View Full Version : The Queen Venus will storm back in AO cheering thread!!!!

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Nov 17th, 2003, 01:24 AM
Good luck Venus :worship: :bounce: :woohoo:

Show everyone you are still the best and will always be!

Nov 21st, 2003, 05:41 AM
I'm so anxious!!!!!!!! GO VENUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:)

Nov 21st, 2003, 08:56 PM
Thanks for helping me Joao ;)

Nov 21st, 2003, 09:57 PM
the last time Venus had such a lengthy break as his one we all saw what happened and I think she can do it again!"


Nov 22nd, 2003, 03:48 PM
Can Venus get a protective seeding for the AO or does the tournament make the decision? I would think a lot of players would prefer for her to be seeded to avoid seeing her too soon.

Nov 22nd, 2003, 04:31 PM
I asked myself this question too....I think she won't be able cause it was not completely 6 months without playing...There is like a 1-2 weeks difference :sad: All i can say is watch out the top 8 with her in her part...Please not Rena!

Go Venus :bounce:

Nov 22nd, 2003, 08:39 PM
:worship: There's like 3 Venus threads! :worship:


Nov 23rd, 2003, 03:10 AM
She last played something like July 4-6, 2003. So depending on when she plays in January, she might make it.

Nov 23rd, 2003, 03:37 AM
yeah it will be really close...but I don't think she will get it, or we would ahve learned that in the news somewhere...I think she wants to face a good player early...Come on please I wnat her to face Henin in the round of 16....I wouldn't mind her getting spanked by the QUeen!

Nov 23rd, 2003, 05:56 AM
I don't care who she faces...I think 2004 will be the year of Venus! 4 majors; Olympics; Diamond Racket; Miami; and LA!

Nov 24th, 2003, 01:12 AM
Um....We can had few doubles amjors in there, and the number one spot and that will be enough for me ;)

Nov 24th, 2003, 06:51 AM
yea but Lindsay's wins over Venus were before. Lindsay used to own Venus. Y'all realize that Venus lead the H2H something like 9-2. It's now 12-10 Venus :eek:

Nov 26th, 2003, 11:35 PM
Where all the fellow Vee fans?


Nov 26th, 2003, 11:47 PM

You make me cry, you make me shout for joy, you give me chills, you make me smile, you make me scream, you make me proud, but most of all...please make me proud at the Aus Open 2004. I want you to win it more then I want to win it when I'm a pro. I love you girl, and you'll always have my support, but please comeback strong.

~VS#1FAN! :worship:

Nov 27th, 2003, 03:24 AM
Go Venus! :bounce:

Nov 27th, 2003, 07:17 AM
Godluck Venus!

Nov 27th, 2003, 07:44 PM
V is for VENUS and VICTORY!

Dec 1st, 2003, 04:58 AM
Come on Venus! :wavey:

Dec 1st, 2003, 06:00 AM
:worship: :worship: :worship: The Queen Rises Again in Australia :worship: :worship: :worship:

Will Make Her Presence known in Paris

Will Sweep the Field in London

And Cap off her Thrown with the US Open crown

:worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:


Dec 4th, 2003, 01:22 AM
Vamos Venus!

Holla Up Vee Fans!

Dec 4th, 2003, 02:08 AM
Come on Venus!!!! Wit it all honey!

Dec 4th, 2003, 05:01 AM
Can't wait to see her back! :p

Go Venus!!!! :wavey:

Dec 4th, 2003, 03:59 PM
Good luck Venus! Kick some butt! :D

Dec 5th, 2003, 12:44 AM
I won't stop posting until Venus has the trophy in her hands!


Dec 6th, 2003, 04:28 AM


:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Dec 6th, 2003, 06:20 PM
:worship: V :angel: E :hearts: N :kiss: U :bowdown: S :inlove:


Dec 7th, 2003, 07:25 AM
I can't wait to see her new dress!

Dec 8th, 2003, 07:01 AM
Continue to holla Vee fans!

Dec 8th, 2003, 10:20 AM

I can't wait until January comes 'round!

Dec 8th, 2003, 10:52 AM
Go Venus! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Dec 8th, 2003, 11:52 AM
The Queen Is Sure To Be Crowned Again...

Be Prepared Kingdom Of Wta.......

Win My Queen Win!!! Make Your Collections Of Slams Five This Time....

Dec 8th, 2003, 09:44 PM
:worship: Venus will hear our prayers, and hold the trophy! :worship:

Dec 9th, 2003, 03:43 AM
G o V e n u s ! ! ! :yeah:

Dec 9th, 2003, 10:55 PM
Kick ass Venus, and most importantly, stay healthy

Dec 11th, 2003, 04:42 AM

Dec 12th, 2003, 06:49 AM
Continue to Holla! :worship: :worship:

Let's help Venus represent!

Dec 12th, 2003, 08:57 PM
Venus deserves the AO 2004!!
Goooooooooooo Venus
and please play a wonderfull (exciting, no 'ass-kicking' ;) ) final in Antwerp, cuz I'm paying expensive tickets to sse you play :p
:bounce: :crazy:

Dec 12th, 2003, 09:43 PM
Queen Venus WILL reclaim her throne in 2004, and there are only two things the rest of the women on tour (including Serena) can do about it: NOTHING, AND LIKE IT! By this time next year, Kim will be :sad: , Justine will be :fiery: , and everyone else will be :worship: !! ALL HAIL QUEEN VENUS!!! ;)

Mr. Man
Dec 12th, 2003, 10:36 PM
Vee...it is time to represent babe! http://smilies.crowd9.com/contrib/ruinkai/biggrinsanta.gif

Dec 12th, 2003, 10:59 PM
:dance: :dance: VENUS :dance: :dance:

Dec 13th, 2003, 05:33 AM
Nothing would make me happier than the AO crown for the Queen!

Dec 13th, 2003, 05:52 AM
Thanks for everyone who is keeping the thread alive!

I pray for Venus every day! And I hope my prayers come true! (4 majors in 2004; Olympic Gold; World's #1 ranking!)

Dec 13th, 2003, 07:19 AM
Queen Venus WILL reclaim her throne in 2004, and there are only two things the rest of the women on tour (including Serena) can do about it: NOTHING, AND LIKE IT! By this time next year, Kim will be :sad: , Justine will be :fiery: , and everyone else will be :worship: !! ALL HAIL QUEEN VENUS!!! ;)

:yeah: GO VENUS!!! :worship:

Dec 13th, 2003, 10:41 AM
I think the Williams name is already etched on the Australian Open trophy for the next ten (10) years..... straight...................

Dec 14th, 2003, 06:58 AM
Go Venus! God be with you!

Dec 15th, 2003, 01:35 AM
Win it all Venus!!!!!!

Dec 15th, 2003, 06:24 AM
I love Venus...and I love tennis.

But I love tennis even more when Venus is winning! GO VENUS GO VENUS

Dec 16th, 2003, 08:01 PM
* B * U * M * P *

Keep supportin' Vee fans!


Dec 16th, 2003, 11:42 PM
At least we are there :D:D:D

Venus ROCKS!

Dec 17th, 2003, 04:48 AM
I saw a vision while I was daydreaming today.

I saw Venus Williams holding up the AO trophy and smiling! One hand around the long neck of the trophy and the otherhand at the bottom supporting the weight of it all. I feel like "That's So Raven!"

:) Go VENUS!

Dec 17th, 2003, 11:41 PM
Hum I hope you have some divination power geopee ;)

Dec 18th, 2003, 01:05 AM
GO Venus, its ur birthday, got to win it, HECK YA!!!

Dec 18th, 2003, 06:55 AM
I'm lovin' all the support for the true Queen of the WTA!

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Dec 19th, 2003, 08:40 PM
Q: What are your goals for 2004, both personally and career wise? How is your injury, has it healed yet?? Pat

A: Dear Pat, goals for 2004, that's a long list! Of course, one of my first priorities is to do well with my tennis and to become number one in the world. Also, I want to break my current service speed record. Off of the court I hope to achieve a more organized existence. I really enjoy having everything in place, nothing out of order! Spending more time with my family and sisters is a must too. As far as my injuries I am doing well. I really looking forward to the 2004 tennis season!


GO Venus! I can see her hitting a 130 mph ace on championship point! :worship:

Dec 20th, 2003, 12:38 AM
I love that quote....she is so great! She wants her life to be good everywhere and she knows her priorities!

once again, :worship: at Venus!!!!!

Dec 20th, 2003, 01:54 AM
:worship: Go Venus Go! :worship:

Dec 20th, 2003, 02:35 PM
Go Venus Williams you WILL win the 2004 Australian Open
Conquer it all and the worlds your MISSION!

Dec 21st, 2003, 03:39 PM
Go Venus! You're in my prayers every day!

Dec 21st, 2003, 05:14 PM
Homage To The Queen!

Dec 21st, 2003, 05:23 PM

Dec 22nd, 2003, 04:53 AM
Go Venus! :bigwave:

Dec 22nd, 2003, 07:00 AM

Keep representin'!

To Fellow Fans: Let's make sure this thread has the MOST replies...more then any other player! GO VENUS

Dec 24th, 2003, 02:38 AM
Well you seem to help that a lot!

Come on Venus, for all your admirators, win it all! But mostly, win it for yourself! You deserve it after such a break from a Salm win!

Dec 24th, 2003, 06:28 AM
Well you seem to help that a lot!

:lol: :lol: I try. I just love Venus. And I love tennis. And obviously I love it more when Venus is playing good, slam winning tennis!


Dec 24th, 2003, 05:41 PM
Venus will win everyone! COME ON

Dec 24th, 2003, 06:19 PM
Im sure everyone here loves tennis even more when Big sis is winning GS!

Come on Venus, make us love tennis a lot more this year ;)

Dec 26th, 2003, 01:16 AM
Can't wait to see her on courts!!! :wavey:

Dec 26th, 2003, 02:15 AM
~*~2004 Australian Open Champion~*~



Dec 26th, 2003, 02:17 AM
I'm so angry, my sister just walked in and looked at my above post and said, "Ew that looks ugly, it's not going to happen!"


Dec 26th, 2003, 03:12 AM
Pfft at your sister...Pinch her for me :devil: ;)

Great pics BTW!

Dec 26th, 2003, 06:09 AM
~*~2004 Australian Open Champion~*~



Great pics! GO VENUS! GO!

I can't wait to see her new dress. "White and Navy", according to www.VenusWilliams.com


Dec 27th, 2003, 05:48 AM
Vamos Venus! :bounce:

Dec 27th, 2003, 07:14 AM

Venus fans: Check out www.VenusSerenaFans.com! They have an amazing Venus poster, for only $20.00!

I'm getting one, and so should you!


