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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:29 PM   #1
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Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Happy Anniversary To Venus in Black History Month!!






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Memory Lane: Venus Williams Takes Over Number 1 Ranking In Historic Achievement







Venus Williams celebrates her rise to No. 1 in February 2002. (Ron C. Angle/Getty Images)


Twelve years ago today, Venus Williams became the first black female player to ascend to No. 1 since the introduction of the WTA Tour computer rankings in 1975.

When she seized the top spot in 2002, Williams also saluted Althea Gibson, a 1950s star who was the first black player to win Wimbledon and the U.S. National Championship (now the U.S. Open).


“When you’re on a professional tour, you don’t aspire to be No. 3 or No. 2,” Venus said of her milestone. “Normally you do your best to become the best. At this point, I am the best player in the world, so that’s exciting and it’s going to be mine at least a week.”
Venus added: “I think the best part is that I’ve enjoyed myself along the way and that I have not limited myself just to playing tennis or made myself believe that that’s the only thing in life. I’ve always been doing things at the same time and having a career. For me, that’s the best part.”

Williams was the two-time reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion at the time, but a limited playing schedule had complicated her climb to No. 1.

After winning four of her last five tournaments in 2001 to finish the year at No. 3, though, Venus packed her schedule through the first two months of the 2002 season and dominated.

Then 21, Venus won three of her first four tournaments and made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to finally give her enough points to unseat Jennifer Capriati for the top spot on Feb. 25, 2002. (Capriati fell to second, followed by Lindsay Davenport, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters; Serena was ninth.)


Venus held No. 1 for 11 non-consecutive weeks in 2002, the only year she was on top in her career. She debuted in 1994 and played her first full season in 1997.


Meanwhile, 2002 was also the year of Serena’s rise. Serena defeated Venus in the final of the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the younger Williams supplanted Venus at No. 1 after Wimbledon.


Now 33, Venus is a seven-time major winner. She has won 45 titles overall, including last week’s Dubai Championships, a victory that elevated her from No. 44 to No. 29.


source: http://tennis.si.com/2014/02/25/memo...-ranking-2002/
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:30 PM   #2
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:32 PM   #3
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Her 10-week reign was legendary.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:35 PM   #4
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Venus Williams: Recalling her historic domination of women's tennis



Twelve years ago today—for the first time during the Open Era—an African American woman claimed the title of No. 1 tennis player in the world. That historic moment belongs to tennis legend Venus Williams.
On February 25, 2002 Venus sat atop the tennis world. The intimidation of her searing serves, powerful ground strokes and unmatched speed had players defeated long before they stepped onto the court.
For years, the only woman who could match that power and speed was one who had been built from the very same blueprint—Serena.
Fast-forward 12 years, Venus Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, four-time Olympic gold medalist, owns 45 career singles titles, and has been ranked No.1 three separate times.
Many consider Venus to be the best grass court player of her generation. Off the court, her accomplishments include advocacy for equal prize money for women in tennis, and a thriving sports clothing company.
In 2011, Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease with potentially debilitating effects, temporarily sidelined Williams and seemed to put a damper on her career. But don't ever count a Williams sister out. Venus recently came roaring back in top form, claiming her 45th career title at the Dubai Championships Saturday.
At age 33, Williams plans to contend in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Ever evolving and striving, the tennis legend once said during an interview last July with talk show host Katie Couric, "I'm getting better all the time."
Spoken like a true legend.


source: http://www.examiner.com/article/venu...women-s-tennis
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

“Smarter” Venus Williams Believes She is on the “Grand Slam Path”



Following her third title in Dubai, Venus Williams believes she has finally returned to the “Grand Slam path.” The former world No. 1 won her first title since 2012, and first WTA Premier title since 2010, when she defeated Alize Cornet in straight sets last Sunday in Dubai. The win extended her undefeated streak at that tournament to 15-0 an served as an emphatic statement for the remainder of the first half of the season.
After it was revealed back in 2011 that Venus had Sjogren’s Syndrome, an incurable immune system disease that threatened to end her career, many believed, including the American, that her best days were far behind her. Now, after learning how to deal will her disease, Venus is back to her winning ways, reaching the finals in Auckland at the start of the season, and following up with yet another title win in Dubai.

Her performances have led her to believe that she may truly be back in Grand Slam contention.
“Winning all those Grand Slam titles, playing deep and getting to the final so many times, those are amazing accomplishments,” Williams told reporters.
“It takes a lot of nerve and mental prowess.

I’d like to think I’m on that path.”

