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QueenO
Jun 22nd, 2002, 03:03 PM
Venus asks: Jane Who?

VENUS WILLIAMS discovered she was to face British teenager Jane O'Donoghue in the first round at Wimbledon - thanks to an airport immigration officer.
By CHARLIE WYETT

The American world No1 will take on the girl from Wigan, who is ranked 346 places below her, on Centre Court on Tuesday.

Williams, looking to win her third Wimbledon title in succession, was told the identity of her 19-year-old opponent moments after touching down in London. She said: "I only found out I was playing her as I was coming through immigration.

"She will see it as a great opportunity. I have to see it as a first round ticket, though."

Williams admitted she had never heard of O'Donoghue, 19, who has been given a wild card to compete at the two-week championships which begin on Monday.

Williams added: "I know nothing about her but I expect she knows a bit about me.

"That doesn't make things any harder for me, although sometimes, when people play the No1 seed, they raise their game.

"But younger players often struggle on the pressure points. This is because they are playing people who have more experience. But she should go out and have a great time."

Williams heads into Wimbledon on the back of her French Open final defeat by younger sister Serena.

Venus added: "I am feeling good, moving well and just need to serve better than I did in the French Open.

"I don't ever expect to win a tournament. I know I can but I don't expect to."

Williams was talking in West London at the launch of the Reebok-backed Two Nations Challenge.

It is an initiative between the LTA and US Tennis Association to introduce the game to children in inner cities.

Over the weekend, youngsters from Las Vegas and New York are facing British kids - and there will be a return leg before the US Open in August.