Dec 27th, 2003, 04:42 PM
Venus's Reasons 4 Victory At The 2004 Australian Open:

:hearts: Slamming Serve: :hearts:


:hearts: Killer Forehand: :hearts:


:hearts: Best Backhand: :hearts:


:hearts: Victorious Volleys: :hearts:


:hearts: Great Defense: :hearts:


:hearts: Terrific Support: :hearts:


:bounce: ...so stop hating and doubting because she's coming... :bounce:


Dec 27th, 2003, 05:49 PM
lol...you posted this post three times...Should I post the same reply three times ;)

Come on Venus win it all!

Dec 27th, 2003, 06:55 PM
Great posts guys!

As long as Venus gives her best, I'll be happy. But when she gives her best, she'll win!

Dec 27th, 2003, 10:57 PM
lol...you posted this post three times...Should I post the same reply three times ;)

Come on Venus win it all!

I posted it 3 times so everyone would see it and get the message.

Dec 29th, 2003, 12:57 AM
What? No posts here today!!!!

Go Venus!!!!

Dec 29th, 2003, 02:26 AM
Go Venus, it's your time to shine! :)

Dec 29th, 2003, 12:01 PM
THIS ONE IS YOURS :worship: :worship: :worship: :hearts: :hearts:



Dec 29th, 2003, 06:20 PM
Come on Venus :D:D:D:D!

Win it all!

Dec 29th, 2003, 06:49 PM
I've said it already but I will say it again ... just for you CD ... venus will be the AO 2004 champion!!!!!!!!:)

Dec 30th, 2003, 05:34 AM
Come on Queen V!!! :bounce: :wavey: :bounce:

Dec 30th, 2003, 04:21 PM
Go Venus! I'm sending you all my positive energy.

Dec 30th, 2003, 06:04 PM

If we could positively rep you you would ahve lots of green squares :D;)

Dec 31st, 2003, 08:43 AM
Happy New Year Venus, and fellow Venus Fans!

2004 is the year of the Queen, and it starts here in Melbourne!

Dec 31st, 2003, 07:20 PM
Happy New Year to you too :wavey:

Venus Rocks my world!

Dec 31st, 2003, 09:23 PM
Go Queen :devil: kick everyones natural born ass :bounce:

Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:11 AM
Start your year off on a high note Vee!

Win in Hong Kong and then the biggie in Australia!

I know you can do it!

Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:01 AM
Will the real #1 Please Stand up! Stand up!

Jan 3rd, 2004, 12:04 AM
Will the real #1 Please Stand up! Stand up!

Too True! The real #1 will rise in Melbourne!

Welcome the thread MsVee!

Jan 3rd, 2004, 03:42 AM
We wish you the best Venus!!! In every part of your life...:D

Jan 5th, 2004, 01:51 AM
No cheering for Venus in two days :eek:

Come on Queen V! :D :bounce: :worship:

Jan 5th, 2004, 03:08 AM
Go Veee! :wavey:

Jan 5th, 2004, 06:34 AM
Sorry I was MIA. It was my birthday on Jan. 3! For my present, I want the Queen to hoist the Aussie, French, Wimbledon and US Open trophies!

But I'll take the Aussie!


Jan 5th, 2004, 09:47 PM
Hum...I guess it ould be the best birthday present for all of us ;)

Jan 5th, 2004, 11:09 PM
is it your birthday too?


Jan 6th, 2004, 02:15 AM
It will be around RG and Wimby....Im born on June 18th...One day after tha Queen!!!!!! If only I would ahve pushed earlier ;)

Jan 6th, 2004, 06:55 AM
Wow! That's close!

EVERYONE: rate this thread 5! Because this is the BEST Thread at the Aussie!


Mr. Man
Jan 6th, 2004, 06:32 PM
13 more days! C'MON VEE! OOOROAR!!!!!!

Jan 6th, 2004, 08:41 PM
All hail the Queen is about to rule over the Aussie Open!!!

:worship: :bounce: :worship: :bounce: :worship: :bounce: :worship:

Jan 6th, 2004, 10:21 PM
:bounce: GO VENUS GO :bounce:

Jan 6th, 2004, 11:02 PM
TennisIlove09...You really are tha best...A Celine and Venus fan :hearts: :kiss:

Jan 7th, 2004, 04:47 AM
Go MY QUEEN :devil:
:hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts:

Jan 7th, 2004, 06:23 AM
TennisIlove09...You really are tha best...A Celine and Venus fan :hearts: :kiss:

Thanks! My goal is two things:

1-Go to London and watch the Queen in action at Wimbledon (which is my favorite tournament of the year)


2-Go to Vegas to see Celine!

Jan 7th, 2004, 07:36 PM
bumping this back to the top of the listings!


Jan 7th, 2004, 10:15 PM
By the way, where are you from????

Go Venus :D

Jan 8th, 2004, 12:17 AM



Jan 8th, 2004, 08:39 PM

Vamos Venus Fans!

Don't forget to represent on the new board!

Good luck against Chanda in Hong Kong VEE!

Jan 8th, 2004, 10:01 PM
Wow, so many posts!

Sock it to the *&^%&'s Venus!

Jan 8th, 2004, 11:43 PM
Go Venus. Show them whatcha workin with.

Jan 9th, 2004, 02:32 AM
Quebec :wavey:

Go Venus!

Jan 9th, 2004, 06:38 AM
Wow, so many posts!

Sock it to the *&^%&'s Venus!
Operation Support Venus 'til she gets the Aussie is in full force baby!


Wow, so we both Love Venus, Celine and are Canadian!

Jan 9th, 2004, 09:35 PM

The Queen had a successful start to her quest for the Golden Slam, as she downed Chanda Rubin in Hong Kong!

The first of her many wins this season!


Tragically, Serena is out of the Aussie. But it's the mental block that Venus has had. So this is her Slam to lose!


Jan 10th, 2004, 07:36 AM
http://www.inq7.net/img/grayline.gifVenus Williams seeded
third for Australian Open
Posted: 10:53 AM (Manila Time) | Jan. 10, 2004
Agence France-Presse
PERTH, Australia - Venus Williams will be the third seed for the Australian Open tennis matches after the withdrawal of her sister and defending champion Serena from the event, tournament director Paul McNamee said Saturday.

McNamee said he was disappointed Serena had pulled out of the event, citing ongoing problems with her left knee. ( The former world number one had surgery in Los Angeles for the problem last August.

She had been scheduled to play in the Hopman Cup international mixed teams event in Perth this week but pulled out at the last minute to be replaced by Lindsay Davenport.

"She's the defending champion but I knew when she pulled out of Hopman Cup that there must be something afoot," McNamee said.

"As you know her management was continuing to confirm she was going to come but it wasn't coming from Serena herself.

"Her folks had said she was coming here so obviously that was always going to effect her preparation for the Australian Open.

"I think the good news is that Venus is playing in Hong Kong. She beat Chanda Ruben last night so Serena is out and Venus is in. So there will be a Williams at Melbourne Park."

The Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, starts in Melbourne on January 19.

Serena, the world number three-ranked player, broke the news on her official web site but McNamee said he had been called directly by her management company IMG.

"I really looked forward to competing in the Australian Open. However, conferring with my trainers and coaches, we really don't think that sufficient time to prepare and train for it," she wrote.

"My knee feels great but rehabilitation took a little longer than I expected."

McNamee said the draw for the Australian Open would be done next Friday with the official seedings finalized a day or two before.

He said the top two seeds would obviously go to Belgians Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, the world number one and two players respectively.

France's Amelie Maursemo would probably be seeded four, he said.

"I can say Venus will be seeded third as we stand right now behind Henin-Hardenne and Clijsters.

Under a special seeding, the WTA had recommended that for the next group of tournaments that Venus has a special seeding which means she will come in at three," he said.

McNamee said he was confident Clijsters would play in the event after pulling out of the Hopman Cup with an ankle injury this week.

Jan 10th, 2004, 07:36 AM
Vamos! Venus beats Sharapova 7-5 6-3 to win Hong Kong!

Jan 10th, 2004, 05:58 PM
Congrats V!!!

Continue to play that great in AO!

You are close to the 2nd seed!

Jan 10th, 2004, 11:28 PM
Go Venus!

A win here is looking more and more obvious, I'm so excited!!!

What would you do if she won?

When she won the 2000 Wimbledon, when Davenport's volley hit the net, I jumped up in the air and was screaming, "She did it, She did it" and after I was done jumping up and down, I victory danced! :dance:

If she won this year, I would cry...(the happy kind!)

GO VENUS!!!! :banana:

Jan 10th, 2004, 11:58 PM
I cried at Wimby 00, 01, US Open 00, 01. I would cry again, I'm sure.

Seeds when she's won
#5--WB 00
#3--US 00
#2--WB 01
#4--US 01

Jan 11th, 2004, 02:34 AM
And this year she will add the number one spot in thses stats ;)

go Venus!!

Jan 11th, 2004, 03:21 AM
I cried at all of them as well, but the first Wimbledon I cired hysterically...

I love Venus so much, and I really want her to take this thing! :dance:

Jan 11th, 2004, 04:53 AM
I know, me too!


Jan 11th, 2004, 05:01 AM
VAMOS VENUS!!!:bounce:

Jan 11th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Let's go Venus!

One match at a time!

Jan 11th, 2004, 08:10 PM


:bounce: :banana: :bowdown: :woohoo:-

Jan 11th, 2004, 08:17 PM
:bowdown: :woohoo: :worship:



Jan 11th, 2004, 08:36 PM
Go Venus, win this title.

Jan 12th, 2004, 01:58 AM
Come on Queen!!!! Win it all!!!!!

Jan 12th, 2004, 02:14 AM
Wow! More posters are joining the thread! I'm loving the support for Venus!

Everyone's riding the "Venus Wave!" Lol

VAMOS girl! I love you! I love tennis! I'd love you and tennis MORE when you win the Aussie!


Jan 12th, 2004, 05:54 AM
I am also glad there are a lot of people here that loves and support the Queen!:)

Vamos Venus!:wavey: :bounce: :wavey:

Jan 12th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Go Venus:bounce: :bounce:

Jan 12th, 2004, 04:17 PM
dang look at alll the support!

Nothin but love V

do your thing and win this title! :bounce:

Jan 12th, 2004, 06:47 PM
**Latest News**

Venus may be reading this thread right now! I gave her the link from her web-site www.venuswilliams.com (http://www.venuswilliams.com)

Hello Venus, if you are reading.

Kick ass at the Aussie!

Jan 12th, 2004, 07:59 PM
somehow i doubt Venus is reading it

but if She is, Venus, your truly an inspiration... keep doing your thing and you'll always have a fan in me!

