By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Five reasons why Venus Williams will win a sixth Wimbledon title
LONDON, UK – In a wide-open draw, Venus Williams has sailed through on the lawns of SW19 as she eyes up a sixth Wimbledon title.
Her resurgence in 2017
The start of the year gave all who had followed Venus Williams‘ career through the highs of seven Grand Slam titles, including five here at Wimbledon, hope that this great athlete’s carer still had some longevity to it. That she came up against her pregnant sister, still chasing down Margaret Court’s record of 24 titles, the power of the younger Williams was too much on the day, but she has been in impressive form.
She has continued that form including dispatching the recently crowned French Open champion, and like Garbiñe Muguruza has dropped just one set on her way to the final.
She looks ready to rule on the grass.
Experience is everything
We saw in particular that the experience she has counted in great measure this week, especially in the semi-final against Britain’s Johanna Konta. She pinned the Brit down and made her play defensively, never allowing her to get any purchase on the match.
She has probably faced every kind of scenario known to a player over the course of her career. In fairness Muguruza has been in a Slam final for the last three years, but still you would have to give the edge to Williams both in general and on grass.
Age is just a number
Injuries and her diagnosis with Sjögrens Syndrome in 2011 made it look as though we would soon be denied the sight of Williams the elder on the court in the latter part of her career. Yet whatever Venus puts her mind to, she achieves. She has set up companies in in interior design and clothing, and earned herself a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
If she wins on Saturday she will be the oldest woman to win a Wimbledon title in the Open Era, actually overtaking Serena (34 years, 287 days) at 37 years and 28 days (based on age at the end of the tournament).
Records and Achievements keep on coming
In this tournament alone, she has made her 20th appearance (most among active players and was the oldest woman in the starting field at this year’s Championships.
In beating Wang Qiang in the second round, she passed Serena for most main draw matches among active players – now at 101 after the semi-final. By reaching the final she becomes the only player to have reached the fourth round or better in the last six Grand Slams.
This is the first time she has appeared in multiple Grand Slam finals in a calendar year since she finished as the runner up at the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2003.
Head to head
Williams has the edge over Muguruza in their head to head, winning the first three before Muguruza beat Williams in Rome this year. This is their first meeting at a Grand Slam, and their first on grass but Williams got the better of Muguruza in a final, beating her in Wuhan in 2015.
The hunger is still there – write her off at your peril. She admitted that times have been tough with the injuries and illness, saying:
“There were definitely some issues. I had a lot of issues. This year has been amazing in terms of my play, playing deep into the big events actually. Of course, I’m excited about being again in another final. Try to take it a step further.
“I feel very focused still. There’s still a lot to be done. I have one more match that I’d like to, you know, be the winner of. I have to go out there and take it and play well. But I like to take courage in the fact that I’ve been playing well this tournament and this year, and all these moments have led to this.
“In sport especially, you have injuries. You have illnesses. You’re not going to be always playing 100%. If I decide to walk out on the court, I try to just compete that day. That’s what I try to do.”
Williams and Muguruza are scheduled on Centre Court, at 2pm BST.
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