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The One Person in the World Not Elated About the Inauguration

7:04 PM, Jan 21, 2009 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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Even the coverage of the Australian Open was wall-to-wall Obama talk yesterday, with stalwarts such as Darin Cahill, Mary Carillo, and James Blake going on and on and on and on about the 44th American president. The one person trying to opt out of the chatter? Venus Williams. Some excerpts from her post-match press conference, where the media tried desperately to get her to gush about Obama and Venus, who's a pretty gracious presence, tried desperately to change the subject:

Q. There's a big event happening in a few hours back home. Does your mind wander back there with the inauguration? Does that inspire you at all?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, you know, I feel so off. I'm firmly in Australia time. Today is Wednesday? What is today?

Q. Tuesday.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, today is Tuesday. Uhm, I don't know really what's happening at home. I don't watch TV. I'm a book reader and stuff, so...

Q. Would you watch it at 3 a.m.?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I have a doubles match tomorrow. I really am not political at all. I don't take any political sides. But I obey laws, yes.

Q. Politics aside, does it inspire you with the inauguration and with president‑elect Barack Obama?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Can you be more specific, please?

Q. With him being elected as President, does that inspire you in terms of your heritage? Serena mentioned it did inspire her.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's exciting that in America we can have a President ‑‑ or that we can have diversity. We've had a long history in America of, you know, in the past racial strife. My parents grew up in the South, things like that. So it is nice to see that diversity, I guess.

Q. Were you surprised that he had such a broad‑based appeal beyond the African American community?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think he was the best candidate. So I'm happy that the best candidate was elected, so...

But I really am not a political expert. I know zero. Like I know a lot about tennis, so if you ask me about tennis, I can just go toe‑to‑toe with you [smiling].

How refreshing is that? Go Venus.