Jan 12th, 2004, 09:15 PM
somehow i doubt Venus is reading it

but if She is, Venus, your truly an inspiration... keep doing your thing and you'll always have a fan in me!
Keep positive! I have faith that the Queen is reading it, or will read it, or has read it :D

Go Venus!

Jan 12th, 2004, 10:41 PM
Venus, you are the best and will always be for everyone who is here!!! Win it all!

Jan 13th, 2004, 06:36 AM
Go Venus :D

Get back to the top :yeah:

Jan 13th, 2004, 10:06 AM
January 13, 2004. Melbourne, VIC. Tennis. Australian Open practice. American super star Venus Williams, has a practice hit early today, at Melbourne park. Her mother Oracene was on hand, to pass along some coaching tips.





Jan 13th, 2004, 10:10 AM



Jan 13th, 2004, 04:52 PM
Thanks a lot for those pics!!!! Venus really wants that title! And she will have it!

Jan 13th, 2004, 06:29 PM
OK, she looks AMAZING! I love her so much!


Jan 13th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Venus Williams primed for return performance By Douglas Robson, special for USA TODAY
When Venus Williams takes her leggy, cocksure stride into the blazing summer sun next week at the Australian Open in Melbourne, it marks the first time in half a year that she has played a match that counts.
http://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifhttp://*********************/sports/tennis/_photos/2004-01-12-inside-venus.jpghttp://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifVenus Williams says she will try a more aggressive, attacking style in her return from a six-month hiatus from tennis.http://*********************/_common/_images/clear.gifBy Peter Parks, AFPIn the round-the-calendar sport of tennis, where wins and losses hinge on split-second timing and footwork, six months is a hiatus of major proportions.

But in addition to the usual questions surrounding her fitness level, match toughness and motivation after such a long layoff, Venus heads into the year's first major with more to prove than at any time in her career.

At 23, Venus is in her tennis sweet spot. But the four-time Grand Slam champ has gone more than two years without a major title. What's more, the first African-American in four decades to win Wimbledon has lost her last five Grand Slam finals to her younger sister, Serena. And her ranking has slipped outside the top 10 for the first time since 1997 after playing only six tournaments in 2003.

To Venus, who spoke about her comeback in late December before jetting off to Hong Kong for exhibition matches, that's a recipe for redemption.

"I'll be like a phoenix rising out of the flames," the devout Jehovah's Witness says of her return.

Others see this season as a crucible in her career.

"The year is more important for Venus than Serena because of the time since she's won a major," TV commentator Pam Shriver says. "It's a good time for Venus to re-establish herself."

Since playing second fiddle again to Serena in the Wimbledon final last July, Venus has been forced to navigate a labyrinth of physical, emotional and professional land mines. Among them: a debilitating abdominal strain, a demanding schedule of celebrity appearances and off-court endeavors and, most disturbingly, the shooting death of her older half-sister, Yetunde Price, in September. What effect, if any, these turbulent months have had on the former No. 1's psyche is difficult to gauge.

Venus is reluctant to speak about her sister's death. But she acknowledges that the last few months away from the sport have been difficult.

"It's hard to accept the fact that you can't compete in your matches," she says. "That's tough."

And she dismisses the notion that this is a make-or-break season for her. "It's important for me to do well every year," she insists.

But she's quick to add that the chance to win her first Australian Open title and reassert her place at the top is "extra motivation."

"Oh, my God, let me tell you this," she says excitedly. "I want an Australian Open title. That's what I want."

Sister Serena sitting out

The road to glory in Australia is one of less resistance. For one, Venus' nemesis, Serena, won't be around. The 22-year-old No. 3 pulled out of the Open because she is recovering from knee surgery Aug. 1.

Also, two-time Australian Open champion Jennifer Capriati, 27, withdrew from the Grand Slam tournament Tuesday because of a back injury.

Capriati is the third high-profile woman to withdraw, following Serena and Mary Pierce, the 1995 champion, who pulled out because of fitness concerns.

Venus, who was runner-up to Serena last year and now is ranked No. 11, received a "special seeding" of No. 3 from Australian Open officials, behind Belgians Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters.

History has shown that players who take extended breaks or who endure Slam droughts of two to three years rarely, if ever, win majors again in bunches.

However, success is not unprecedented. Steffi Graf won the 1999 French Open after months away, and Monica Seles captured the 1996 Australian Open after a more than two-year break following her stabbing in 1993.

Venus resumed full-time training in early December and says that her abdomen is 100% healed, her motivation is high and she's eager to try out a more aggressive, attacking game plan as she goes after more Grand Slam titles and the No. 1 ranking.

"I want both," she says with a laugh. "I'm a greedy girl."

If anyone can come back and pick up where they left off, it's the Williams sisters. After all, these are women who rose from the gang-plagued streets of Compton, Calif., with little formal training and limited junior tennis experience — and still became champions.

Neither sister has played a busy schedule of tournaments to begin with, entering 12-15 events while other players routinely play 20-25. And while some need tunnel vision, the sisters find a healthy dose of distraction the right formula for success.

Indeed, Venus showed little rust in her two exhibition matches in Hong Kong, defeating top-10 player Chanda Rubin of the USA and up-and-coming Russian Maria Sharapova.

Martina Navratilova, enjoying her own comeback in doubles, says she'd be "impressed" but not "surprised" if Venus won the Aussie crown.

Questions persist

Some wonder if Venus' lithe, 6-1 frame is starting to show wear and tear from 110-mph-plus serves and blistering ground strokes she has employed since her pro debut in 1994. Some wonder if the multitalented star, who helps design a line of goods for Wilsons Leather and has started an interior design business, is focused enough on tennis.

"The Yetunde murder has been the wild card for them," says Shriver, who lost her first husband to cancer in 1999. "From my own experience, after a few months the depression and fog of grief has lifted enough to feel more like yourself, but each grieving process is unique and there is no real pattern for recovery."

Some also suspect that rivals such as Henin-Hardenne, 21 — who won her first Grand Slam, the 2003 French Open, with both sisters in the draw — and compatriot Clijsters, 20, have closed the gap with the sisters.

"You can practice all you want and get in the best shape, but to come back and play competitively, there is nothing like the real thing," says No. 6 Jennifer Capriati, who took a 15-month leave from the tour in the mid-1990s and won her first major at the 2001 Australian Open.

Venus isn't concerned with her competition.

"I don't even see rivals," she says. "I see the ball. I don't become afraid just because someone else has improved their game."

New U.S. Fed Cup captain Zina Garrison thinks the key for Venus will be her first couple of matches in Melbourne as she deals with the pressure and nerves of being back on court.

"I don't care who you are," Garrison says. "You're going to feel it."

Venus has hinted that she wants to be seen as her own person, not as part of a sister act.

Whether it's a simple fact of two individuals who often have been lumped together growing up or a conscious strategy to ease some of the emotional tension when she faces off against her younger sibling is hard to discern.

The two share a home in South Florida, but Serena now spends most of her time at her place in Los Angeles, observers say. Venus says she and Serena remain very close but "we both do different things and have different obligations. Life keeps rolling whether you play tennis or not."

Rested, ready and with much to show the world, the tennis-playing phoenix takes flight next week in Australia. The journey is solo. The sky's the limit

Jan 13th, 2004, 06:32 PM
wow she looks really fit.

Go VENUS!!!!


Jan 13th, 2004, 07:10 PM
:bowdown: :woohoo: :worship:


:bounce:No, don't say Allez, it makes me think of the Justine Thread, which makes me think of vomiting/cheating.:wavey:

Jan 13th, 2004, 08:20 PM
Lets do it V! Also glad to see the pony tail back, hope she wears those shorts :D

Jan 13th, 2004, 09:14 PM
I must sound Spanish, saying Vamos in like every post!


Jan 13th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Well Ill be different!!!

Davai Venus ;)

Great interview BTW..It shows how motivated she is!

Jan 14th, 2004, 06:20 AM
Great photos, great article and great thread!:D

Go Venus!:wavey: :bounce: :wavey:

Jan 14th, 2004, 06:50 AM
American tennis player Venus Williams, right, shares a light moment with her mother Oracene during her practice for the Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne Wednesday, Jan, 14, 2004





Jan 14th, 2004, 06:52 AM
Venus practicing on Wednesday!


She's REALLY working for this title! VAMOS VENUS!

Jan 14th, 2004, 07:46 AM
Y'all remember what happened when the Queen V was out of the game for six months...She tore up the WTA tour!! Come on Vee show who owns the 2004 Aussie Open. I really miss Vee holding up the Grand Slam trophies. I am seriously gonna tear up when she wins.

Jan 14th, 2004, 08:03 AM
lol you're too slow tennisIlove09 ;)

Jan 14th, 2004, 11:13 AM
woohoo I just saw Vee practicing on tv (part of our sports news) :D

Jan 14th, 2004, 01:39 PM
Venus is back in orbit!
She's ready to take it all and will mow down
anyone who is foolish enough to stand in her way!

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!!!:worship: :bounce: :worship:

Jan 14th, 2004, 06:38 PM
Yea Venus!

Jan 14th, 2004, 07:35 PM
Venus must be working hard, this title is hers! Wonder where Richard is and I wonder if Serena will show for the final.

I kind of wish Richard was there, all respect to Oracene but I think V is a bit more focused with her pop

Jan 15th, 2004, 02:56 AM
Richard doesn't like to travel...so Oracene is here. GO VENUS!

Jan 15th, 2004, 05:27 AM
Go Venus, blow their minds! :)

Jan 15th, 2004, 07:11 AM
yea Venus! Kick everyone's ass!

Jan 15th, 2004, 07:11 AM
Yahoo! First on page 5!!!!

Jan 15th, 2004, 07:58 AM
Aussie comes in as a Williams pinch hitter
Mark Robinson

MYSTERY surrounding the form and fitness of 2003 sob story Venus Williams is unravelling by the day, according to her Australian practice partner Mark Hlawaty.

"Come competition time, she'll be ready to go," he said emphatically yesterday.
The former world No. 1 was grounded from July to November because of a chronic abdominal injury, prompting the theory that although mentally and physically sound, she might not have the tournament grind to outlast her opponents.

She is advantaged, however, by the dwindling talent in the women's field.

Hlawaty, the affable Victorian-born satellite player, believes Williams -- seeded No. 3 at the Open -- has shown this week the power and placement that has yielded four grand slam singles titles.

Without her injured sister Serena, Williams flew into Melbourne last Sunday morning and was on the court that afternoon with Hlawaty. Two-hour sessions each day have followed.

So, is she fit enough?

"She's fit enough, definitely," Hlawaty said. "She's put in the time back home in the States so she's definitely fit enough, it's just a matter of now getting the volume of balls being hit.

