In 2011, Venus Williams pulled out of the US Open after being diagnosed with Sjorgen’s Syndrome. The disease causes fatigue and pain in the joints and, with Williams on the wrong side of 30, many would have wondered if we would ever get to see her again in the final stages of a major tournament, let alone win one.
Yet, here we are, six years later as a 37-year-old Venus Williams prepares to take on Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, 14 years her junior, in her second Grand Slam final of 2017. While she faced her seemingly in-conquerable sister Serena in the final of the Australian Open earlier in the year, not many would refute the notion that Venus has a chance at winning a sixth title at Wimbledon, her first Grand Slam in nearly a decade.
Williams came into the tournament as the 11th seed and amid the storm that was created with her involvement in a fatal car crash. The first match that she played was against Wang Qiang and her muted celebrations after the win showed the effect it had on her. But she did not let that affect her game, as was evident when she saw off Naomi Osaka in the Round of 32 7-6 (3), 6-4. She then beat Croatia’s Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-2 before beating this year’s surprise French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The latter was only a month old when Williams made her debut at Wimbledon back in 1997 and came into the match on the back of an imperious run of form but was no match for the power and consistency of Williams.
Williams then beat local hope Johanna Konta in one of the two lopsided semi-finals played on the day. It looked an even contest until 4-4 in the first set. But Konta’s unforced errors and Williams’ unflinching consistency meant that the 37-year-old won the match 6-4, 6-2.