The 33-year-old is not looking to replicate her past, but to simply improve upon herself and become a more developed competitor.
“But I’m not looking to do anything I did in the past, because I already did that. I’m looking to improve and be a better, smarter Venus. This week is obviously a step—every week for me is a step.”






source: http://www.stevegtennis.com/2014/02/...and-slam-path/
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

thank you!
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Not only was it great for black tennis, it was great for tennis as a whole. A great woman and hero.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:09 PM   #8
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Yay Venus!


Girl you did beyond good.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:09 PM   #9
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Awesome and what a lovely pic
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammo View Post
Her 10-week reign was legendary.
Damn right it was Not every player can say they were #1 even for a day.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:15 PM   #11
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammo View Post
Her 10-week reign was legendary.
EleVen
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:19 PM   #12
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

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Her 10-week reign was legendary.
11 weeks

Despite your snide remarks, Venus is a legend already.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:29 PM   #13
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

The OP linked to this but I thought it was worthwhile to post it. Oh and that's first African-American woman. Arthur Ashe was the first overall.


February 23, 2002

JIM FUHSE: Venus, congratulations on turning No. 1 on Monday. Has it had a chance to sink in yet, and do you have any special plans for celebrating it on Monday?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think my special plan would be just to get home, finally. It's been a long time on the road. I think I'm just looking forward to getting home and getting some rest with my family.

Q. I saw in your comment earlier this week that reaching No. 1 is a dream that started with your parents and then you took it over. How long have you wanted to be No. 1; and the way you've been playing lately, was it just a matter of time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, you know, obviously, when you're on a professional tour, you don't aspire to be No. 3 or No. 2. Normally you do your best to become the best. At this point, I am the best player in the world, so that's exciting and it's going to be mine at least a week.

Q. The way you've been playing, has have you been in this kind of a zone in a while? The streak you had going in through the Open, and then winning the tournaments in the last month or so, have you been at this level in a while and how much more do you think you've got to go?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, more and more I've learned tennis is just mental and technical. As long as you have the mental game down, your techniques are solid, physically all you need is just your body to be there with you. And physically has been one of my problems in the past. The past two months I have been able to play without pain and that's done a lot for me.

Q. A lot of people have talked about how you are the best player and you have been the last two years; yet, you have not really played a schedule maybe to make yourself in the No. 1 spot by not playing as much and going to school and everything. Has it really been that important and a focal point to you, or maybe winning the titles at Wimbledon and US Open take precedence; is that driving you?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Really, I think that if I had been No. 1 in the world and had not won any Grand Slams, it would be less of a significance. But having won Grand Slams, that really just makes it a lot more enjoyable, and I just feel like I deserve it. You know, being No. 1 and winning Grand Slams and winning titles, that's just all a part of having a successful career. I've worked hard; so I feel like I deserve a few perks there.

Q. A lot of us who live down in south Florida have known you from since when you were a kid have heard your father say you and Serena would be No. 1. Now that it has happened, what has his reaction been?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I just think that he's head over heels. He's going to give me a few pointers to try to stay on top.

Q. How important is staying on top? You just said you'll be there for one week, but how important is it for you to keep it going?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, right now, it's just been great getting there, but it's another thing staying there. So I just have to be dedicated and more than anything, keep enjoying the game, because at any point it becomes a burden, at least to me, that's when it's a problem.

Q. Your dad's prediction years ago that you would be No. 1, certainly, one of thee boldest predictions that has ever been made in tennis history. Did you ever think -- did you ever think, "Gee, I wish he had not done that, to just let me play"?

VENUS WILLIAMS: No, I never thought that. I thought he was telling the truth. I was just being the daughter of a proud father. And more than anything, I think he knew he put the work in and that he had -- we were listening to him, and I think that's why he had that confidence to say that myself and Serena would be Grand Slam Champions. Right now, we are some of the best players in the game, I guess, in history, and I just think that I give a lot of credit to my dad for that.

Q. You obviously did not play a lot of Junior tournaments. You skipped a bunch of other tournaments and never altered from having your parents being your prime coaches. Is there an aspect of your career that you are most proud of, venus?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think the best part is that I've enjoyed myself along the way and that I have not limited myself just to playing tennis or made myself believe that that's the only thing in life. I've always been doing things at the same time and having a career; for me that's the best part.


[ stuff about IW ]


Q. Just would like to know what it means to you to be the first African American to be ranked No. 1 in the world.

VENUS WILLIAMS: Well, it would be foolish to forget Althea Gibson, also. She was the first. And more than anything, I just feel proud to represent America in my sport.