"I haven't seen the other girls practise, I just know she's barely making mistakes out here already, and it's still early and the more balls she hits the better she's going to get."

Hlawaty, 33, coaching in Perth, joined the Williams camp at the 2003 Hopman Cup, practising with Serena, and then joined the sisters in Melbourne for the Open.

Serena went on to beat Venus in the final. This time it's just Venus and Hlawaty's sole role is to belt as many balls as required over the net.

"Today she worked on moving forward and coming into the net. She tells me where to serve, if she wants it harder, faster, with more spin. I'm at her beck and call," he said.

He serves about 170-180km/h and "they come back at about 220, 250".

The hours of hitting, he said, don't replicate tournament matches, but they toughen the mind and body.

"They are finely tuned athletes, it's ingrained what they do, they have hit millions and trillions of balls in their lifetime, so it's a matter of getting the mindset ready for the competition and getting that toughness and focus," he said.

"If she can play the best she can, she will almost beat anyone in the world."

Being Williams' practice partner has it perks. In Melbourne, he's staying at Crown and the salary is better than anything else he'll get at this time of the year.

"It's rare in any field to spend any time with the elite of the elite, and to be with someone who's won grand slams can't but not help you -- just to see how they prepare themselves," he said.

"They also stay in bloody good hotels. I'm normally in dodgy ones. I've never had so many clean towels in my life."

And then there's the opportunity to meet Williams the person.

"Take away the tennis side of it, she is a normal human being; friendly, open, chat about anything," Hlawaty said.

Hlawaty, who is ranked somewhere in the 600s, will resume his futures and satellite tournament play after the Open, playing in NSW,

Jan 15th, 2004, 04:46 PM
Come on Venus!!!!

And OMG Oracene get away from that pink suit :eek:

Jan 15th, 2004, 07:01 PM
Vamos Venus! Win the title girl!

Jan 15th, 2004, 07:44 PM
lets go V!

Jan 15th, 2004, 11:17 PM
well the draw is out, and Venus and Kim are on the same side of the draw! Lindsay and Justine are on the other side. I'm hoping for a Vee-Linds final, but I would also love to see Vee kick Justine's butt!

Let's go Venus! Make it happen :D

Jan 16th, 2004, 01:22 AM
I think it is a great draw ofr Venus! I am really looking forward to Vnus kicking Ahsley's butt!!! Spank it, V!

Jan 16th, 2004, 05:11 AM
Venus will kick everybody's ass!:D

Come on V!:wavey:

Jan 16th, 2004, 05:13 AM
Friday 16th January 2004



Jan 16th, 2004, 07:15 AM
Tough Early Start For Venus

By Pam Shriver
Special to ESPN.com

SYDNEY, Australia -- Unfortunately the year is starting off the way the second half of last year ended, the person who is healthy is sitting on top. Besides some blisters on her foot, Justine Henin-Hardenne is healthy. Given the confidence she has from her success at the French Open and the U.S. Open, she should be the favorite to win another Grand Slam tournament taking three of the past four titles.

http://adsatt.espn.starwave.com/ad/sponsors/blank/blank-espn.gif (http://transfer.go.com/cgi/atransfer.pl?name=141468&srvc=sz&context=1331:65:141468:65&guid=32173146-F92E-4D18-93BA-3FF3EC3C881C&goto=)
This is the first time she's seeded No. 1 in a major, which brings a different, slightly more intense pressure. But she said last year that she thrives under pressure. It was in Melbourne last year, when she overcame Lindsay Davenport 7-5, 5-7, 9-7 in the round of 16 that Henin-Hardenne's confidence started to build in the majors.

So now, there's no potential threat in her half of the draw; she should find herself in the final four. Davenport is the one danger for her. They were to play each other in Sydney Thursday night in the semifinals, however Davenport, still recovering from foot surgery, hurt her shoulder and withdrew. Davenport said she hopes to be ready for the Aussie. If Davenport reaches the quarterfinals and meets Henin-Hardenne, it is certainly a match Davenport could win. However, expect Henin-Hardenne based on her performance of the past nine months, where she's not finished outside of the semifinals of any tournament, to win.

Amelie Mauresmo, another player with a lot of injuries the past year, is in the final four in Sydney. She also played in the Hopman Cup, so she's had good match preparation. She's got enough talent. She's been to finals before in 1999, so she can play on Rebound Ace. Plus, she has one of the best all-court games in women's tennis. If she runs hot, she can beat anyone. But she tends to be hot and cold and over two weeks that can spell problems at some point.

In her section of the draw is Nadia Petrova, one of those players who made a big step in 2003. She's dangerous. If she takes one more step, she could be a contender in majors. She has a big serve, huge groundstrokes and can volley. Her movement is pretty good for a tall, big player. She's one to watch in '04.

Also in that section of the draw are Elena Dementieva and Daniela Hantuchova. Dementieva had a good year in '03. She has such a weak serve, though, it's going to prevent her from getting much higher in the rankings then she is now. Hantuchova is having trouble winning any match. She only won by default at the Hopman Cup and fell in the first round in Sydney. It's the worst slump we've seen in a while from a former top-5 player -- especially a young player. Usually you see this type of slump in someone older. But for someone who should be continuing to improve, it's a major worry. Although she now has Harold Solomon coaching her there's been no improvement, although it is still early in that partnership.

So expect either Mauresmo or Petrova to get through this part of the draw.

Venus Williams is THE story in the first week of the Aussie Open as the one Williams sister back. They've both been missed. Last year, there were more questions around Venus and her desire play. Questions of how she'd cope with the frustration of losing two finals to Serena. Then she suffered her injury and the loss of their sister in a shooting. Venus has had a lot to deal with.

There are now worries about Serena not returning after a pretty routine injury. Has the rehab gone wrong, was the surgery not successful, is her body too big for that particular joint, what is going on? There's a lot of questions surrounding Serena this year.

After being out since the Wimbledon final, Venus played in Hong Kong last week. She only played a couple of matches, but she won that exhibition tournament.

The WTA recommended that Venus be seeded third instead of 11th, according to her ranking. It does seem a little high, a top eight seed would have made the point. They don't usually do it for injuries that last only four months, but there's a big difference between that and half a season. They did something similar for Davenport last year because of the length of recovery time she needed after surgery. For the sake of balance of the draw, overall it's probably a good thing.

She'll be tested from the beginning against young American Ashley Harkleroad, who reached her first WTA final in Auckland last week. She had a good start last season but an arm injury made the second half of the year not go as well. So this year, she's back off to a good beginning only to draw Venus in the first round. She will put pressure on Venus. Harkleroad hits the ball well enough and hard enough that if Venus is nervous or wild with her serve, Harkleroad can cause Venus some problems.

In the rest of that section, Ai Sugiyama is coming off her best year. She's the kind of player that in the old days you'd look at the draw and just start to write Venus' name in as the winner. But it's less set now, and Sugiyama is a heck of a player and a great defender. It really all depends on how well Venus does in her first match, how far she'll go. If Venus is even close to her Grand Slam form, she should get through all the players to reach the semifinals.

During the offseason, Kim Clijsters had a big exciting thing happen off-court with her engagement to Lleyton Hewitt. She spent her time off down in Australia, so she's acclimated to the climate. Due to her lengthy relationship with Hewitt, the public is looking at her more like an adopted daughter. She just received a tennis award from the International Tennis Writers Association for best ambassador of the sport, so her popularity on the inside and the outside of tennis is growing.

She's a fun champion to have at the top of women's tennis, but she's another one with injury problems. Clijsters ankle is hurt, and while she's doing a little bit more each day, she's still not at a 100 percent. She faces Marlene Weingartner in the first round. Even Weingartner beat Jennifer Capriati here last year, Clijsters should still be able to dictate play against her.

But there's also Anastasia Myskina in this half of the draw. If Myskina gets her temperament more together and gets more consistent, she'll be a feared opponent by everyone. Chanda Rubin can be a stubborn opponent and although Clijsters has taken her apart in the past, if she can't move well, it's a different ballgame.

Clijsters also has tons of baggage from her year in the majors last year. She had too many crash and burns late in the semis and finals. Until she gets through that last hurdle, she's got major doubts.

Jan 16th, 2004, 09:45 AM
Go Venus! :D

Show 'em who's the real queen :bounce:

Jan 16th, 2004, 04:44 PM
Am I the only one who sees 2004 as another year where all the Slam champions have the surname Williams?

Jan 16th, 2004, 06:22 PM
Actually, I only see Slam/Olympic winner that says Williams, Venus :hearts: and no, I'm not biased! :lol:

Jan 16th, 2004, 06:39 PM
Venus Top Challenger To Henin-Hardenne In Australia
Photo By Cynthia Lum By Richard Pagliaro

Eye strain may be the biggest threat to Justine Henin-Hardenne's visions of her third Grand Slam championship. Scanning the depleted women's draw to spot a serious rival who can stop her may strain the top-ranked Belgian's sight as contenders clutter the women's field the way cars crowd a drive-in movie theater in the Outback.
The Australian Open begins on Monday, but injuries to top players have been almost a daily occurrence in the month leading up to the season's first Slam, which is shaping up as the Attrition Open on the women's side.

The reigning Roland Garros and U.S. Open champion arrives in Australia already a winner. The WTA Tour has turned into tennis' version of "Survivor" and Henin-Hardenne is one of the few top players still standing.

"Certainly, it's Henin-Hardenne's tournament," ESPN tennis analyst and U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe said."She's to me the clear favorite now that Clijsters is questionable, Capriati's out and Serena's out."

Substitute medical bags for racquet bags, replace grips with gauze, exchange baseball caps for bandages and supplement the tournament staff with medical staff and you still couldn't remedy the various aches, ailments and injuries plaguing several of the top 10 women in the world.

Defending champion Serena Williams, who had been practicing in Southern California, pulled out of the tournament citing the lack of preparation as the primary cause for her withdrawal. A back injury has forced two-time Australian Open champion Jennifer Capriati to withdraw from the season's first Grand Slam. Mary Pierce, the 1995 champion, announced her withdrawal from Oz on Tuesday, saying she is just not fit enough. Monica Seles, who won the title in 1996 (as well as 1991-93), has been on the mend and out of action since Roland Garros last year.

In addition, three-time Grand Slam finalist Kim Clijsters is nursing a sprained left ankle and a bone bruise on the back of her left ankle joint. The second-ranked Belgian opens the Australian Open against Germany's Marlene Weingartner — the same woman who upset defending-champion Capriati in the opening round last year — but her injury casts doubt on Clijsters' condition to compete. The 2003 semifinalist said she will try to play with the ankle taped, but conceded a future surgery may be the only solution to completely correct her ankle problems.

"I hope I can play there, but it depends on how quickly my ankle heals," Clijsters said after withdrawing from the adidas International in Sydney on Tuesday.

