Racking up 811 wins on the WTA tour, seven Grand Slam titles and 14 more majors on the doubles court, Venus Williams is regarded as an all-time great. On Wednesday, she turned 40 and she's still playing at the highest level.
There are many paramount moments from the American's career, let's celebrate a few notable moments from the world No. 67's career.
This is where it all began for Venus. Her beaded hair and fiery forehand would break into the WTA scene in 1994 at the Oakland Coliseum Arena. Knocking off No. 59-ranked Shaun Stafford to capture her first career win. Now, Venus sits at No. 6 among women in the Open era for most match wins.
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First Top-10 victory
Although she played just a sprinkle of tournaments for the next couple of years, Venus would rise to the occasion at one of the most prestigious events at Indian Wells in 1997. It was here where she snagged her first Top-10 win by defeating Iva Majoli in the round of 16. Later that year, the Croatian would take jabs at the rising star and stated, "She was a little bit cocky, like she was the best in the world.”
First Grand Slam victory with sister Serena
In 1999, Venus and Serena Williams did something that had never been done before. With a crosscourt return dipping low at Anna Kournikova’s feet, Venus would finish off the job for the sister duo. The three-set victory over Martina Hingis and Kournikova would make them the first sister combination to win a doubles Grand Slam.
With her father Richard and Serena cheering in the stands, Venus jumped up and down in excitement as she edged past Lindsay Davenport to not only capture her first singles Grand Slam triumph, but also become the first black woman to win since Althea Gibson in 1958.
“I feel good, I feel I deserve it and no matter what happens, this title is mine and you can’t erase that,” Venus said in a post-match interview. “So next year I’ll come back, but you know, I’m going to put my prediction in that Serena is a favorite.”
Venus would return and defend her title, defeating Justine Henin in the 2001 final.
Capturing her 32nd victory in a row, Venus was able to shake off her nerves and slip past Russian Elena Dementieva, 6-2, 6-4, in the Sydney Olympics final. She would carry the American flag in her hand and the gold medal around her neck with the biggest smile, but something even more special would happen the next day.
The Williams’ sisters became the first sisters to ever win a gold medal in doubles. From start to finish the duo was unstoppable; posting a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans in the final. Venus is only the second woman to win a gold in singles and doubles.
"For me, this is almost bigger than singles," Venus said in a post match presser. "To have a victory like this with Serena, my sister and best friend, doesn't happen very often."
Eleven Clothing line
The champion’s success extends far past the baseline of a tennis court. In 2007, Venus teamed up with retailer Steve & Barry’s to launch the largest fashion collection ever created by a female athlete. The fashion line offers an assortment of active lifestyle, classic and performance looks. Equipped with a fashion degree from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Venus is going full speed ahead with her brand, recently releasing sunscreen products.
Return to Top 5
In 2017, Venus had a stellar year by reaching two Grand Slam finals and finishing runner-up at the WTA Finals in Singapore. It was her first time back in the Top 5 since 2011. She had the most wins at the majors that year of anyone on tour, and with a run in New York at the age of 37, she was the oldest woman to reach the US Open semifinals in history.