Venus Williams Rolled Into The Semis: But Was It Her Final Opportunity?
When five-time Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams exited at the quarter finals stage of the tournament earlier this year, many vocalised their opinion that the American was in decline.
Would she ever win another title, or reach the same dizzy heights that both herself and sister Serena have acclimatised themselves to in the past decade?
The immediate answer to that question appeared to be no.
The return of Kim Clijsters and Justin Henin, coupled with the emergence of stars like French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and the US Open's top seed Caroline Wozniacki looked to be signalling a new era that would be void of a Williams stranglehold.
Thankfully, Flushing Meadows seemed to prove a slight buck to that trend. Venus Williams burst through the earlier rounds and into a semifinal fixture against former double winner Clijsters.
Three tight sets came into fruition and Venus only missed out on another Grand Slam final appearance by the smallest of margins.
Her conqueror went onto to demolish Vera Zvonareva in the final, leaving you to suspect that Venus would have produced a similar display of excellence had she alternatively progressed.
The inability to reach the final however, despite the promising run of results, still leaves us to ponder her future.
Was it the last and final opportunity that Venus is likely to have in her illustrious career?
I cant help but feel that there are too many determined, confident and most importantly able current competitors who can force Venus into the shade.
Sister Serena is firmly regarded as the stronger sister, with some definitive talent and life still left in her career.
Venus instead, like Roger Federer, consistently appears beatable. Subsequently, a betting man could confidently put money on the probability that Venus will never win either of the two slams that have always eluded her.
At least with this semifinal appearance she has shown that in the right circumstances she can edge herself deep into the two tournaments she has excelled in.
Sadly, it may now take some luck to reach a final, or to taste ultimate glory. She may have to rely on the misfortunes of others to succeed.
Yet the staunch portrayal of defiance against her age and impending retirement is still inspiring, not only to us but also to her self.
Maybe, just maybe then she can perform at the courts of SW19 next summer to finish her career in a final flourish.
If not we will remember her for the multiple titles she achieved, but titles that she grasped hold of years before her career would eventually end.
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