Posted on Thu, Apr. 03, 2003
Supportive Venus: Serena (17-0) has 'great chance' for perfect year
BY MICHELLE KAUFMAN
If Venus Williams is jealous of, or discouraged by, her sister Serena's success, she isn't saying.
The elder of the sisters sounded as supportive as ever Wednesday on a conference call to promote this weekend's JP Morgan Chase Tennis Challenge at the Naples Bath and Tennis Club, a benefit event for their mother Oracene's charity, the OWL Foundation.
Venus, who lost in the quarterfinals of the NASDAQ-100 Open last week and has lost to her sister in the finals of four straight Grand Slam events, said she wouldn't put it past Serena to go undefeated this season. Serena won the NASDAQ final Saturday, stretching her win streak to 17-0 this year. She is 60-4 since March 2002.
''I think Serena has a great chance to do it,'' Venus said. ``It's not easy to win every time, but other sports have had unbelievable records, so why not tennis?''
Both Williams sisters will play in the Naples charity event Saturday. Serena will play Monica Seles in a 1 p.m. singles match, followed by a doubles match between Serena- Jana Novotna and Venus-Seles. The players will also attend a $250-a-plate gala, at which Roberta Flack will perform.
The OWL Foundation (short for Oracene Williams Learning Foundation) helps fund educational programs for children with learning disabilities.
Venus Williams insisted the NASDAQ defeat has not dampened her spirits.
''I just had a bad day,'' she said of her loss to Meghann Shaughnessy. ``It's just one tournament. I'm moving on and getting ready for the clay season and the French Open.''