Venus Williams
United States

  • Full name Venus Ebony Starr Williams
  • Birth date June 17, 1980
  • Birth place Lynwood, California
  • Current age 39 years 172 days
  • Height 6 ft 1 in
  • Style Explosive forehand with the fastest serve in the women's game
Venus Williams salutes the crowd

In statistical terms Venus Williams seems destined to enter the history books as the inferior of the Williams sisters, but there is no doubt that when it comes to the seminal moment in the annals of women's tennis, Venus will forever be the pivotal figure.

A three-time world number one, seven-time Grand Slam singles winner, and three-time Olympic Gold medallist, Venus Williams defines the word 'legend' in the world of tennis. Alongside sister Serena, the pair raised the bar in women's tennis and even now the majority of their peers are struggling to catch up.

However, when it comes to Venus' legacy, it is her courage off-court that will stand the test of time, after she put her neck on the chopping board in order to ensure women were put on an equal playing field with men when it came to prize money.

Initially rebuffed in 2005, Williams gained critical political backing via an essay published in The Times during 2006, finally forcing both the French Open and Wimbledon to bring their prize pots in line with what the men received - thus allowing Venus to realise Billy Jean King's dream.

On court, Venus' dominance alongside Serena became so powerful at the start of the millennium that it became the era of the Williams sisters. In all they have contested eight Grand Slam finals, with Venus painfully emerging triumphant on only two of those occasions. More impressively, the pair contested all four Grand Slams between the 2002 French Open and the 2003 Australian Open, the first time in the open era that this happened.

Raised and coached by her ever-supportive father, Venus played in her first US Open at the age of 17, typically flying straight through to the final to become the first woman to record such a feat since 1978.

By the age of 18 she was a top 10 player, eventually becoming the world number one in 2002. By then she had won four Grand Slam titles, notching up a 35-match winning streak in the process - a streak that is yet to be bettered.

Wimbledon has always been Williams' spiritual home, providing five of her seven Grand Slam singles titles, and it was unsurprisingly in England that she ended a four-year period of personal turmoil by lifting the famous trophy. Images from that event remain some of the most emotional ever taken as the tennis world embraced the Williams family following the fatal loss of their sister Yetunde.

More Wimbledon glory followed in 2007, this time in unexpected fashion as Venus became the lowest-seeded and lowest-ranked Wimbledon champion in history.

In all, Williams has 19 Grand Slam doubles and singles titles to her name, not to mention a world record for the fastest female serve struck in a main event (130mph).

After a period in the wilderness she is now established back among the top five players in the world, while her off-court achievements as a designer make her one of the most powerful women in America according to Ladies Home Journal.

In February 2010, Williams won back-to-back titles in Dubai and Acapulco to take her career total to 43, moving clear of Justine Henin and equalling Martina Hingis to make her the winningmost active women's player.

Career high Victory at Wimbledon in 2005 was as sentimental as it was incredible, as Williams paid the most fitting tribute to her sister by winning the trophy that matters to her most.

Career low Injury in 2006 costs Venus an enormous drop down the world rankings, allowing her to play only four tournaments in the calendar year.

Quotes "Somewhere in the world a little girl is dreaming of holding a giant trophy in her hands and being viewed as an equal to boys who have similar dreams." Venus Williams

"I knew she was tough but she's gone on to a whole different level. To play today knowing she was injured, she's definitely up there with the real fighters and champions." Serena Williams

Trivia In the single "Signs" by Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake there is a reference to Venus and her sister Serena: "Just like Venus and Serena, in the Wimbledon arena".


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Aug 29, 2013

Fading star ... Venus Williams on the attack

Aug 26, 2013

Venus Williams serves to Kirsten Flipkens

Aug 12, 2013

Venus Williams hits a backhand

Aug 5, 2013

Venus Williams and Serena Williams laugh during an exhibition doubles match

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