As if those injuries weren't enough, 2000 Australian Open champion Lindsay Davenport, the lone former champion left in the field, suffered a strained muscle in her serving shoulder during her quarterfinal conquest of Elena Dementieva at the adidas International and pulled out of her scheduled semi with Henin-Hardenne today in an effort to recover for the Australian Open.

"There's a chance it will heal completely if I give it three or four days rest," Davenport said.

Third-seeded Venus Williams, who has not played a meaningful match since falling to younger sister Serena in the Wimbledon final on July 5th, may pose the biggest threat to Henin-Hardenne's hopes of claiming her third Grand Slam crown in the last four majors.

For such a high-profile player, Venus has been more visible on the cat walk then the tennis court in recent months.

"I happen to think it's not going to be that easy for Serena and Venus when they come back with Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne (playing well)," McEnroe said. "I think they've really gained a lot of confidence, especially Henin-Hardenne, they're a year stronger a year fitter and a year tougher mentally. And I don't care how good you are — in men or women's — you take that much time off and it's tough to come back. That's too bad Serena's not playing, but I still think Venus will be a factor."

Taking a six-month sabbatical from the sport is hardly proper preparation for any player, but if anyone is capable of seizing the spotlight on the tournament's final Sunday with little more than a dress rehearsal before the fortnight begins it's Venus. The third-seeded Williams opens the tournament against American Ashley Harkleroad and with eighth-seeded Ai Sugiyama as the highest seed in her quarter, it's conceivable Venus could cruise into the last eight.

If Venus can shore up her shallow second serve and regain a consistent contact point on the forehand she sometimes flails, there is no reason to discount her as a serious threat to win her first Australian Open title. Williams has dominated Henin-Hardenne in their head-to-head meetings, winning seven straight after dropping their first meeting and she showed her supremacy with a 6-3, 6-3 victory in last year's semifinals. In fact, Venus looked so sharp in the early stages last year, many observers gave her a slight edge over Serena prior to their final.

Amelie Mauresmo has the all-court game to pose problems for Henin-Hardenne. Mauresmo has won two of her three matches with the top-seeded Belgian, including a 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 triumph in the WTA Tour Championships last November. Physically, the 1999 Australian Open finalist may be as good as any woman in the field, but the fourth-seeded French woman's fragile psyche has been a significant flaw in her quest to reach another Slam final. Mauresmo has a fairly favorable draw, but would have to beat Henin-Hardenne to advance to the final. Venus Williams has owned Mauresmo in their career meetings, registering a 5-1 record with her lone loss coming on clay last year when she retired with an injury.

Should Venus play her way into the second week, don't be surprised to see her holding up the title trophy at tournament's end.

Jan 16th, 2004, 07:13 PM
Friday 16th January 2004


Keep practicing those forehands V, I'm 98.765% sure she's winning this title

Jan 17th, 2004, 01:20 AM
Venus Williams (L) from the U.S. walks with her Mother Oracene (C) and trainer Mark Hlawaty (R) after finishing a practice session in Melbourne January 17, 2004.



Jan 17th, 2004, 05:39 AM
I love Venus soooo much!!! :inlove:

Jan 17th, 2004, 05:43 AM
Venus Williams of the United States holds a press conference prior to the 2004 Australian Open at Melbourne Park, January 17, 2004 in Melbourne, Australia






Jan 17th, 2004, 05:58 AM
Venus rises again
by Bren O'Brien
Saturday, January 17, 2004

Venus Williams has revealed that Australian Open 2004 will see her take a new approach to her game as she returns to the WTA Tour after recovering from an abdominal injury which has sidelined her since her Wimbledon final defeat last year.

The 23-year-old admits she has made mistakes over the past 12 months and she said on Saturday that she had learned her lessons and can't wait to get back to enjoying her tennis.

"I feel eager. Obviously I have not been in a competition in quite a few months. I'm quite excited to be playing and I'm bursting with energy," Williams explained.

"I just want to have fun. I want to go out there and enjoy the competition. I just want to enjoy hitting the ball back and forth. I want to enjoy my opponent hitting a good shot on me and getting one back on them. And when I'm doing all that it just comes easy."

Williams' main regret from 2003 was playing while injured - in particular at the French Open, where her bid to make a fifth-straight Grand Slam final was thwarted by Vera Zvonareva in the fourth-round.

"Looking back I shouldn't have played the French Open at all because I wasn't ready," she said. "I've learned now that if I'm not ready, if you have only a few days of practice, you can't go and play a Grand Slam. It was a hard lesson to learn."

Williams said she had also ignored her father Richard's advice not to play in the doubles at Wimbledon, and her stubbornness had contributed to the length she subsequently spent out of the game.

"At the time I really just felt like I wanted to play because I didn't want to look back and think 'maybe I could have done it and I could have played through it.'"

"The hardest thing is to accept your limitations, to accept that I couldn't do it. I was never taught to say 'I can't' - but I couldn't," she said.

The absence of both Venus and her younger sister Serena has seen Belgian pair Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters climb to the top of the rankings, and Williams said that she would not be satisfied that her comeback was complete until she was back on the top of the pile.

"I didn't even know I was No.11, I really didn't. I knew I'd dropped a little bit but that was to be expected. I suppose if you are No.1 in the world, you feel No.1, if you're anything less than that, you feel like you want to get to No.1."

"I'm obviously a few tournaments away from reaching my personal best ranking. As long as I play well I can keep climbing."

Williams is seeded No.3 for Australian Open 2004, after being granted an exception by the WTA, but says she wouldn't have been concerned if she had been seeded lower.

"If I was No.11 or No.3 I still would be very, very happy to play," she said. "For me I don't care who I play because I'm here to compete. I'm not afraid of anyone."

Williams will get her Australian Open campaign underway against teenage compatriot Ashley Harkleroad.

Jan 17th, 2004, 06:49 AM
Yea! Go Venus!

Jan 17th, 2004, 07:09 AM
Williams will get a chance to end drought at Australian Openhttp://www.tennis.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.tennis.com/pix/1.gif1/16/04 8:37 PM
http://www.tennis.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.tennis.com/pix/1.gifBy JOHN PYE

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Only one title. Zero Grand Slams. Several months on the sideline with an abdominal strain.

Those were just a few of the disappointments that plagued Venus Williams in 2003, a year in which she slid out of the top 10 rankings for the first time since 1997. She also lost her half-sister, who was shot to death in a Los Angeles suburb near where the Williams family once lived.

So it came as little surprise when, after arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open, she went straight to the practice courts. There was no talking about fashion or complaining about overloaded tour schedules like she has before previous Australian Opens.

``When punches are thrown at you, you'll have to get up,'' said Williams, her resolve sure to be tested more than ever this season.

Things are looking up already. In an unusual move, Williams was seeded third for the Australian Open _ eight spots higher than her current world ranking. The seeding took into account Williams' record before her injury.

With Williams' younger sister Serena still recovering from knee surgery and other former champions Jennifer Capriati, Mary Pierce and Monica Seles also sidelined with injuries, this could be Venus' best shot in Melbourne. There's also doubt over the fitness of No. 2 Kim Clijsters of Belgium and fifth-seeded Lindsay Davenport.

``I'm sure she's going to come back very strong and we'll have to be careful,'' Justine Henin-Hardenne, who finished 2003 ranked at No. 1 after capturing the French and U.S. Opens, said about Venus.

The men's draw is almost at full strength, and No. 1 Andy Roddick knows the competition is wide open.

Roddick, the U.S. Open champion, No. 2 Roger Federer (Wimbledon) and No. 3 Juan Carlos Ferrero (French Open) all won their first majors last season, the first time since 1977 that three male players earned their maiden Grand Slam titles in one season. Their average age is 22.

This will be the first time Roddick, 21, has entered a major with the top seeding.

``There's a bull's eye on my back every time I go out there now,'' he said. ``They'd all love to beat the guy who is ranked No. 1. ... It does make it harder. But I enjoy a challenge like that.''

Just before coming to Australia, Venus Williams won an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong. Still, she hasn't played a major tournament since July and hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the U.S. Open in 2001, when she completed a back-to-back Wimbledon-U.S. Open double with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Serena.

Serena has dominated their big encounters since then, winning the last five all-Williams finals at majors, including the 2003 Australian Open.

Venus has yet to conquer the Australian and French Opens. Serena has already won them all, her Australian Open victory last year completing a ``Serena Slam'' of all four majors.

The only one of the top five female contenders not carrying some kind of niggle into Melbourne is No. 4 Amelie Mauresmo, who lost the 1999 Australian Open final to Martina Hingis.

Clijsters, 20, hasn't played in almost two weeks since injuring her left ankle at the Hopman Cup and said she wouldn't risk her career if playing one tournament meant long-term damage.

Davenport, coming back from foot surgery last October, strained a chest muscle at the Adidas International. Although she didn't think it would hurt her chances next week.

Henin-Hardenne, 21, has developed her serve and forehand, and now thinks they're bigger weapons than her backhand. She's confident of adding to her two Grand Slam titles. The Belgian had a slight ankle sprain in Sydney and needed treatment for blisters, but doesn't believe it will trouble her in Melbourne.

``I always like to play a tournament before a Grand Slam because I need some rhythm,'' she said. ``I feel that my game right now is very good.''

On the men's side, defending champion Andre Agassi is more than capable of running his younger players out of the tournament. In May, at 33 years and 13 days, he became the oldest man to hold No. 1 in the ATP's entry rankings and remained there for 14 weeks.

Agassi hasn't lost a match at the Australian Open in this millennium, winning his second and third titles in 2000 and 2001, skipping 2002 with a wrist problem, and dropping just one set en route to his championship win over Rainer Schuettler in 2003.

He breezed into the final of this week's tuneup tournament at Kooyong for the fifth consecutive year and said his preparation for the Australian Open.

``I think it proves to me that the pieces are in place _ this gives you the reassurance that you're ready to get the tournament started,'' he said. ``I feel like I can step on the court and do it from start to finish and make somebody play a good match to beat me, and that's what you need to feel out there.''

The only other former champion in the men's draw is Sweden's Thomas Johansson (2002), who was sidelined all last season with a left knee injury.

Former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt and Wimbledon finalist Mark Philippoussis propelled Australia to a Davis Cup final triumph over Spain at Melbourne Park in December and are now striving to become the first local to win the national title since Mark Edmonson in 1976.

Hewitt, a former U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion, plummeted from No. 1 to No. 17 in 2003 and is seeded 15th, but said he's hitting the ball better than ever and thinks his time has come to win a home championship.

