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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Venus has eye on the final

Photo Titled Venus into the semi-finals
Venus Williams celebrates her quarter-final victory over Agnieszka Radwanska.
Venus Williams did not contradict Agnieszka Radwanska when her beaten quarter-final opponent predicted that Venus would win her sixth Wimbledon title in an all-Williams final this weekend. But the defending champion, while saying, "I do a lot of things right", stressed that both she and younger sister Serena had earned their fame and fortune.
As to whether she felt invincible at Wimbledon, having appeared in seven finals in the past nine years, winning five, Venus smiled: "I'd like to say yes, but I really do work at it. Serena and I work real hard, we work day in and day out. To close these matches out takes a lot of work."
Venus has now won 32 consecutive sets at Wimbledon, the longest set-winning streak since Martina Navratilova won 40 between the 1982 and 1985 finals.
The last time Venus dropped a set was in the third round to Akiko Morigami in 2007. "Being in the semi-finals again is obviously where I want to be right now. I would love it to be an all-Williams final and so would [Serena]. That would be great."
Although Wimbledon is where Venus has enjoyed her greatest triumphs, she also has two US Opens among the 41 titles she has collected, and is the only active player to have won more than 40 tour singles, despite being selective about her playing commitments.
"Most players like to play a little more than I do," she said. "But you have to find that happy medium of being part of a business plan that works and also doing what's best for me. I'd like to hang around a little longer in my career, too," said the 29-year-old.
As to how long she planned to continue, Venus claimed that she and Serena had not only talked about competing at the 2012 Olympics in London but also discussed playing in the doubles at the 2016 Games, too, hoping they would be staged in Chicago. "That's pretty much where our timeline is heading, so somewhere in between."
The sisters are seeded - and ranked - second and third, behind Dinara Safina and Venus claims that, despite any rumours to the contrary, she pays attention to the rankings. "I know where my ranking is and I'm trying to move up. That's what I pay attention to, mine and Serena's. Also our doubles, because we haven't had a ranking in a long time in doubles.
"We are definitely the frontrunners in tennis, as far as being some of the best players out there. But I still look forward to the challenge of whoever is across the net."
On Thursday it is Safina who will be across the net in the semi-finals and Venus has this warning for the world number one. "She has the top ranking but I have more experience in this tournament and more success."
Acknowledging that she might have to beware Safina's aggressive style, Venus pointed out that she, too, knows how to play aggressive tennis. "I also have strategy. Maybe it doesn't look like it, but I do. I think that's my secret weapon, that it doesn't look like I'm thinking, but I am."

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