Vegan Venus Williams talks about food and tennis
“I don’t think my opponent quite got the hang of _ you know, it’s hard to play the first match in a major, first thing of the year, and that can be a lot of pressure.” Williams said about the 80th-ranked Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan. “I did my best to just close it out.”
She is regularly asked when she plans to retire, and routinely says not yet. Despite her star power, Williams has not produced the results lately that she did a few years ago. She hasn’t made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam since the 2010 U.S. Open.
It’s been a decade since Williams‘ best showing at the Australian Open, which came in 2003 when she lost the final to her younger sister, Serena, who is a favorite to win this year in Melbourne. Still a powerful pairing, the sisters won gold at the London Olympics in doubles.
No. 3-ranked Serena cheered her sister from the stands on Monday. The younger Williams won Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and an Olympic gold in 2012.
Now that the elder Williams sister is back on the tour and feeling fit, she hopes to extend her career, which started in 1994, into a 20th season.
“Yeah, trying to celebrate the 20th anniversary,” she said. She reflected on her illness, which she said has helped her to “to focus on the things I can accomplish and not to think about the things that I can’t do.”
She also reflected on her career, and the difference between her teenage mentality and now.
“When you’re a young person, you just don’t think it’s ever going to end, and you’re on top of the world,” Williams said. “Now, I realize, all these opportunities, I try to make the best I can of them.”
Her focus for now remains on tennis, starting with a second-round match against Alize Cornet of France and possibly a third-round match with reigning French Open champion Maria Sharapova, who is ranked No. 2.
“I love the game,” she said, “and while I’m here, I’m going to go for it.”