Veteran tennis ace Venus Williams looks to have hit vintage form early in the Australian summer.
If a video shared by the WTA on its official Twitter page is any indication, the seven-time Grand Slam champion is in the mood to give one last determined push to breach the final frontier – Australian Open.
In the footage, the 40-year-old Venus is seen unleashing a fierce forehand cross court winner on serve against Dutch Arantxa Rus in a round-of-64 clash at the ongoing WTA 500 event in Melbourne on Sunday.
The American stormed to a 6-1, 6-3 win over the Dutchwoman, signaling her intent ahead of the year’s first Grand Slam.
In a courtside interview after the match, Venus said she was happy to be back in Australia. “It’s awesome to be back, I love Australia,” she said.
She also thanked Tennis Australia for arranging this event saying, “It wasn’t easy to get here. Many thanks to Tennis Australia for making this happen.”
On her clinical performance, the 40-year-0ld said, “(It’s) so hard to play first match of (the) season.”
While most athletes her age would gladly settle into a post-retirement life, Venus, by the looks of things, is far from done.
Though the Dutch could only produce a limp return to Venus’s dipping serve, the American still had to cover a good bit of ground to reach it.
And covered she did with the zest and swiftness of a prowling leopard, pouncing on the ball and letting fly an unstoppable winner off her handle.
The ageless American came close to lifting her maiden Australian Open title in 2017 but fell at the final hurdle to sister Serena Williams.
What could work to her advantage as she bids to break her title jinx at Melbourne Park this year is that she won’t be carrying the burden of expectations at 40.
Also, she would have to nail her serves every time and attack the net in a bid to close out points early.
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The faster she wraps up a game, the longer time she will have to recover between matches.