What’s so special about Wimbledon for Venus?

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By Cleyana Mayweather

It’s the second week at Wimbledon and a five-time Wimbledon champ is still in it. And, I’m not talking about Roger Federer. I’m talking about the women’s two-time defending champion Venus Williams. The world’s No.3 player has dominated the All England Club winning five of the last eight championships, reaching seven of the last eight finals,  and winning 30 consecutive sets dating back to 2007.

One might think that dominating the most cherished major would transfer to success at other majors as well, but that hasn’t been the case for Williams. Williams hasn’t won a major other than Wimbledon since the 2003 Australian Open and has only advanced once during the last six years past the quarterfinals of a major. It seems that Williams goes into hibernation for most of the year and comes out only to play Wimbledon.

Why has Williams been so successful at Wimbledon? venus-williams_1432314c

Is it because she shares the same name with the trophy?

Or maybe she feels lucky in white?

These are superstitious reasons, but there are definitely technical reasons to answer this question. Williams’ game is suited for grass court play. Williams’ serve on grass gives her a huge advantage. Her serve was once clocked at 129 mph making it the fastest women’s serve in history. Williams stays low to the ground on her groundstrokes moving around the court with grace and style. Oh, and don’t dare leave a shot short because Williams will step in and hit a big volley in your face. That’s just as stupid as trying to get a shot over her long wingspan. She is 6’1 if you didn’t know.

Williams’ success on the All England Club courts has been remarkable. Who could forget the 2005 finals thriller against former No.1 Lindsay Davenport that had everyone calling Williams’ game off the wall? Williams, ranked No. 14 in the draw, was given no shot to even make it to the finals by analysts, but that didn’t stop her. Williams showed she had the heart of a lion ousting Maria Sharapova in the semifinals and then took it to Davenport in the final. The finals’ match went on for almost three hours making it the longest women’s final in history including a 25 shot exchange in the third set that also was the longest point in Wimbledon history. Williams also faced match point in the final. In the end, it was a 4-6, 7-6(4), 9-7 victory over Davenport and one of the greatest women’s finals recorded.

Dubbed as the “best grass court player of our generation” by her sister Serena, Venus is on track to win a third straight Wimbledon title and sixth title overall. A three-peat hasn’t been accomplished since Steffi Graf in 1991-93. With a sixth Wimbledon singles title, only Martina Navratilova (9) and Graf (7) will have more Wimbledon titles than Williams.

When Williams was nine, she told her father that Wimbledon was the championship she wanted to win the most. The only thing that may stand in the way of Williams winning her sixth Wimbledon title is a knee-wrap. Williams is wearing a knee-wrap on her left knee to help her with support after complaining of pain after her first round match. The knee wrap hasn’t slowed Williams down a bit as she hasn’t dropped a set in the Championships.

Williams has made the All England Club her personal playground performing in Wimbledon like she does in no other tournament. So don’t be surprised if you see her in the July 4th final. Fireworks may be in the sky for Williams for the sixth time.