Venus Williams Returns To The US Open: Five Things To Know About The Brilliant Athlete

Twenty years ago, Venus Williams made the US Open Finals as a 17-year old and seven years ago she had to drop out of the US Open for health reasons. She has made her return this year clinching a place in the semi finals after she won against Petra Kvitova.

The Williams sisters; Serena Williams and Venus Williams, have been tennis royalty for a long time. They have won various tennis trophies both separately and together and although Serena may have found herself more under the public glare in recent times, Venus Williams who is the elder of the two is every much the star that her sister is.

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Venus Williams has been ranked world No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association on three occasions, for a total of 11 weeks and she is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis.

After her win against Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals, the 37-year-old will be the oldest female tennis player to compete in a major semifinal since Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1994.

Here Are Five Things To Know About Venus Williams

Titles Won

With 49 singles titles, Williams is behind only Serena among active players on the WTA Tour. Her 35-match winning streak from the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2000 Generali Ladies Linz tournament final is the longest since January 1, 2000. She is also one of only three active WTA players to have made the finals of all four Grand Slams, along with Serena and Russian Maria Sharapova.

She has also won fourteen Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. Her five Wimbledon singles titles ties her with two other women for eighth place on the all-time list, but gives her sole possession of No. 4 on the Open Era List, only trailing Navratilova’s 9 titles and Serena’s and Graf’s 7 titles.

Venus Williams

Records Achieved

Venus Williams became the world No. 1 on February 25, 2002. She was the first African American woman to do so in the Open Era. With her seven Grand Slam singles, she is in a tie for 12th on the all-time list and a tie for 8th on the Open Era list, more than any other active female player except her sister Serena.

At the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Williams extended her record as the all-time leader, male or female, in Grand Slams played, with 75. She also broke the record for time elapsed between first and most recent grand slam singles finals appearances.

There is also the fact that she has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women’s doubles, along with a silver medal in mixed doubles. She is the only tennis player to have won a medal at four separate Olympic Games. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Williams became only the second player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic Games, after Helen Wills Moody in 1924. All this also means that she holds the record for the most Olympic medals won by a male or female tennis player, shared with Kathleen McKane Godfree.

Auto Immune Illness

In 2011, Venus Williams was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. The autoimmune disease known as Sjogren’s syndrome caused debilitating joint pain, swelling, numbness, and fatigue. Sjogren is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy tissues.

It has no cure but there are treatments that make symptoms more manageable: Artificial tears and saliva stimulants can ease dryness; anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce joint and muscle inflammation, and certain drugs can help quell the overactive immune response.

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The autoimmune disease had caused her to drop out of the US Open a decision that she had described as extremely difficult at the time.

Venus And Serena Rivalry

Venus Williams has played younger sister Serena in 28 professional matches since 1998. To date, the score card on their playoffs has Venus winning 11 of those matches and Serena winning 17.

They have met in 15 Grand Slam tournaments, with Venus winning five matches to Serena’s ten. They have met in nine Grand Slam tournament finals, with Venus winning twice. Of the six occasions where they met in an earlier round, the victor has gone on to win the championship four times (Venus once, in the 2000 Wimbledon Championships).

Venus Williams

Other Interests

Venus Williams has an associate degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Indiana University East.

In August 2009, Williams and her sister Serena became part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. She is also the chief executive officer of her interior design firm V Starr Interiors located in Jupiter, Florida. She teamed with retailer Steve & Barry’s to launch her own fashion line, EleVen in 2007.