The real Venus
took this from the wtaworld site translated by josh
I'll give it a try...
For top tennisplayer Venus Williams life is more than just sport
All tennis players agree : Venus Williams is the best player in the world. Soon the American has the chance of really becoming number 1. A ranking that according to her will once be occupied by Kim and Justine. "You are so lucky, such a small country and two fantastic players." An exclusive interview with the strongest of the Williams sisters, this week in Antwerp. And just like most sport stars she knows that self relativity scores well : "At the moment tennis is just my carreer."
Some say Venus is cool and distant and that's also how she comes over at first. But that indifference easily disappears. Behind the arrogant look hides a spiritual woman, who can put herself into perspective and is also very quick-witted.
What made you play this tournament cause it wasn't on your schedule at first?
V : I was coming anyway cause I was gonna play doubles with Serena. When she had to withdraw due to injury, I chose to play singles. I had heard that Antwerp is a beautiful city, well known for its gastronomy. I love culture. I just went to the museum; I ate a waffle with whipped cream and cherries and later today I will visit some churches.
I see you went shopping too. That's another hobby of yours?
V : Indeed. My mom and I couldn't resist to all the beautiful clothing shops. I live in Florida where it's warm all year round but here it's pretty cold. I bought some long winter coats today. I'm crazy about long coats.
There's a really big chance that you'll be number 1 at the end of the week. How important is that recognition for you?
V : When you're the best it's logical to be at the top of the rankings. Being the number 1 player is certainly something I want, but not so much an objective. What keeps me awake are the slams. I won Wimbledon and the USOpen last year. Those victories have changed my vision on tennis. It's all a mental thing. Being confident and believing in yourself, that's what it's all about. But of course you have to realise this on the crucial moments. That's the reason why sometimes it turns out wrong.
Tennis is important but few players can place their sport in perspective like you do.
V : Sport is only a part of my life. I'm a do-it-all, I'm interested in hundreds of different things and I wanna try it all. Tennis is my carreer at the moment, but I also wanna make it in the world of design, I'm very eager to learn, I like arts and culture -- That's why I like Antwerp -- and languages are my fads and fancies, although : mon français n'est pas très bon! (laughs)
,,The emptiness without God''
How did the events of September 11 touch you?
V : I'm an American and just like all Americans I was in shock. I still can't understand how people can be capable of such madness. The consequences are still felt all over the world and personally I have to deal with certain discomforts : I don't fly anymore unless it's really necessary. September 11 also made me see a lot of things in perspective. Sometimes I tell myself : tennis is nice, but there are much more important things in life. I pray every day for the victims of the attacks.
What are the values in life that give you strength to continue?
V : First of all my belief in God. I believe in his existence, in his goodness. Walk through the Louvre, admire all the paintings. Michelangelo, the Flemish primitives, the classical masters : almost all paint biblical themes. In the past everything evolved around God. We are losing those values now. That's very sad. People who live without God, live in emptiness. I'm convinced that's the reason for so many human suffering.
What else is important to you?
V : My family, my four sisters and of course my parents. Without the support of my fater and mother I would never have been a tennis player and I couldn't live this life. They raised me into the woman I am today, with all my talents and faults. They gave me the opportunity to reach out for certain things, my only merit is that I took them with both hands.
,,I'm growing old''
Tennis also made you rich.
V : Not only financially but also mentally, humanly. Winning tournaments and make good money, nothing's wrong with that, but it has to remain pleasant. If I wanna play well, I have to feel good, and having the people who I need around me. The rest follows.
You sister shares your ambition. Doesn't that result in frictions?
V : We both play good tennis and we both wanna reach the top. There will be days we'll have to face eachother and then there can only be one winner. Whoever play best, will be lucky. That's what the game is all about. But that doesn't change our relationship. Serena is one of my four sisters and we get along fine.
Kim and Justine are being treated like heros. Does that surprise you?
V : Certainly not. You're very lucky. Such a small country with two top players. Justine is a tennis artist. What she can do with the ball is phenomenal. And Kim is more than just a player dictating play from the baseline. Both have the potential to become number 1 one day. They are both young too, 18 and 19.
Said a grandma of 21...
V : (smiles) Yes, I'm growing old, my bones are cracking, I'm wearing glasses and I have artrosis!
Rise Sparkle and Shine