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Venus Williams Says Experience Will Carry Her Through the US Open

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Ash MarshallSenior Analyst IJanuary 17, 2017

Two-time US Open champion and world No. 4 ranked Venus Williams insists she is ready for competition Monday, despite not having played a competitive match since June.

Williams, speaking ahead of a Ralph Lauren-sponsored coaching clinic in New York, said her rehab has been successful and that she can't wait to put on a show at the final grand slam of the year in Flushing Meadows next week.

"I had a tough summer with some bad luck with my leg," the 30-year-old told journalists Tuesday, "but I'm ready for the Open, thank God, and I'm still training to get ready. I'm looking forward to that and right before hand I can clear my mind on how to play with this legends' clinic and I'm looking forward to both."

"It would have definitely been ideal to have played at least one event. I did my best to try to be ready for Montreal, it just didn't work out for me, so I had to accept that and mentally get ready to play the tournament without having played."

Williams, who debuted at the US Open as a 17-year-old, before winning back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001, added: "I've just tried to play points and practice and some practice matches and just really rely on my experience and confidence that I know how to play the game."

The hard-hitting American, who is 55-9 all-time in New York, said she has a lot of experience to draw on and she says her history of success at the tournament gives her a lot of confidence heading into the opening week.

She said: "The Open has been one of my most successful tournaments with three or maybe four finals and semis and winning in doubles. I at least have a winning tradition there and that's a good thing."

Williams has been out of action with a sprained kneecap since losing to Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in the summer.

She has been forced to sit out of premier events including Stanford, San Diego, and Cincinnati, and she was unable to get back to full strength in time to play in Montreal last week.

"I had a tough summer on the sidelines," Williams added. "It wasn't even a tough summer of playing, just being on the sidelines and kind of waiting it out.

"It wasn't ideal and it wasn't what I was expecting, but I've been working on my game and getting ready. I'm doing the best I can under the circumstances and just because they weren't exactly what I wanted, it doesn't mean I can't be successful."

Williams, who is the No. 3 seed at Flushing despite appearing in just eight tournaments in 2010, also chose to give the final tune-up event in New Haven, Conn., a miss, saying that it was important to be 100 percent ready—physically and mentally—for the first round of the Open, which gets underway Monday.

Before then, she will take to the court on Thursday, Aug. 26, for a live interactive virtual tennis clinic.

Tennis enthusiasts around the world will tune in as the seven-time Grand Slam champion answers questions, demonstrates technique, and offers hints and tips on how to improve your game during this one-hour interactive clinic.

The clinic will reach a global audience as it will be streamed live online exclusively at www.RalphLauren.com and accessible on mobile devices at m.ralphlauren.com/USOpen.

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