole experience. And I was playing a player who, you know, had experience. I had nothing at the time except for a long way to go (laughter). And I thankfully went, so here we are.

Q. Svitolina next. I’m curious about your thoughts on that match-up and what your strategy is going into that one.
VENUS WILLIAMS: I haven’t played her in ages, so we’ll see how that works out. I mean, she’s had a great season I think as well. She’s had some wins. I don’t really keep up with everything everyone else is doing, but I think she’s been playing well.

So I’m sure she’ll be confident in the match, and I should be fairly confident too.

Q. You had a very good first half of the season. What did you tell yourself during the break before the hard court season, and what did you do in the lead-up just to try to keep that going and take the next step?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, just busy. I was working. I was hitting balls and doing things.

And, of course, it’s just about putting yourself in a position to win titles. So with each win you get closer to that position of being, like, in the winner’s circle and that’s continually my goal.

Q. I was just wondering on a daily basis how do you break down your day in terms of tennis and then dealing with your business? Like what is the percentage of time doing tennis and time doing business and time doing nothing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I just had a call to Jim about the contract that we’re working on for V Starr. So I’m available at all times to my team, and they need to feel that way. It’s never a burden or a pressure. And I was telling Team EleVen before the match what I was wearing. And so I’m always talking to them.

And it’s important to be an available leader and there I am. So I’m always tennis, always working (smiling.)

Q. Any reaction to Sara Errani’s recent positive test and the length of the suspension, which was just two months?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I really don’t know much about the case. So I really am unable to comment either way.