Venus seeks sixth Wimbledon title
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LONDON -- The competitive fire is still burning in Venus Williams
and, unlike some of her contemporaries who extinguished their careers early, the five-time Wimbledon champion plans to stick around until at least the 2012 Olympics.
Having watched rivals like Justine Henin
take early retirement at the top of their games, the 29-year-old Williams is still hungry for success after contesting seven of the nine finals at the All England Club since the turn of the millennium.
"I want to play the  Olympics here," Williams said.
"It's really not that far off. It's just, what, three years. So I definitely would love to be playing the Olympics here and representing, going for more golds."
Since making her debut in southwest London as a giggly teenager in 1997 with a head full of braids and beads, Williams has seen top players like Martina Hingis and Jennifer Capriati fall victim to burnout.
But Venus and her younger sister Serena still have the drive to win.
"Serena and I, we often talk about that. Wonder what happened to them [the players who retired early]," Williams said.
"We're still here and we're not leaving, so ... I don't see anything changing for a while."
While on other courts Venus can often get lost in the crowd, she adopts a regal air the moment she steps on to Wimbledon's lush green lawns and strikes fear into her opponents with the sheer force of her game.
She can equal Billie Jean King's tally of six Wimbledon singles titles over the next fortnight and the third seed was relishing the prospect of retaining the title that she won 12 months ago without dropping a set in the entire tournament.
"It's fantastic to look up and see a good number by your name, and it equals the Wimbledons. It's great to be a part of history. I already am," she said.
"If I can step it up a notch, it will be even more of an honor."