Eleven years later; however, a left knee injury last year has set the American up this year for a bizarre record of sorts as she could become the only top player ever to play the four grand slams back to back with no other Tour tournaments in between.
Venus Williams and her sister the fourth ranked Serena Williams of the USA both focus on grand slam tournaments, but both normally compete in several WTA Tour events as well.
In 2010 after the French Open, Williams skipped the grass court warm-up tournaments as is her normal routine preparation for Wimbledon. But after playing Wimbledon with a knee problem and losing in the quarterfinals in straight sets, Williams would also skip the summer US Open Series hard-court American tournaments.
At the US Open in September, Williams; hampered in her training and movement still by her troublesome left knee, would reach the semifinals before losing to the eventual champion Kim Clijsters of Belgium 4-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-4.
Williams was sidelined for the remainder of last year due to her left knee injury but would finish the year ranked fifth, her first top five year end finish since 2002 thanks in part due to the fact that Williams was one of only two WTA Tour players to reach at least the fourth round in all four grand slam tournaments.
Starting the new year earlier in January, the American showed some rust and some unwillingness to fully physically exert her left knee and lost two exhibition matches in Hong Kong. But the big server is set to only now compete in her first WTA Tour match since the US Open.
Williams takes to the courts in Melbourne, Australia in the first round of the Australian Open Monday (Sunday night USA time). However in her opening round match, her tennis dress may overshadow her tennis itself after Williams has promised this week "more skin," which was a reoccurring theme of her self-styled Eleven line of tennis dresses from 2010.
In her best ever Melbourne finish, Williams reached the championship final before losing to Serena Williams in 2003. Last year the American would hold a commanding lead before committing several costly errors to lose to Na Li of China in the quarterfinals 2-6, 7-6(7-4), 7-5 in a match which lasted two hours and forty-seven minutes.