Venus Williams comes into Beijing on the heels of a fantastic week in Tokyo. What drives her? Who's her favorite player? Read what the former No.1 said about all those and more right here.
WTA Staff

TOKYO, Japan - After showing encouraging signs in the summer, Venus Williams put it all together in Tokyo last week, beating Victoria Azarenka and winning a pair of marathons against Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard to reach the semifinals, where she was just barely edged by Petra Kvitova.

Along the way she talked about her struggles, her resurgence, the World No.1 and goals - here she is...

On seeminly dealing better with Sjögren's Syndrome lately...
"Physically I'm always working on getting better. Since I came back to the tour last year, I've always been trying new things to improve myself, always trying something new, always trying to get an edge.

"In the beginning I tried traditional medicine and different things, but I didn't think I was getting results, so I tried more untraditional things, and as of late I feel like I've been seeing better results with that. So for me the key has been to keep trying different things. It's like a tennis match - sometimes some things work and some things don't, and you just have to be patient with everything and keep fighting.

"It's a massive learning curve. It's a massive undertaking to learn how to play with all these issues."

What keeps her going to fight through it and return to the upper echelon of the game...
"Perhaps I don't have the same health as my opponents, but I just get out there and hold my head high no matter what, and I try not to think about it. I just can't go out onto the court with any fear.

"The motivation for me is that I have a lot left to give. I haven't had a lot of good luck, so I know my luck's bound to turn. And when I sit at home and see tennis on TV, I know I can be out there.

"I've trained my whole life for this. I won't give up that easily. Serena won't let me quit anyway!"

On Serena...
"It's awesome to see her play so well. She's an inspiration to me and to people around the world.

"She's my favorite player."

On what she would have done if she had an hour to kill in Tokyo...
"Definitely karaoke. I would also get my nails done - the nails are unbelievable in Japan. Fabulous. Serena's influence has rubbed off on me and I'm so into nails now. And obviously seeing the creativity of the people here - there are so many out of the box designers, and how the people dress here, it opens your mind. But I keep playing these three hour matches, so I haven't had much time to go out!"

On whether this is the best she's played in a long time...
"I haven't really thought about that - maybe I should. I'm just trying to live up to my potential more than anything. I just want to get the best out of myself. Quite obviously my main goal right now is to stay healthy, and beyond that I'm just trying to improve. Clearly my serve's getting better and better.

"So stay healthy, learn from the past, live in the moment and look forward to the future."

Venus Williams