Close Panel
Wimbledon Channel

Qualifying begins: 26 June

The Draw: 30 June

Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July

Order of Play: 2 July

Championships begin: 3 July


Menu uses cookies.
We use simple text files called cookies, saved on your computer, to help us deliver the best experience for you. Click continue to acknowledge that you are happy to receive cookies from
CONTINUE > Find out more
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
14:30 PM BST

Venus Williams: Quarter-final

Venus Williams speaks to the media after the 6-3, 7-5 win against Jelena Ostapenko

Q. Playing a player who you know has won a lot of matches lately, what are the keys to get things on your terms and disrupt?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I know she had to be feeling confident. She played a great match. Not a lot of errors.

I never played her. Watched her. Didn't really know what to expect. The grass, of course, changes the game. So just a lot of factors.

I was really happy to come out on top.

Q. Yesterday you said winning never gets old. You've now been playing here for 20 years, a hundred matches, 86 wins, five championships. How do you describe why you've had such longevity as a player and also a winner here?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love it. I try really hard. There's no other explanation. You do your best while you can. That's what I'm doing.

Q. What is your level of enjoyment at this moment of what you're doing?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I mean, I love this game. That's why I put in the effort and the time. It's a beautiful game. It's been so good to me.

Q. There are athletes who absolutely get a kick out of beating people who are about half their age. I'm sensing from you that's completely irrelevant to you.
VENUS WILLIAMS: No, when you're out there, all you're thinking about, especially at least on my side, all I can control is myself. In the thick of the match, it's not in your head.

Q. Through the years, especially adjusting to life with Sjogren's, were there moments when you worried or wondered whether you would return to the sort of success you had earlier in your career, that you've been having over the last year or so?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I just always felt like I have to keep trying. That's all I felt like.

Q. You didn't know much about Ostapenko before this match. What sort of impressions did she make?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, she went for a lot of shots. But I think, you know, she probably felt like you're in the quarterfinals, so at that point you maybe should go for a lot of shots.

She competed really well. She kept herself, you know, really in the game with her attitude. I thought she just did a lot of things really well and kept it close.

That's when you have an opportunity to hopefully maybe take a set or the match. She did the right things to do that.

Q. Could you put into words your feelings why tennis is a beautiful game?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I love the challenge. I love pressure. It's not always easy dealing with the pressure. There's constant pressure. It's only yourself who can have the answer for that.

I love the last day you play, you're still improving. It's not something that is stagnant. There's always a reason. You have to get better. I love that.

Q. In terms of the pressure of the game, what aspect of the game has helped you grow the most?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Obviously I think competition with other players. The competition keeps you growing. You have to get better if you want to stay relevant.

Q. You said you didn't know much about today's opponent. If Jo gets through, you played her five times. What sort of challenge is she going to pose? How tough a match would that be, especially here at Wimbledon?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm sure she's confident and determined. She's probably dealing with a different kind of pressure playing here at home. But she seems to be handling it well.

It looks like she really does well under the pressure. I've played her before, so it's a lot different than today.

Q. That pressure you talked about, you've been in that situation. This is new for her. A lot of people are commenting about her not being affected by that.
VENUS WILLIAMS: What situation?

Q. In terms of having pressure on you, expectations on you. Now people are thinking Jo is going to get to the final, she can win this. From an athlete's point of view, how tough is that to cope with?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I think the pressure you put on yourself is even tougher, for me, than any exterior pressure. So I don't know. I mean, you may have to ask her.

Q. How important would you say your serve was today?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, it's definitely a real asset. Been working on that serve. It's working out for me just in time, just for these later rounds. I'd like to think that I can continue to rely on that as the matches continue.

Q. How would you describe the benefits of your experience, if you compare yourself to how you were 10 or even 20 years ago?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I definitely think experience helps, for sure. For a lot of the players I've played, it's their first time in the third round or the quarterfinals, whichever, fourth round. So I have an opportunity to bank on experience in having dealt with those sort of pressures before.

Q. How much work do you put into tennis nowadays, because you have so many other things to do, designing, things like that?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, lots. Trust me, lots of work. I think it shows.

Q. Last year you said you felt like you were 26 when you were 36. What does age mean to you?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't think about the definition of age. It's beautiful to be at all ages really. That's my experience so far.

Q. You've played in your teens, 20s, 30s. What age do you feel like now?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know. I don't think about it. I feel quite capable, to be honest, and powerful. So whatever age that is, as long as I feel like that, then I know that I can contend for titles every time.

Q. You have played a lot of matches on Centre Court in your career. Has anyone in the Royal Box ever caught your eye, that you remember, over the years?
VENUS WILLIAMS: No. I never really look up at my boxes or any boxes really. So no, not yet.

Q. Have you found out later that somebody was watching that you thought was particularly cool?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Not yet. I think maybe they don't come to my matches, I guess (smiling).

Q. What is it like being here this year without your dad or your sister?
VENUS WILLIAMS: They're definitely here with me, for sure. Even if it's not physically, they're definitely here with me. That is one thing I do know. They're fighting right alongside me.

Q. Do you notice the difference with them not being here in person?
VENUS WILLIAMS: Of course. But I had to get focused immediately on the tennis, for sure. I miss them.

Q. If you were to play Jo in the semifinals, what challenges do you expect from her playing style?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think we play a very similar style: aggressive, serve well, return well, very solid off the ground. So really it's just about playing that game better and see where you find openings on that day.

Q. Between points you seem very calm. You seem to have time to think. Is that one difference between being 37 and 27, that your mind is kind of calmer, you can reflect a bit more in the heat of a match?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I think I've always been the way I am. That's just me. That's how I operate. Other players play differently. That's just my mode.

Q. If you do face Halep, what particular challenges do you see in her?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I've never played her on grass, so I don't know what to expect in terms of how she reacts to the grass. So that will be new. I have to adjust as the match goes on. So we'll see.

Q. You played three players in a row who are 20 or younger. Can you try to recall your early years breaking into the tour? There were some rough moments both on court and in the locker room. How did you face it? Did you find it daunting?
VENUS WILLIAMS: I never had a rough moment in the locker room, to be honest. So pretty much nothing happening in there. I mean, I really went to the top at a very young age, started winning titles. So that was my experience. That's all I can say about that.

Purchase Towels