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Venus Williams Says She’s in Better Shape Now than When She Posed for ESPN’s Body Issue

Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams won her first match at SW 19 since 2011 on Monday, taking out Spaniard Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor in three sets, but, not surprisingly, talk in the press room centered around topics other than her first-round victory.

More: Venus Williams, Tomas Berdych to Grace ESPN's Body Issue

Williams was asked about Andy Murray’s hiring of Amelie Mauresmo as his newest coach, to which the 34-year-old replied in her always candid fashion: “I didn't know they were working together. I'm sorry. I know they are now. It's great. A coach is a coach; it doesn't matter what gender it is. That's my opinion.”

Williams, who will be featured along with ATP star Tomas Berdych in the pages of ESPN’s upcoming Body Issue, also was asked about her decision to pose nude for the magazine. Apparently Williams had a good time with the shoot.

“I just kept cracking jokes and that definitely made it fun,” she said. “It was interesting, though. I think I'm in better shape now. Hope we can do a reshoot.”

When asked what made her decide to do the issue, Williams replied: “I think I did it because Serena did it, so... I don't know. I think she was a big influence on me.”

Williams will face Kurumi Nara in the second round. Though the five-time champion is not considered a favorite to go deep in the draw, she remains unfazed by detractors hat claim the game has passed her by.

“I'm not looking for anyone to believe in me or anything like that,” she said. “You have to believe in yourself these days. I have nothing to prove, nothing to hide, nothing to lose. So for me it's about continually playing better and getting back up every single time when things might not go my way. It's not going to go the way of 127 people in this draw. It's going to go the way of one person. So you just keep going.”

Enjoy a full video feature of Venus talking about the Body Issue here