Another Aussie with a realistic chance of being in the winning camp at Melbourne Park is Mark Hlawaty, a journeyman pro working as a hitting partner for Venus Williams. She fielded 100 mph-plus serves from Hlawaty this week and sent them sizzling back even faster.

She showed no lingering effects from the abdominal strain that kept her out from July to November. It was during that break that half-sister Yetunde Price was killed.

With more than $13 million in prize money, millions more from endorsements, two Olympic gold medals, four Grand Slam singles titles and an interior design company, others might contemplate quitting tennis. Not the 23-year-old Venus.

``So soon? I want to play. It's been too long, too long ... it's great to be back!'' she said. ``I'm always going to the next level _ this year will be great.''

Jan 17th, 2004, 07:52 AM
I love seeing Vee smiling...Go Venus, I have and always will believe in you girl!! Go for your 5th major!!

Jan 17th, 2004, 07:50 PM
Go Venus!

Jan 17th, 2004, 09:36 PM
Goodluck Venus!

Jan 17th, 2004, 10:00 PM
Venus :bounce: :worship:

Jan 18th, 2004, 12:34 AM
Sunday January 18th

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20040118/i/r1208393759.jpg Venus Williams from the U.S., hits a backhand during a practice session in Melbourne January 18, 2004. Williams practiced for over an hour on Sunday as a warm-up for the Australian Open (news - web sites) championship, which starts January 19. REUTERS/Stuart Milligan

Venus Williams (news - web sites) from the U.S. looks down at a young boy called Jair (news) Bobbitt as he picks up tennis balls during a practice session in Melbourne, January 18, 2004. Williams practiced for over an hour on Sunday as a warm-up for the Australian Open

Jan 18th, 2004, 01:09 AM
Cute pic!:hearts:

Go Queen!!

Jan 18th, 2004, 02:14 AM
go queen vee.....claim your fifth grand slams titleeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!

venus williams is spelled as ...P....O.....W...E.....R.....!!!!!!!!

Jan 18th, 2004, 03:37 AM
GO Vee reclaim your throne!!

Jan 18th, 2004, 06:24 AM
hmm...do you think that may be one of Yetunde's children?
She looks so great in pink, I wish she would wear a pink/white combo!

Over a hour session...that's like a match. GO VEE!

Jan 18th, 2004, 07:03 AM
Nerves on edge as Venus lobs

http://www.wtafans.com/cgi/test/upload_pic/news/4585.jpg © United States' tennis player Venus Williams listens to a reporter's questions during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2004, for the Australian Open tennis championships starting Monday, Jan 19. (AP Photo/Steve Holland)

Sunday Mail
By Paul Malone

THEY speak in quiet, respectful tones about what is awaiting them, but the women who have made hay while the Williams sisters have been on tennis furlough are in the same boat as the rest of us.

Top-10 players, including world No. 1 Justine Henin-Hardenne, do not know how big an impact Venus Williams will have

on the Australian Open.

Few are game to say the deposed Wimbledon champion cannot win a Grand Slam off a preposterously skinny preparation of two exhibition matches in almost seven months.

Now two full years into a Grand Slam title drought, Venus, controversially seeded third, will begin her sixth bid to win an Australian Open with younger sister Serena on a long and puzzling injury rehab.

Williams said yesterday that despite her arduous 2003 campaign she still had the required fire in the belly.

"I was totally on missions before and I suppose I need to be on a mission now," she said.

"I like that. I am always thinking of moving to the next level and winning the Grand Slams and winning all the tournaments I play. It is a competitive streak that you never lose . . . to be at the top of my field."

Williams doesn't believe the lay-off has hurt her game.

"I feel rested. I feel eager. Obviously I have not been in competition quite a few months, but I am very excited to be playing. I am bursting with energy."

She said in retrospect she should never have played in the French Open after pulling out of earlier tournaments with the nagging left abdominal strain.

Then she pulled rank over father Richard when he suggested she not play doubles at Wimbledon, which might have prevented a semi-final re-aggravation of the injury.

"I shouldn't have played doubles at Wimbledon. My dad told me not to. Hard-headed, I didn't listen.

"If I get crazy, I have warned my trainer, don't let me hit too many serves. If I need to hit 30, I will hit 200. If I need to hit one hour, I will hit three hours."

She will play at least 17 tournaments this year, and hopes to recapture the form which has seen her capture four singles and six doubles Grand Slam titles.

Much has happened since either of the Williams sisters last played a competitive match in the July 5 Wimbledon final won by Serena.

Venus has been reported in the US to be thinking of changing her name to one of African origin and Serena has turned to television drama acting and attending showbiz events, most notably one at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch.

The wavering application the Williams sisters have had to the sport, which was responsible for Serena's new $US80 million ($105 million) clothing deal and $US33m in shared tournament prizemoney, will be under greater scrutiny in the wake of the murder of their half-sister Yetunde Price four months ago.

"She (Venus) has enough experience and a lot of motivation. I'm sure she's going to be in great shape and we'll have to be careful," Henin-Hardenne, who has assumed the top ranking since, said.

"Everybody's been talking about her because she's been off for a few months. It's good for everybody. We're very excited about it.

World No. 9 Chanda Rubin's guess is as good as most, as Rubin lost in straight sets to Venus in Hong Kong eight days ago in the first of two exhibition matches that constitute her matchplay preparation.

"I think Venus's game will be ready. She didn't play the most solid match, but it was the first match for her and I thought she made a big improvement in her second match (a straight-sets win over Russian Maria Sharapova)," Rubin said.

"That's a good sign for her. She moved well and she had pretty good anticipation."

After her Hong Kong tournament Williams told reporters she felt "like a Phoenix rising out of the flames".

Jan 18th, 2004, 07:06 AM
Falling stars leave Venus in Justine's sights

http://www.wtafans.com/cgi/test/upload_pic/news/blank.gif ©

By Darren Walton
January 18, 2004
The Sun-Herald

Venus Williams is the mystery ingredient in an Australian Open that otherwise shapes as Justine Henin-Hardenne versus the rest.

Resuming after a month-long spell and fitter for the run at the Sydney International, Henin-Hardenne might be the only player able to go the distance at the first grand slam

event of the year.

And not only are most of the world No.1's rivals either scratchings or off the pace, recent history weighs heavily in Henin-Hardenne's favour.

The women's top seed at the past 10 Australian opens has made the final - and won seven titles. But Williams is the X-factor.

The 23-year-old American has not played competitively since losing the Wimbledon final to younger sister Serena in July.

Apart from battling a persistent abdominal-muscle injury, the four-time grand slam champion and former world No.1 has had to deal with the shooting murder of her older sister, Yetunde Price, in Los Angeles in September.

Williams knows her fortitude will be tested this season, but she has already shown she has lost none of the strength and desire that took her to the top of her profession.

"When punches are thrown at you, you'll have to get up," she said after winning the Champions Challenge exhibition in Hong Kong last week.

"It's been too long, too long . . . it's great to be back."

Having barely picked up a racquet in five months, Williams beat world No.10 Chanda Rubin and the 31st-ranked Maria Sharapova without losing a set in her comeback event.

And Williams has a long history of excelling when fresh after time away from the game.

She won back-to-back Wimbledon and US Open crowns in 2000-01 despite playing a relatively limited schedule compared to her peers. Indeed, the world No.11 - whose injury-protected ranking has elevated her to third seed for the Australian Open - missed the first four months of the 2000 season with tendonitis in both wrists before snaring her breakthrough major on the lawns of London.

Henin-Hardenne, for one, has no doubt Williams is entitled to be considered among the favourites in an Open draw lacking in depth after a raft of withdrawals - including Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati, who between them have won the past three titles - and doubt about Kim Clijsters's participation.

Jan 18th, 2004, 08:26 AM
I can't wait to see the Queen on courts!!!:D

Jan 18th, 2004, 08:29 AM
I know, I can't wait to see her either. It's been FAR too long!


Almost at 200 posts in the thread! Keep it up guys!

Jan 18th, 2004, 01:08 PM
Venus....I'm really glad to see you back.. you are my alltime #1 fav.. Have a great AUS 04...I'm sure you will do your best to be the last woman standing. GOOD LUCK!

Jan 18th, 2004, 03:05 PM
Thanks for all the great articles! :D

Jan 18th, 2004, 04:45 PM
I'm just glad they have Roddick, Agassi, Justine and Lindsay all on opposite days as Venus. They are almost certain to show all her matches. :) The only american they will be showing on the same day as Venus is Mardy Fish, and I actually don't mind watching his matches.

Jan 18th, 2004, 05:05 PM
it sucks we have to wait until Monday night to see her! :(

GO VENUS! :bounce: :bowdown:

Jan 18th, 2004, 05:44 PM
I love to see Venus plays Justine in the final. I like them all. No other players worth to be in the final.

Jan 18th, 2004, 05:47 PM
Welcome back to the Queen!!:bounce: :bounce:

Now, Please claim your thrown!!:worship:

Jan 18th, 2004, 05:58 PM
Good luck Venus you can win this.

Jan 18th, 2004, 06:35 PM
We are waiting for you Queen!:wavey:

Jan 18th, 2004, 07:34 PM
Chanda is really the only other female American on Vee's side, so we should see ALL of her matches!

YES! THis is huge, because last year we barely saw her!


Jan 18th, 2004, 08:55 PM
I'm so hyper, I love the Majors :bounce:

I just want Venus to be happy and healthy and everything else will fall into place. :)

Go Venus, I wish she played today! Cause if I don't get my VCR working I won't get to see her play tommorow. :eek: :sad:

Jan 18th, 2004, 09:40 PM
Best Wishes, Venus! Welcome back!

Good to see you smiling again!

Now...TAKE THIS TITLE!:bounce:

And hello to all the Venus fans everywhere!:wavey:

Jan 18th, 2004, 11:30 PM
Can't wait to see her winning it!!!!

Jan 19th, 2004, 02:10 AM
Bring the title home V.


Jan 19th, 2004, 06:59 AM
GO VEE! Good luck against Ashley!

Jan 19th, 2004, 07:23 AM
Venus's AO interview video clip


Jan 19th, 2004, 01:38 PM
:worship: :worship: GO VENUS!!!:worship: :worship:
:bounce: :bounce: WIN YOUR FIFTH MAJOR!!!:bounce: :bounce:
:lol: :lol: IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER!!!:lol: :lol:

Jan 19th, 2004, 07:25 PM
Keep rating this thread 5 guys...we've falled to three stars :sad:

And we were half on on the second page of the Aussie forum! :eek:

Anyhoo...GO VENUS! Hopefully when I get home from work, I'll have good news (Vee def. Ash 6-0 6-0 :)

Jan 19th, 2004, 08:16 PM
Keep rating this thread 5 guys...we've falled to three stars :sad:

And we were half on on the second page of the Aussie forum! :eek:

Anyhoo...GO VENUS! Hopefully when I get home from work, I'll have good news (Vee def. Ash 6-0 6-0 :)
how exactly do we do the ratings thingy?:confused:

anyway, I CAN NOT believe we will finally get to see Venus tonight!
can't wait! :D :D

Jan 19th, 2004, 10:28 PM
Can Venus get a protective seeding for the AO or does the tournament make the decision? I would think a lot of players would prefer for her to be seeded to avoid seeing her too soon.

