In 20 years at the highest level, Venus Williams has seen…

Jul 13, 2016, 5:22:47 PM

In 20 years at the highest level, Venus Williams has seen…
Her longevity outshines all of the other players’ in the 21st century’s tennis. And there’s a reason why : Venus Williams was already taking part in Grand Slam finals in the 20th century, from 1997. Here is an hommage to the older sister, who, once

Her longevity outshines all of the other players’ in the 21st century’s tennis. And there’s a reason why : Venus Williams was already taking part in Grand Slam finals in the 20th century, from 1997. Semi-finalist at Wimbledon and still among the Top 10 in 2016, Serena’s older sister has seen, in 20 years at the top of her sport…


… 7 Grand Slam titles in the singles : 5 at Wimbledon (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008) and 2 and the US Open (2000, 2001).


… the greatest summer of her career in the year 2000 : winning Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympic Games in three months.


… her younger sister Serena winning 22 Grand Slam titles


… and 14 Grand Slam titles together in the doubles…


… in 14 finals played ! A certain idea of the family’s infallibility.


… 4 Olympic gold medals : 1 in the singles (Sydney 2000) and 3 in the doubles with her sister (Sydney 2000, Pékin 2008, Londres 2012)…


… while waiting for Rio where the sisters will once again be favorite.


… the world number 1 spot in the singles (11 weeks) and in the doubles (8).


… 2 wins over her sister in a Grand Slam final.


… or 2 of Serena’s 6 defeats in 28 major finals played.


… against 6 defeats in a Grand Slam final against her sister, on the 7 lost overall. In other words : to defeat a Williams, there’s nothing like…another Williams. Tough love.


… 4 consecutive defeats in a Grand Slam final between Roland-Garros 2002 and the Australian Open 2003 : yes, while Serena accomplished a Grand Slam over two different seasons, Venus was achieving Grand Slam of lost finals.


… a Grand Slam over two different seasons in the doubles, between Wimbledon 2009 and Roland-Garros 2010. We’ll let you guess who was her partner.


… « the greatest women’s match in the 2000 decade », an honorary distinction received for the Wimbledon final she played against Lindsay Davenport in 2005, and won 9/7 at the last set after having saved a match point when she hit a backhand in terrific style.



… 71 entries in Grand Slam tournaments, a record in the Open era, shared with Amy Frazier for now, but which she will probably hold by herself after the next US Open.


… 19 entries at Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, a record for the two most prestigious tournaments in the world.


… 10 defeats in the first week of Roland-Garros.


… 12 quarter finals - at least - in Wimbledon.


… the supremacy of the Williams family at Wimbledon : between 2000 and 2012, the sisters have won 10 of the possible 13 titles at stake.


… the record for the most powerful serve on the women’s circuit (207 km/h at the US Open 2007). She held it until 2014, before it was broken by Sabine Lisicki.


… at this point of her career, no match played against the French Lucie Renault, the Brit Sarah McClaren or the Italian Giulia Ferrari. Too bad : Williams-Renault, McLaren-Williams, or a Williams-Ferrari confrontation would have shot off, at top speed !


… an American Dream Team which logically won the BNP Paribas Fed Cup in 1999 : Venus and Serena, with Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, and Chanda Rubin. With Billie Jean King on the bench.


… a Sjörgen syndrome, an illness multiplying the sensation of tiredness which impacted the second part of her career : between September 2010 and March 2012, she only took part in 4 tournaments in 12 months.


… rivalries with Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport.


… the resistance of the grannies Sterffi, Monica and Arantxa.


… Iva Majoli winning Roland-Garros, for what was Venus’ first entry in a major tournament.


… Jana Novotna’s triumph at Wimbledon, during a summer which has seen France becoming the football world champion.


… Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters’ peak for a four-ways rivalry : the Williams against Belgium.


… the shooting stars Myskina, Ivanovic, Safina.


… the Russian golden age with Sharapova, Kuznetsova, Dementieva.


… the irregular youngsters Kvitova, Azarenka, and Halep.


… and maybe the rise of the future star of her era, Garbine Muguruza.


… Marion Bartoli in a Wimbledon final.


… Anna Kournikova as a tennis player. Even in the Top 10.


… the Wimbledon winner’s bal with Goran Ivanisevic.


… a nemesis : Tsvetana Pironkova, who defeated her 3 times in 4 matches, the 3 times in a Grand Slam tournament (Open d’Australie 2006, Wimbledon 2010 et 2011) !


… a first WTA match played, and won, at the age of 14 and 4 months, against a Top 100 player (Shaun Stafford, 58e).


… a last WTA title (to date) won at the age of 35 and 7 months, at the start of 2016.


… a first professional final on the prestigious scene of the US Open, in 1997, at 17.


… a semi-final at Wimbledon at the age of 36 and 1 months, making her the third oldest player to reach that stage.


… 239 matches won in Grand Slam tournaments, the 5th highest total behind the quartet of players having won 18 titles or more, composed of Navratilova, Evert, Graf and Serena.


… 6 defeats on the ruthless score of 6/0 6/0 : the first in 1997, the latest in 2015. The splits.


… only won player with a truly superior record than her in the 21st century : yes, her younger sister who won 22 Grand Slams and who, at 35, says of Venus that she is « my best friend. My twin. My heart. »


By Guillaume Willecoq