Lawn Tennis
Venus' Star Still Shines Brightly Eleven Years Later
By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2008 12:25pm CST USA
Venus' Star Still Shines Brightly Eleven Years Later
Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams
ROME, Italy (—Some tennis players burn out and retire in their mid-twenties as millionaires when some of us are only beginning in the work force. Some top tennis players can win twenty or more matches in a row. Others struggle to win enough matches to stay on the professional tour.

But I can think of only one tennis player who can lose in the first round of one tournament and then two weeks later completely dismantle the field to win Wimbledon.

Venus Williams' Wimbledon singles titles won: 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007

That player is the American and 9th ranked Venus Williams. Even with Venus' sister, Serena Williams you know she most likely will reach at least the quarterfinals of a tournament before she might beat herself with unforced errors. With Venus however I think more drama enters into the equation which is in part what makes her one of the most exciting players to watch in the world.

I first saw Venus Williams play a tennis match at Indian Wells in 1997, her first full year on the WTA Tour. Williams upset then fellow teen and 5th seeded Iva Majoli of Croatia in the round of sixteen 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 in a hard fought baseline battle and then broke out into an impromptu dance at the net.

In the quarterfinals in a night match, Williams smiled and waved to the TV camera in between smashing aces down the tee and covering the court like a gazelle. The experience of fellow American and 4th seeded Lindsay Davenport proved the decider however as Williams would lose the match 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(7-1) but gain a ton of fans.

Later that same year Williams would reach the US Open championship final in her debut.

Six grand slam titles and eleven years later, Williams the reigning Wimbledon champion, still excites tennis crowds worldwide and has crossed over from tennis to become a mainstream global celebrity.

Noted for her power game, Williams today in the third round takes to the slower clay courts at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome where she faces the tough Russian Vera Zvonareva at 1:30pm CST USA.

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