Venus Williams played in her first US Open in 1997, making the finals at age 17. It was a stunning debut.
She won back-to-back US Open titles in 2000-2001, reaching one more final in 2002. Since that time Williams has not returned to Arthur Ashe Stadium to play in a championship final match.
The elder Williams sister has competed in twelve previous US Open tournaments with an 85.5 winning percentage.
2011 will mark appearance 13 for Williams. You wonder if this outing will prove to be “bad luck” for Venus or for her opponents.
Having played in only three tournaments in 2011, the Australian Open, Eastbourne and Wimbledon, saying Williams has inadequate match preparation to win a major is an understatement of epic proportions.
Realistically, Venus comes into the US Open with nothing to lose at this point.
The American certainly has a good excuse to lose early but that is not how Venus has conducted herself throughout her career. She takes the court always believing she can win. Williams does not quit trying to win the match until the strike of the last ball.
With more than 14 years of experience on tour, Venus will give it everything she has as action gets underway.
The tennis gods, in fact, were kind. Her draw pits her against potential opponents she has defeated in the past. Aside from her second round match against Sabine Lisicki, Williams' path is not nearly as bad as it could have been.
What are her odds of success? As we look at the potential draw of the former world No. 1, we can gauge the level of competition and the odds of Venus Williams making it through to the next round.