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CanIGetAWhat
Jun 25th, 2006, 12:58 AM
Venus descending - but don't dare count her out

Champion won't quit until she has the full silver set

By Ronald Atkin at Wimbledon

Published: 25 June 2006

If the criterion for winning at Wimbledon is solely one of form and fitness, Venus Williams could be written off right now. But Venus, as she showed last year, is a class act, an act with a difference that defies analysis. So here she comes again, in defence of the crown she has captured three times, having played just four tournaments and 14 matches this year (won 10, lost four), but talking a great fight.

Wimbledon have responded to Venus's track record by elevating her from a ranking of 12 to a seeding of six, the only piece of tinkering with the women's seeds, and it would seem sound judgement, since she won last summer as 14th seed. "Twelfth in the rankings is not where I belong, in my head I'm always a champ," is her particular explanation for this one.

After defeat at the quarter-final stage of the French Open, Venus flew home to Florida, something she regularly does between the two Grand Slams of Europe, opting to do her preparation for Wimbledon on hard courts and arriving in London last Wednesday. It's enough, she claims. "I have no problem adapting to grass, I kinda rough it." Acknowledging "I'm not playing as well as I'm capable of", she says we will see more consistency from her at Wimbledon than has been apparent at her three tournaments on the European clay: Warsaw, Rome and Paris. In Rome, beaten in the semi-finals by Martina Hingis, she admitted making "about 30,000 errors" after capturing the first set 6-0.

So can she win Wimbledon back to back, as she did in 2000-01? "I don't come to a tournament not expecting to win," she parries. "I think I have the skills to be a contender wherever I play. Winning again is the goal and I am confident I can do what it takes, but Grand Slams are a long couple of weeks and I'm sure some of the other players will have something to say about that.

"And nothing ever comes on a silver platter," she adds, "or should I say a Rosewater Dish?" Venus is excited about the traditional champion's walk on to Centre Court on Tuesday to begin the defence of her title. "I have done it twice already and I welcome it every time, because it's an honour and a privilege."

Having clocked up her 26th birthday before flying out from Florida, the woman who has won two US Opens as well as the three Wimbledons recognises that time is flitting by. "I know I need to be out there making it happen. Be aggressive, fly to the moon. There is only so long your career lasts, I can't keep playing until I'm 50. Maybe Navratilova can, but I'm not as strong as she is. I've got to do what I can right now, while I am still young and ready to go."

Has she, then, set a retirement date? "Yeah, but I'm not talking about it. I'll be around for a while yet, torturing you guys for quite a few more years." The question of retirement has more frequently been posed about her younger sister, Serena, who has not played since the Australian Open in January, but who is talking - yet again - about another return to the tour, this time at the Cincinnati tournament a week after Wimbledon ends. "At the French Open," says Venus, "people were asking me if Serena is really injured or is she retiring. I told them, 'First of all, don't count out us Williamses; second, I do know when she is coming back; and third, I'm not telling you.'" But now the word is out, and it is Cincinnati.

The dismal news for American women's tennis is that Venus is the only seeded American this year, or as she puts it, "a lone flag waving gently in the wind". She adds: "I don't know what has happened. People keep asking me, and if I knew what is going on I would tell, but I don't. Hopefully, soon there will be some kind of resurgence, but until that time I'll still be around carrying that flag. Serena will be back quite soon and both of us can still make some waves."

As well as her singles defence, Venus lets on, she is very excited about the prospect of entering the mixed doubles, since she is apparently attempting to collect all the titles from all of the Grand Slams before calling it a day. She will not play women's doubles "because I only play with Serena", but says she has been approached by three males keen on partnering her.

"I really, really want to win the mixed here," she says. "I have kind of decided against Federer as my partner, I need to call Serena and ask what she thinks I should do." Last year, with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, she won one round at Wimbledon, but claims it helped her become singles champion. "It made the world of difference to my game. I played mixed before I played Mary Pierce and, seriously, it changed my whole game. I got so much better."

Something else she has learned in the absence forced by her elbow injury is "the ability to accept my limitations and don't expect you'll be better next day."

So now the aim is "staying healthy and really getting in the groove"; in time, she hopes, to do well at Wimbledon, because it means more to her than any other tournament. "Wimbledon is the pinnacle," proclaims Venus. And she stands primed to scale it once more.