In the lot of Tennis history, she's got the real prowess and lot of charisma incomparable to her compatroit...she's a one personality that fames and fumes up tournaments with lots of esctacy. She's to be seeded as a matter of recognition. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: to higher hight in this AO...

Jan 19th, 2004, 11:20 PM
Anyone knows what time her match starts european time? Thanks in advance.

I'm so nervous thinking about her comeback!!!!!


Jan 20th, 2004, 12:28 AM
ok thanks.yes i'm staying up as I don't have to work tomorrow.Venus return is worth some less sleeping hours :hearts:


Jan 20th, 2004, 03:57 AM
Very good win over a scrappy opponent, Vee! :bounce:

Jan 20th, 2004, 04:36 AM
Great Job Venus:bounce: Welcome back Queen:hearts:

Jan 20th, 2004, 06:34 AM
Yea! I still have an hour until the match...but WOW! I love her outfit! I think it's amazing!

Jan 20th, 2004, 06:39 AM
Venus Victorious In Australian Open Return
Photo By Fred Mullane By Richard Pagliaro

Venus Williams returned to the Grand Slam stage and performed with the powerful presence of a prominent player who plans to stick around for a while. The third-seeded Williams annihilated fellow American Ashley Harkleroad, 6-2, 6-1 in Tuesday’s opening-round victory at the Australian Open.

It was Williams’ first WTA Tour match since she succumbed to younger sister Serena in the Wimbledon final on July 5th.

In that defeat, Venus played through the pain of an abdominal strain to reprise her runner-up role to Serena for the fifth straight time in their six shared Slam finals. Serena, two-time Australian Open champion Jennifer Capriati and former champions Monica Seles and Mary Pierce are sitting out the season’s opening Slam, while perennial contenders Kim Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport are both battling injuries.

In this depleted draw, Venus looks like a player completely capable of advancing to her second consecutive Australian Open final.

Harkleroad’s counter-punching style is based on her quickness and court coverage, but she simply couldn’t prolong the points against the power of the two-time Australian Open doubles champion who dominated play from the opening game. Dictating play from the baseline, Williams hit 27 winners compared to three for Harkleroad. She was particularly potent with her return of serve, breaking the Flintstone, Georgia resident in five of her six service games.

The 18-year-old Harkleroad held serve to cut Williams’ lead to 2-4 in the first set. Williams won eight of the next nine games to close out the match. The streak began with successive 110 mile-an-hour serves that saw Venus hold at love to stretch her lead to 5-2. She broke serve to seize the first set.

In the second set, Williams effectively attacked Harkleroad’s serve, winning 14 of Harkleroad’s 21 service points to advance to the second round where she will face either Russia’s Vera Douchevina or China’s Jie Zheng.

Sixth-seeded Anastasia Myskina, eighth-seeded Ai Sugiyama and 12th-seeded Paola Suarez were among the other seeds to advance to the second round

Jan 20th, 2004, 08:14 AM
THE MODERATOR: Venus, tell us about your match.

VENUS WILLIAMS: I was real excited out there today. I really just wanted to focus on just hitting through the ball and going for my shots and when I was on the run just hitting them, hitting my returns. Really just doing all the things I always practice on. So I was pretty satisfied with the match and I played against a good player also.

Q. What were your feelings just stepping on the court for the first time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, I guess it's a little bit sentimental, but at the time I was really very focused in on really my performance. Afterwards, it was really just a breath of fresh air, just like, "Oh, yes, I'm back now. I'm doing good."

I guess the only way to understand how it feels is to actually have been in the position I was in.

Q. More butterflies than usual?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, not really. Not really. I was pretty clear on what I wanted to do and I was pretty clear also on the kind of player that she was. And was really just a matter of me going out there and executing.

Q. Were you surprised that they bumped you up in the seeding?


Q. Were you expecting that or...?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I'm really grateful, I suppose, to the seeding. But other than that, I really didn't pay so much attention. I think the seeding's pretty consistent with the WTA rules.

Q. Can you take us through what happened at 3-1 in that first set.

VENUS WILLIAMS: As far as...?

Q. You seem to hurt the ankle a little bit.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I was going for the swing volley, and I twisted my right ankle, so I'll just monitor it and see how it goes. But I'm not anticipating that it will be so bad.

Q. Did it need any treatment after the match?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Just ice so far, but it hasn't been so long after. So I'm gonna reevaluate after this conference.

Q. Can you give us a little idea of how your recovery went, like when you first started to go on the court and how long you were on the court and all that kind of stuff.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. It just varied. Some days I hit an hour. I tried to start out with half an hour, an hour, then go from there to, you know, hopefully two hours, three hours, sometimes an afternoon session.

I tried to get the most out of my practice when I was there since maybe I couldn't have stayed on the court as long as I would have liked.

Basically, I kept building it up. Even still now I have some shorter days and some longer days just to not really just rocket into it but kind of ease myself into it and do the smart thing. In the past I have kind of rushed too much, and that doesn't work.

Q. When did you first go back on court after Wimbledon, the first time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I went back on court... I guess I went out to LA, when Serena had the procedure. I tried to hit then, but it wasn't working. I was trying to play the US Open. After that, I took a few weeks off. After the US Open, I tried to go back out again and tried to get ready for my next tournaments in the fall, but that didn't happen.

So, basically, I really started going out full-time in December.

Q. Do you think your career and your life has developed the way you thought when you started as a professional in '97?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, definitely. I've reached a lot of my goals. I think when I get to the point where I have no more goals to reach, then I wouldn't have any reason to play. But I don't think I'll ever get there.

And I think that I'm always expecting to get more out of myself, so obviously, I'd like to get better and stronger and more consistent. But it gives me a lot to look forward to.

Q. Each year we seem to talk about the more aggressive approach, but was it my imagination you seemed to come to the net more a bit today? Are you trying to do that here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think my game lends itself for me to move in because my shots penetrate and I have the opportunity to move in and follow up after them, and my volleys aren't, like, that bad.

So today I did hit a lot of penetrating shots and I tried to move in. Really it's just all about playing the ball. If the ball is deep you move back, if it's short you move in. That's really what I'm trying to do, is play with the ball.

Q. What's it like being here without Serena?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Not the same. Not the same. I'm alone in the room. You know, phone's not ringing, because her phone's always ringing non-stop (smiling).

I guess that's a difference. But I miss her. No doubles.

Q. Did you feel trepidation going back on court today, first time in many months?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I suppose maybe in a way, but I think that more than anything I just wanted to play consistently because I feel I can hit lots of great shots. But it's not about one or two great shots; it's about playing consistently and playing the point correctly. I think I did okay at that today.

Q. I saw a picture of your nephew, the little guy on the front page. How old is he?


Q. Is he having a good time here?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, he thinks he's a star (smiling). "I'm a star. See my picture in the paper?" Showed everyone his picture. I'm like, "Oh, God, we're not showing any more pictures."

I said, "What did you do to become a star?" I asked him.

"I'm a star." But it's hard when you're young. You don't understand.

Q. Who were your heroes growing up? What did you learn from them? What can youngsters learn from watching your game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I guess my first hero maybe was Sabatini, and then after that it was Becker. I used to serve like him at 10 years old. Then it was Monica Seles. That's where I got my grunt from. I was grunting like her. It's amazing, 10 and 11, I'm watching on TV. 10 years later I'm playing against her.

Q. Did you try to learn anything from their games?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I don't know if I tried to learn anything, I just tried to be like them. So maybe in essence I did learn something from them.

Q. What can young tennis players watching you on TV learn from your game?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Hopefully good technique. I mean, sometimes I'm off on my technique, but that's what's most important is the technique. Hopefully to have fun, too. I have fun when I'm out there.

Q. Has there been anything strange about being back, all the hoards of players in the beginning of a Grand Slam tournament? You've been off in your own quiet life.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Exactly, exactly. Definitely, I'm having to deal with a lot more people. I think I've gotten really comfortable with not having to have as much people in my private space. I suppose I was an old pro at it. Now I'm just picking it back up.

But other than that, I'm just rolling with it.

Q. Has it been fun to catch up with some people you haven't seen for a while?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, yeah. Everyone's been real nice, asking people what they did over the holiday. Things change when you're gone for six months. So just catching up.

Q. When you lost your serve at the end, how do you look at Justine at the No. 1 in the world now and top favorite for this tournament?

VENUS WILLIAMS: She definitely deserves where she is. You don't get to No. 1 unless you deserve to be there. I've been at the top before, and it must be really immensely satisfying for her.

Q. You said you'd stop playing when you achieved your goals. What are they specifically?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, first one would be to win every match. Then the second would be to win every point. I obviously, realistically, I don't think there's ever a point in any competitor or any athlete's life where they stop having goals. It gets to the point probably where you can't reach them anymore. But I feel like definitely I'm still on the rise - always on the rise.

Q. Just going back to what you were saying about your nephew being on the front page of the paper, do you believe you have to earn the right to be a star?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Oh, sure. I guess so. I don't know, some people want to grow up and become a star and be world-famous. Other people want to be good at what they do. And I think I'm one of those people that just I want to be good at what I do. The other stuff came second. I was just raised to be a tennis player. That's what I am.

Q. For the benefit of our lady readers, can you just describe the fashion today, the dress, the earrings, the engagement ring (laughter).

VENUS WILLIAMS: No engagement ring. Actually, my finger, I hit it, and it's been swollen for weeks now. I can't get the ring off so... Bad luck.

But, yeah, the outfit was -- I suppose it's a halter, a Reebok in conjunction with Diane Von Furstenburg, who's completely a legend in fashion design. It's a lot of fun to wear. It's a lot of fun to wear.

Q. Same earrings you wore on court?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, earrings, I got these in Hong Kong. I guess accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. I'm just your regular girl, I really am.

Q. Are they diamond encrusted?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah. I have to be careful. When I get home, Serena's going to want them. I'll have to hide them. I like long and dangly, really big hoops, and one day the diamond studs.

Obviously, I have to win a big event before I can reward myself. Maybe Serena will get them for me.

Q. The clasp in your hair?

VENUS WILLIAMS: In the hair? Oh, yeah, just light blue. Like I said, I just -- I like to have the complete outfit. I just believe that if you look good, you play better. I'm serious. Have you ever gone anywhere, you're not looking your best, you feel a little, you know, a little self-conscious. When I walk out on that court, my game's ready and outfit's ready, too (laughing).

Okay, I'm totally off the subject (laughter).

Thank you all.

To watch the interview go here http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2004-01-20/200401201074575497176.html

Jan 20th, 2004, 09:22 AM
her movement was AMAZING!

Her dress was BEAUTIFUL!

her ankle scare was very scary.

...I cried when I saw her play. Too emotional!

Jan 20th, 2004, 10:21 AM

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Venus tends to play down her injuries, so I'm still worried about that ankle...

Jan 20th, 2004, 01:08 PM
Well done, Venus! :kiss: :hearts: :bounce:

Jan 20th, 2004, 04:44 PM
Well done Venus.It was just like a training session for her.Well I hope that ankle thng is nothing serious.A little scared about that,but so excitong to see her again!!!

Jan 20th, 2004, 05:39 PM
Venus, hope you win this :)

Jan 20th, 2004, 06:42 PM
great first round win by venus. that forehand was looking GREAT!

Jan 20th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Her forehand crosscourt, especially, was on fire. I think it was one of the few matches where her forehand seemed to be better then the backhand!


Jan 20th, 2004, 07:28 PM
her forehand on the run was amazing but the return off the first serve was just :o

Jan 20th, 2004, 08:36 PM
Venus sent a real message about her forehand yesterday. She looked very good coming in dictating play but her first serve percentage will have to improve a bit . Otherwise she is showing she is ready to go.

Jan 20th, 2004, 08:57 PM
This Australian Open has your name written ALL OVER IT....I have faith in Queen Vee....she has this tournament...on lock...GO VENUS!!!!!!

Jan 20th, 2004, 09:08 PM
i normally don't do cheering threads, but this one is exceptional.

Jan 20th, 2004, 09:34 PM
OMG the ankle was so scary, especially since the same thing happened exactly to me this summer..I hope ehrs is less seious that mine!!!

Great match though, really made Mary Joe and Pam eat their words!

Jan 20th, 2004, 10:37 PM
Hey Everyone!

Gosh, with exams and going on vacation I'm having trouble posting. I taped Venus's match and I watched it twice already. I'm just so happy she's back. Her entire game looked great and I think she will not let us down. Let me tell you, when Venus rolled her ankle at 3-1 I was so SCARED! I was like "Oh No!, Not again!" But hopefully she'll be ok. Next up is Vera Douchevina...

My Prediction:

Venus Williams def. Vera Douchevina 6-1,6-2!

I thought the dress was really beautiful, I just want my Queen in some more color. But her forehand and 2nd Serve seemed fine and they will only get better. I really have faith that she can do it, but let's take it one match at a time!

GO VENUS! WE LOVE YOU! :worship: :bounce: :worship: :bounce: :worship:

Jan 21st, 2004, 02:55 AM
Come on Venus :D:D:D

BTW, didn't Harkleroad and Douchevina play ojn tv at the Us Open?

Jan 21st, 2004, 06:57 AM
Yea, Pam and Mary Joe did get annoying, but thank goodness for Cliff!

I don't care what the score is, as long as Vee wins (actually, I wouldn't mind seeing something like a 7-5 6-2, because she'd play longer :lol: Having not seen her in 6 months, I want LONG matches!)

Jan 21st, 2004, 07:27 AM
Yea, Pam and Mary Joe did get annoying, but thank goodness for Cliff!

I don't care what the score is, as long as Vee wins (actually, I wouldn't mind seeing something like a 7-5 6-2, because she'd play longer :lol: Having not seen her in 6 months, I want LONG matches!)
What did they say before the match about Venus? Did they say something after?

Jan 21st, 2004, 11:53 AM
Venus's Eurosport video interview


CLick the camera icon below her story line "Venus is back to take care of business"

Jan 21st, 2004, 04:58 PM
Venus Williams vs. Vera Douchevina

Tonight, 2nd Match On Vodafone!

They better televise it on ESPN or I will be very angry! :fiery:

Jan 21st, 2004, 06:49 PM
:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Jan 21st, 2004, 07:16 PM
don't worry she's american, they'll show her its agassi and roddicks day off :o

Jan 21st, 2004, 07:26 PM
Go Venus!!!:wavey:

Jan 21st, 2004, 08:23 PM
I really hope ESPN does show Venus. I Was thinking...there really are no American men the same day she plays. The only other top American female is Rubin. So they could show both Venus and Chanda!

KICK Ass Vee!

Jan 21st, 2004, 08:25 PM
LucasArg said:
What did they say before the match about Venus? Did they say something after?
Ah, they were just being losers. Mary Joe actually said "I played with her on Fed-Cup, and she has no respect for the other players!"

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

And you know Pam. Basically bashing her forehand and second serve.

Cliff was there to put them in her place. He kept saying "She's the favorite in my book". Then they showed her previous slam results. And Cliff was like "Look at all the finals. That's why she's the favorite here."

Jan 21st, 2004, 08:42 PM
Why Venus fascinates in 2004
by Mark Woodforde
Wednesday, January 21, 2004</I>

The fascinating element of the women's draw is whether Venus Williams has the 'legs' so to speak, to win the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup on the final Saturday of the championship.

Fascinating, isn't it that Venus Williams along with her sister would be the first two names you would usually mention when assessing the field for a Grand Slam championship.

Australian Open 2004 is slightly different. There has been a lot of talk about Henin-Hardenne being seeded No.1 for the first time, or Kim Clijsters' path being impeded by an ankle injury suffered at Hopman Cup.

The return of Lindsay Davenport to competitive play or even Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo's need to hold the trophy after a few years of being thereabouts on the women's scene has also cropped up in discussions.

It is not as if the Williams name has been deleted from the list of contenders. On paper, she is the best in the field, with no disrespect to Justine who had a fantastic 2003. Or to Kim who is a constant threat in every Grand Slam event she plays.

But if you haven't played the matches, you struggle. As we see in sports like football, players who don't engage in a proper pre-season campaign struggle to play at the required intensity when the matches start.

There have to be doubts that Venus can win the championship when the last tournament she played before here was at Wimbledon, more than six months ago. As talented and as athletic as she is, a question mark hangs over her form.

So what are the signs? If Venus is engaged in a drawn-out encounter, locked at, say 3-3 in the third set, we might see some ordinary play. The pace on her second serve suffers and her forehand will become less potent.

Along with Lindsay Davenport, Venus carries the hopes of the United States at Melbourne Park over the next week and a half.

Australia's little battler is Nicole Pratt, whose form is more like that of a fine wine (better with age) than many of her peers, who play their best tennis in the their early 20s.

'Pratty' has invested a lot of time and money into lengthening her career. This is her 14th Australian Open and her best effort here came as recently as last year when she made it through to the final 16 for the first time.

Her never-say-die attitude has shone through with successive victories but she needs to adopt a far more aggressive gameplan to trouble her next opponent, Vera Zvonareva, who handily dispatched Nicole last week in Sydney.

Most notable about the men's draw was the unfortunate loss of Carlos Moya to injury. In my book, he is a serious player and would have contended mightily here.

The loss of Guillermo Coria, Max Mirnyi, Younes El Aynaoui, Nicholas Massu, Mardy Fish, Arnaud Clement, Vince Spadea, Tommy Robredo, Rainer Schuettler, Martin Verkerk, Feliciano Lopez, Felix Mantilla and Jonas Bjorkman doesn't take away the focus from the real contenders and their prospects.

To be truthful, each was capable of playing up to their seeding, but not to claim the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup on the final Sunday. In 2004 however, they didn't appear to be in the same class as Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis.

Jan 21st, 2004, 08:54 PM
I know it's early...but keep supportin' Vee here


Jan 21st, 2004, 08:56 PM
from www.VenusWilliams.com (http://www.VenusWilliams.com)

Venus Cruises into Second Round of Australian Openhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gif1/20/04 4:24 PM

http://picsrv.venuswilliams.com/fif=/venuswilliams/img_242_247.fpx&obj=iip,1.0&wid=150&hei=150&rgn=0.0578,0.2858,0.926,0.6224&cvt=jpeg (javascript:openRMA(65873))http://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gif

http://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifMelbourne, Australia - After being sidelined nearly six months due to an abdominal injury, third-seed Venus Williams returned to the Australian Open with a 6-2, 6-1 victory (http://www.venuswilliams.com/events/report.sps?iEventID=11966&categoryid=436)yesterday against fellow American Ashley Harkleroad. This was Venus’ first appearance in a major since losing to her sister Serena in the Wimbledon final last year. “I was real excited out there today. I really just wanted to focus on just hitting through the ball and going for my shots. I was pretty satisfied with the match.”

Venus had little to overcome in the 51-minute match, with the only mishaps being a twisted ankle in the fourth game and dropped service game in the second set. "I was going for my swing volley and twisted my right ankle," she said. "I'll monitor it, see how it goes - I'm not anticipating that it will be so bad."

http://picsrv.venuswilliams.com/fif=/venuswilliams/img_242_248.fpx&obj=iip,1.0&wid=150&hei=150&rgn=0.0328,0.0133,0.9203,0.6913&cvt=jpeg (javascript:openRMA(65875))http://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gif

http://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifhttp://www.venuswilliams.com/pix/1.gifVenus served at speeds up to 119 mph and won 75 percent of points on her first serve. She didn't waste any time, between points or on them, converting on five of six break point chances producing 27 winners against Harkleroad, ranked No. 51 last season.
Williams, runner-up to her sister Serena at Melbourne Park last year, was given the No. 3 seeding here, despite her ranking dropping to No. 11 at the end of last season. The WTA Tour made the recommendation based on Williams' "protected ranking."
Venus will next face Russian Vera Douchevina, who defeated China’s Jie Zheng in opening-round action.

By Mark Gorski, Staff Writer


Jan 21st, 2004, 09:01 PM
Here's another thread to show support


Jan 21st, 2004, 09:16 PM
Ok I'm a little bumed about the ankle sprain, but. We all know that something like that can't stop Venus.

GO V! :bounce:

Jan 21st, 2004, 09:58 PM
Yea! ESPN will show Vee's second match!!


Jan 21st, 2004, 10:27 PM
Good Luck Venus :bounce: I know some of you here might accuse me of suddenly jumping on the Venus bandwagon here, but watching her match the other day and seeing her interviews and everything was great. I hope she does well here and at least I am wishing her well on the comeback trail. I could easily have declared I was a fan when she was dominating and lapped up the glory, but I think after her absence from the tour, seeing her again has given some excitement back into the game and I realise how much she was missed. :angel:

Jan 22nd, 2004, 02:53 AM
Venus i up a set and a break now! Come on Queen :bounce: