Venus Williams' Loss to Sister Serena Does Little Damage to Impressive Legacy

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 6, 2013

Jan 18, 2013; Melbourne, AUSTRALIA; Venus Williams (USA) during her match against Maria Sharapova (RUS) on day five of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park.  Mandatory Credit: Pierre Lahalle/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports
Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

No loss, no matter how one-sided or brutal, can damage Venus Williams' impressive legacy at this point in her career.

Williams was destroyed by sister Serena—who just happens to be the current world No. 1 in the women's game—6-1, 6-2 on Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina.

But there's no shame in getting crushed by the world No. 1 less than a day after playing two matches, especially in Venus' case.

A seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, the 32-year-old Williams (who will turn 33 in June) has been battling Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease, since 2011, which adds to the already problematic fatigue and joint stiffness world-class tennis players are forced to deal with on a daily basis.

For Venus to still rank inside the WTA Top 25 is extraordinary, let alone winning three tournaments since her diagnosis. She won the Luxembourg Open last October and before that earned doubles titles with Serena playing at the Shenzen Open and Wimbledon.

Plus, let us not forget that there was once a time when Venus used to dominate Serena. Rewind back to the late 1990s and early 2000s when the older sister took five of the first six competitive matches between the two, including victories at the Australian and U.S. Opens?

Serena leads the head to head series between the two sisters 14-10 after Saturday's straight set win but is only 7-5 against Venus in Grand Slam matches. 

While Serena has won a remarkable 15 Grand Slams over the course of her career, Venus is one of only 16 female players in history to have won at least seven majors, and that's saying something. 

Not to mention she's won four Olympic gold medals (three in doubles) and was once the world's No. 1 player. 

Venus Williams cemented herself as one of the all-time greats five years ago when she won Wimbledon for a fifth time. She made the extraordinary look routine for so long, and as her career winds down, tennis fans would be wise to appreciate the class and effort she brings to each and every appearance.


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