Q. As Wimbledon Champion and US Open Champion, it's a tremendous achievement to get to No. 1 in the world, as well. Monica Seles was saying this week that it's a very exciting time for women's tennis, because the No. 1 position is being handed around; it's not being kept by one person for a long time as it used to be. Do you feel that? Do you feel this is a very exciting time for women's tennis and that new players are coming to the No. 1 ranking all the time?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think it's a very exciting time. I really thought I had a chance to win in the quarterfinal, but Jennifer was able to hang on. Because of the points race, at this point, it's really just a coin toss. At this point, I'm just happy about my position.

Q. What would be your kind of one little expert piece of advice to anyone who aspires to achieve what you've achieved?

VENUS WILLIAMS: That would be to enjoy the day and enjoy the competition, because a lot of times, it's really tight. My second suggestion would be you'd better have good techniques; in the crunch, so you can rely on your techniques.

Q. Can you talk about how difficult it's been being away from home for so long, and what you've missed the most; and did you intend to be on the road since late December?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Yeah, I did intend to be on the road. I gave my full commitment for the first two months of the year. I knew it would be really tough, and mentally I've prepared to not be at home. But I really miss my dog and I miss my family and I miss Serena, too. I miss the States more than anything. I did not get to go to the Winter Olympics; so I missed out on a few things, but in the end, it did help me out a lot.

Q. What's the first thing you'll do when you get home?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Eat some candy.

Q. I want to ask you, after Wimbledon, you said you were going to buy yourself a watch to celebrate. What are you going to get celebrate being No. 1?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I never got that watch.

Q. You never got that watch?

VENUS WILLIAMS: It was much more -- at this point, really, I will just kind of give a little pat on the back.

Q. And I want to talk a little bit what role the god, Jehovah, has had in reaching your goals?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I think more than anything just help me keep things in perspective and knowing that tennis, it's not the only thing, the only hope I have in life. So that's really helped me a lot, to realize this is just for now and that there's always a later.

Q. And do you want to give a shout out to anybody at home?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Everybody in south Florida and thanks for supporting me.

Q. Are you playing the NASDAQ 100 Open?

VENUS WILLIAMS: I am and I can't wait to get there. Last year I had an incredible time and an incredible finals match against Capriatti. That was one of my most favorite matches I've ever played. I'm hoping to return there and get a chance for the title again.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

so strange a player as good as her has only been number one for 11 weeks.

find it odd that safina, wozniacki, jankovic, and ivanovic all have been on top of the sport for longer times. she underachieved when u look at it that way. even serena didnt play a lot of events early on like venus didnt but she still had more weeks.

but she was the first so that is good because you cant ever take that away from her. she will always be the first and that is something truly special.
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Old Feb 26th, 2014, 08:53 PM   #15
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Re: Venus Recalls Historic Milestone: 1st African-American At #1

Quote:
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Happy Anniversary To Venus in Black History Month!!






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inShare


Memory Lane: Venus Williams Takes Over Number 1 Ranking In Historic Achievement







Venus Williams celebrates her rise to No. 1 in February 2002. (Ron C. Angle/Getty Images)


Twelve years ago today, Venus Williams became the first black female player to ascend to No. 1 since the introduction of the WTA Tour computer rankings in 1975.

When she seized the top spot in 2002, Williams also saluted Althea Gibson, a 1950s star who was the first black player to win Wimbledon and the U.S. National Championship (now the U.S. Open).


“When you’re on a professional tour, you don’t aspire to be No. 3 or No. 2,” Venus said of her milestone. “Normally you do your best to become the best. At this point, I am the best player in the world, so that’s exciting and it’s going to be mine at least a week.”
Venus added: “I think the best part is that I’ve enjoyed myself along the way and that I have not limited myself just to playing tennis or made myself believe that that’s the only thing in life. I’ve always been doing things at the same time and having a career. For me, that’s the best part.”

Williams was the two-time reigning Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion at the time, but a limited playing schedule had complicated her climb to No. 1.

After winning four of her last five tournaments in 2001 to finish the year at No. 3, though, Venus packed her schedule through the first two months of the 2002 season and dominated.

Then 21, Venus won three of her first four tournaments and made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to finally give her enough points to unseat Jennifer Capriati for the top spot on Feb. 25, 2002. (Capriati fell to second, followed by Lindsay Davenport, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters; Serena was ninth.)


Venus held No. 1 for 11 non-consecutive weeks in 2002, the only year she was on top in her career. She debuted in 1994 and played her first full season in 1997.


Meanwhile, 2002 was also the year of Serena’s rise. Serena defeated Venus in the final of the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the younger Williams supplanted Venus at No. 1 after Wimbledon.


Now 33, Venus is a seven-time major winner. She has won 45 titles overall, including last week’s Dubai Championships, a victory that elevated her from No. 44 to No. 29.


source: http://tennis.si.com/2014/02/25/memo...-ranking-2002/
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