Giving Venus Williams the Credit She Deserves

Before the world forgets Serena Williams has an equally successful tennis player of a sister—Venus Williams. While she was not at par with Serena’s stellar tennis career, Venus has had glorious moments of her own.

Here are the highlights of Venus’ tennis career.

The Williams legacy

Serena has put it boldly:

There’s no way I would be at 23 without her. There’s no way I would be at one without her. There’s no way I would be anything without her. She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist.

Venus was one of the prominent faces of African-American women tennis players long before Serena entered the scene. Venus made a name for herself first, paving the way for her sister to dominate the world of tennis with 23 titles (and growing).

Since she was the model that Serena had growing up, the younger Williams credited her big sister the one who created the Williams legacy.

Racism and prejudice are very much alive, even in the tennis court. But the Williams sisters surmounted all the race-based criticisms hurled at them.

She also fought for equal prize money, particularly at Wimbledon, saying that in tennis, there should be no glass ceiling. That was in 2005. In 2006, the French Open closed to pay gap. While initially against it, and with pressure from the Tony Blair-headed British Parliament, Wimbledon changed its policies in 2007.

She won titles on her own

Overshadowed by the numbers of her sister’s, Venus has several career highs to boast of too.

First up, she was recognised as the 25th best player by Tennis Magazine in 2005. Time also named her as one of the 30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present, and Future. In 2012, the Tennis Channel also ranked her 22nd out of the 100 greatest tennis players of all time.

Venus was once the WTA’s No. 1, winning 49 titles to date. Speaking of which, she has seven Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals. 

She was one of the tennis elites with almost two decades of playing tennis. She has a career record of 810-245, which means she won 76.8% of all her matches.

Venus’ biggest enemy: herself

She was 38 today, but in 2017, Venus was the oldest female tennis player to play the semifinals game of the Australian Open. She also reached the finals of another Grand Slam tournament that same year. She was the oldest finalist at Wimbledon.

Sure, she is struggling to win a title lately. However, her fierceness and agility must not be ignored.

Not only the declining physical performance that naturally comes with age. Venus has asthma and Sjogren’s syndrome. She would have attacks during exercise routines and other physical activities. 

Couple that with an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue, pain, and swelling and you’d see an exhausted Venus before she even hit the court.

Still, she plays tennis for the love of the sport. She competes and wins or loses sometimes; most times in the past few years actually. Bottom-line, when her physicality permits, she shows up to play tennis.

 

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