IN THE COURT OF KINGS AND QUEENS

TOP 16 MEN'S SEEDS

1 Roger Federer (Switz)

2 Rafael Nadal (Sp)

3 Andy Roddick (US)

4 David Nalbandian (Arg)

5 Ivan Ljubicic (Croa)

6 Lleyton Hewitt (Aus)

7 Mario Ancic (Croa)

8 James Blake (US)

9 Nikolay Davydenko (Rus)

10 Fernando Gonzalez (Chile)

11 Tommy Robredo (Sp)

12 Thomas Johansson (Swe)

13 Tomas Berdych (Cz Rep)

14 Radek Stepanek (Cz Rep)

15 Sébastien Grosjean (Fr)

16 Gaston Gaudio (Arg)

TOP 16 WOMEN'S SEEDS

1 Amélie Mauresmo (Fr)

2 Kim Clijsters (Bel)

3 Justine Henin-Hardenne (Bel)

4 Maria Sharapova (Rus)

5 Svetlana Kuznetsova (Rus)

6 Venus Williams (US)

7 Elena Dementieva (Rus)

8 Patty Schnyder (Switz)

8 Anastasia Myskina (Rus)

10 Nicole Vaidisova (Cz Rep)

11 Francesca Schiavone (It)

12 Martina Hingis (Switz)

13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld (Ger)

14 Dinara Safina (Rus)

15 Daniela Hantuchova (Slovak)

16 Flavia Pennetta (It)

RenaSlam.
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:05 AM
So is she playing mixed?

Paneru
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:06 AM
"I really, really want to win the mixed here," she says. "I have kind of decided against Federer as my partner, I need to call Serena and ask what she thinks I should do." Last year, with Mark Knowles of the Bahamas, she won one round at Wimbledon, but claims it helped her become singles champion. "It made the world of difference to my game. I played mixed before I played Mary Pierce and, seriously, it changed my whole game. I got so much better."


:tape: :haha:

Glad she wants to play MD again
and is healthy to do so! :cool:

VeeReeDavJCap81
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:17 AM
Why wouldn't she want Federer as her partner? :shrug:

venusstar
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:22 AM
Federer was probably a joke. I'm sure if he asked she would say yes.

Lulu.
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:27 AM
I wonder who she is going to play with. If Federer asked her i know she said yes

dreamgoddess099
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:32 AM
Let me get this straight, she's thinking about turning down a chance to play mixed doubles with Federer?:smash: Is she serious? :lol:

Paneru
Jun 25th, 2006, 01:33 AM
I wonder who she is going to play with. If Federer asked her i know she said yes

Same here.

Besides, I think Roger showed in Halle that the
clay season really took alot out of him and I think
expending that type of energy at Wimbledon to play
both wouldn't do him any favors.

Pureracket
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:22 AM
Well, Venus doesn't need to have to worry about singles and carrying Roger through this tournament.

darrinbaker00
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:27 AM
Well, Venus doesn't need to have to worry about singles and carrying Roger through this tournament.
If Roger got within 100 feet of Venus or any other female, Mirka would castrate him. There's no question who's in charge of that relationship. ;)

Pureracket
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:30 AM
If Roger got within 100 feet of Venus or any other female, Mirka would castrate him. There's no question who's in charge of that relationship. ;)You're kinda right.

Mr_Molik
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:31 AM
wow federer/venus would OWN

vw.
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:32 AM
Yay! Can't wait to see who Venus partners with!

Knizzle
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:38 AM
Poor Rogi, he's not good enough for Venus....maybe in a few years Rogi, hang in there.

Stamp Paid
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:39 AM
Federer/Venus would be too good for words.
I hope she was joking, and that Federer will ask her for real.
And that she'll say yes.

alwayshingis
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:43 AM
I'll say it right now. Martina H and Venus better draw each other in Mixed...and they better show it on TV.

darrinbaker00
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:47 AM
Yay! Can't wait to see who Venus partners with!
I'm hoping for one of the Bryans, but it will probably be Mark Knowles again.

PLP
Jun 25th, 2006, 02:56 AM
I'll say it right now. Martina H and Venus better draw each other in Mixed...and they better show it on TV.
I thought Martina said she wouldn't play anything but singles?

I am sure what Venus said about Roger was a joke...she would say yes I am sure but I doubt he would play mixed at a GS...and if he did it would probably be with Hingis again :)

No matter who Venus plays Mixed with it's a great deciscion by her to play, it will definitely tighten up her overall game>P

borisy
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:02 AM
I thought Martina said she wouldn't play anything but singles?

I am sure what Venus said about Roger was a joke...she would say yes I am sure but I doubt he would play mixed at a GS...and if he did it would probably be with Hingis again :)

No matter who Venus plays Mixed with it's a great deciscion by her to play, it will definitely tighten up her overall game>P

when will we finally get to see Martina play mixed doubles with Radek???

40-0
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:17 AM
great article, typical V!

i read once that venus was thinking about retirement on the olympics 2012 when she gets past the 30 years old.

darrinbaker00
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:19 AM
when will we finally get to see Martina play mixed doubles with Radek???
I heard there was a video of that circulating around the Web... :devil:

tennnisfannn
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:31 AM
the mention of federer is a joke simply becuase top men don't play doubles, there is way too many sets of tennis to play. once in a while a top male will play it just to get in the groove.

40-0
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:35 AM
i think she was joking about roger, she said she would call serena, im 100% sure serena will say: ARE U CRAAAZZZY? OF COURSE!

40-0
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:38 AM
venus playing mixed last year did well on her volleys and first serve! so its a must to do so again!

venus_rulez
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:48 AM
I'm sure she meant that she wouldn't partner with Federer because it would be too easy and Venus is a hard worker she likes a challenege. She could stay in her chair and still win the title with Federer on her team. :lol:

Venus Forever
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:01 AM
If Venus wasn't joking about Roger, which I am sure she was, I would soley determine on the fact that she says she wants to WIN the Mixed Doubles. And the only way for Venus to WIN the Mixed Doubles is for her partner NOT ot withdraw when they get deep into their own Single's tournament, which Roger could very well do with all the tennis he has played the past few months.

Venus is no doubtedly looking for a Double's Specialist, who would NEVER withdraw from the tournament, unless of course injured.

Of course, all speculation. :p

WF4EVER
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:45 AM
No-one knows why venus made that Federer comment; maybe she was just wishful thinking. Furthermore, as a Fed fan I seriously don't expect him to play mixed doubles after his tough FO and halle weeks. I'm sure Venus would love to play mixed with Fed but if she doesn't want to she has that right, doesn't she? i don't think she'd have to justify that to anyone (and I'm a much bigger Fed fan than I am a Vee fan.

Yet, I'm not surprised vee intends to play mixed doubles, she's said it's one of her goals so it was fully expected. i don't care who she plays with as long as it helps her win a Wimby title whether singles or mixed doubles.

SAEKeithSerena
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:46 AM
she's been injured..........get ready for the return of the williamses. i love how everyone doubts them, but get ready

akosijepoy
Jun 25th, 2006, 05:39 AM
my dream is for Venus and Martina Hignis or Lindsey Davenport to play doubles together. I really do!! for mixed one of the bryans or bjorkman

Haute
Jun 25th, 2006, 06:06 AM
Just remembered, Venus said that her favorite male tennis player is Fabrice. Might we see her partnering up with him?

santhuruu
Jun 25th, 2006, 06:48 AM
It would be great for both Federer and Venus to play mixed doubles, but I think that won't happen. Still hopefully for Venus entering the mixed doubles.

hingis-seles
Jun 25th, 2006, 07:55 AM
Has she, then, set a retirement date? "Yeah, but I'm not talking about it. I'll be around for a while yet, torturing you guys for quite a few more years."

:spit: :lol: :haha: :worship:

Viktymise
Jun 25th, 2006, 11:37 AM
great article, typical V!

i read once that venus was thinking about retirement on the olympics 2012 when she gets past the 30 years old.
I read that too :), i hope she partners up with someone good but she did that last yr with Mark Knowle and they struggled a bit, i think it will be hard because it will only be their first tournie together and they wont have gelled yet, maybe shell go for Max Mirnyi like when she won her other ones

TomTennis
Jun 25th, 2006, 11:46 AM
:bounce: :hearts: :drool: Mixed doubles! So exicted!!!!

:lol: lmao, of course it was a joke about Federer! :lol:

Cant wait to see who she is playing with, and cant wait to see her walk onto center court on tuesday!

Paneru
Jun 25th, 2006, 03:33 PM
Just remembered, Venus said that her favorite male tennis player is Fabrice. Might we see her partnering up with him?
I thought he was playing with Momo?

henmanhill
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:12 PM
If Roger got within 100 feet of Venus or any other female, Mirka would castrate him. There's no question who's in charge of that relationship. ;)
Which is weird, because it's not like he couldn't get any one of thousands of beautiful, intelligent, witty (or whatever he wants) women if they split up. He must like being bossed around.

harloo
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Venus is so funny. :lol: I think the Fed cooment was just a joke. Honestly I don't see Fed even attempting to play doubles at Wimbledon at all.:haha: :haha:

harloo
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:34 PM
Which is weird, because it's not like he couldn't get any one of thousands of beautiful, intelligent, witty (or whatever he wants) women if they split up. He must like being bossed around.

No it's not weird. If you've have someone who's been there when you weren't on top that relationship holds more weight. Fed could do like Safin and hook up with a bunch of bimbo's but that's not his style.;)

iPatty
Jun 25th, 2006, 04:39 PM
Maybe she'll play with Justin Gimelstob again. :shrug:

Paneru
Jun 25th, 2006, 07:24 PM
Maybe she'll play with Justin Gimelstob again. :shrug:

Hmmm...I'd say no!

If she made a point of saying she & Mark only made
it to the 2nd rd and she really wants to win, that's
a no to justin.

Fact is that she had to carry them to two Slam Titles
and I'm thinking she wants someone that can be more
of an equivalent and really hold their own.

LoveFifteen
Jun 25th, 2006, 08:02 PM
my dream is for Venus and Martina Hignis or Lindsey Davenport to play doubles together. I really do!! for mixed one of the bryans or bjorkman

You know what would be the funniest doubles match ever?

Venus & Hingis vs Serena & Capriati :hearts: :hearts: :drool: :drool:

I would loooove to see the arch-rivals having to work together. It would be so awesome. I can just see Hingis smirking when Venus mishits a forehand, and Venus rolling her eyes as Martina puffs another 65 mph second serve. :lol: :lol: :lol: