Venus Williams motivated by up-coming Olympics
Williams’ ranking fell to 134th because she has been idle for most of the past seven months after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain. She climbed to 87th by winning four matches at the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne before a quarterfinal loss last week.
In the past, the cutoff for making the Olympics in singles has been around 68th. The former No. 1 and seven-time Grand Slam champion pretends not to monitor her ranking status.
“That’s like such a rookie move to calculate points,” she says. “I try not to do that, but secretly I probably am.”
The clay season began Monday, which means Williams must accumulate some wins on her worst surface. She’s scheduled to play this week in Charleston, S.C. — her first clay tournament since May 2010, but was non committal about her plans beyond that.
Williams says she wants to become a four-time Olympian because she enjoys everything about the games, from trading pins with fans to rubbing elbows with the world’s greatest athletes. The site of this year’s tennis event, Wimbledon, adds to the appeal.
“It’s just the ultimate level in sports,” she says. “It’s about participating. It’s about having that experience. It’s about having the honour to be good enough to be there. It’s just, you know, the pinnacle of sports.”
She has done well on the big stage, winning so many gold medals she struggles to keep track.