The US Open is just six days away and already Venus Williams is being talked about as one of the favorites to win the tournament.
Even with 2011 getting off to a rocky start with numerous injuries and illness' keeping her out of action, fans are banking on her being in good shape for her first match next week.
Despite a rough season, in the matches she has played, Venus has done well. She has not won a grand slam since the 2008 Wimbledon win, but that won't keep fans from picking her to win the US Open.
Due to the lack of activity Venus Williams has had in 2011, there is no doubt that she is coming into the US Open well rested and stronger than any of her other competitors. She is hoping that this is to her advantage, and that she can make it through all her matches without being forced to retire.
She has only played in 10 matches and posts a record of 7-3, but there is no doubt that she hasn't been putting in effort to improve her play while she has rehabbed her injuries, and most recently recovering from a viral illness.
Venus just flat out plays hard for her home crowd in general, and if that doesn't make you a favorite, what does?
Venus Williams has participated in the US Open 11 separate times. She won back-to-back championships in 2000 and again in 2001, and since then has made it to at least the quarter finals every time but two. Not that many players can say they have had that much success at a single tournament ever.
She is also just a flat out winner. She is capable of anything and can win anything. Her career record is 585-143.
Venus' long and storied history of winning makes it hard to vote against her for winning the 2011 US Open.
If there's one reason more than another Venus should be a favorite to win the US Open, it is the competition. One in particular, the competition she faces with her younger sister Serena Williams, who is currently tearing up the circuit in 2010-11.
Venus already puts pressure on herself, but when pitted against her sister she takes it to a whole new level of intense.
The pressure put on by Serena will only help motivate Venus that much more to be successful and win the 2011 US Open.
To state the obvious, the biggest reason Venus Williams should be a favorite to win the US Open is home-court advantage. Playing in the US Open as an American is pretty much the most patriotic thing an athlete can do (besides winning gold at the Olympics—which she did three times).
Not only is it patriotic, but the crowd at Flushing loves their homegrown talent. If you don't get hyped up off the sheer volume of the stadium, something is wrong with you.
Having a cheering section that loud shouldn't deter Venus from being successful at the US Open, but rather encourage and motivate her to do that much better.
Realistically, Venus Williams has a good shot at taking the US Open title home with her name on it, but in order to accomplish this, she must be emotionally stable.
We all know about her infamous blow ups as well as her other on court anger issues, but if she comes in mentally strong, she won't psych herself out and provide herself with a shot at winning.
Venus has no excuse to not be in top physical form that we expect to see from her come first service, and although her court game may not be there immediately, surely it will come back quickly.
A Williams sisters final would be the perfect ending under the lights at Flushing Meadows, with Venus possibly being more motivated than ever to get back into the winners' circle, as it has been so long since she has had a taste of the glory.
Regardless of what happens during the Open, fans across the board will pencil her name in as a potential candidate to win the 2011 US Open.