Venus Williams didn’t win this year’s Australian Open Ladies Final, but she certainly stole the show and with it, many hearts along the way.
Despite a resurgent two years on the WTA tour, not many people would have envisaged that the 36 year old, seven-time Grand Slam champion, would advance to the second week of the Australian Open, let alone be standing next to her younger sister, Serena, who defeated her in the final, 6-4 6-4, to win her 23rd Grand Slam Ladies Singles title and with it, being crowned as the overall record holder in the open era of Ladies tennis.
Williams kicked off her 2017 tour schedule at the ASB Classic in New Zealand, but was forced to withdraw after winning her first round match against Jade Lewis, due to a pain in her right arm.
She entered the Australian Open, seeded 13th, and had a tough first round match against Kateryna Kozlova of the Ukraine, which she won 7-6(5) 7-5. She then had two easier matches – first against the Suisse player, Stefanie Voegele 6-3 6-2 in the second round, followed by a 6-1 6-0 victory against China’s Ying-Ying Duan, in the third round.
Whilst Venus was finding some good form, the much anticipated Ladies Final between the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded players, Angelique Kerber and younger sister, Serena, was off the table, after the unseeded American player, Coco Vandeweghe, ousted Kerber 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round.
Venus continued chipping away with a fourth round 6-3 7-5 victory against Germany’s Mona Barthel. She then needed 1 hour and 47 minutes to defeat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 7-6(3) in the quarter-finals.
But, her moment under the Aussie sun definately came in the form of a semi-final clash against fellow American, the surprise “seed slayer”, Coco Vandeweghe. The first set went to a tie-break, which Vandeweghe won. Williams, who seemed to be down and out, fought back to win the second set and after 2 hours and 20 minutes on court, broke Vandeweghe’s serve to clinch the match 6-7(7) 6-2 6-3.
Williams, who is known for her utter composure on court, could not contain her emotions as the reality of what she had just achieved sunk in at a rapid pace – https://youtu.be/2aAmdyIAeQ4
After the Australian Open, she lost to KiKi Mladenovic in the fourth round of the St. Petersburg Open, played and won an exhibition match against Garbine Muguruza at Madison Square Gardens, and is currently through to the third round of the Indian Wells tournament.
Along with her tour matches, she will also be competing in an exhibition match against Eugenie Bouchard in Atlanta on July 23rd.
Venus is also determined to take part in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
But it’s not just on the court that Venus excels.
She is the CEO of VStarr Interiors, a design company, launched her own fashion line, EleVen by Venus Williams, which showcased its upcoming spring collection during the Madison Square Gardens exhibition matches, is part-owner of the Miami Dolphins football team with sister Serena, and is currently working towards her master’s degree in interior architecture for her VStarr company.
Video courtesy of the Australian Open TV