Venus: ‘I just want to feel more rhythm’

Imagine Venus Williams, who in 1997 — almost 20 years ago — in Oakland, she was super fast, her two-handed backhand was already phenomenal, and she wasn’t scared at all.

Flash ahead, it’s 2017 and Venus is still playing. The 36-year-old is still very good, but she is a little slower and while she is very smart, her body is wearing down. She hasn’t won a major since 2008, when she grabbed Wimbledon.

Can she win a Slam for the last time? Maybe, but at the Aussie Open? She hasn’t done it yet.

But at least she continues to try.

“I like to control the match. I think eventually the momentum was shifting and I could control the match, and I haven’t really played in a while,” said Venus, who beat Kozlova in the first round 7-5, 7-6. “So it was kind of hard to go out there and think, oh, it’s going to be perfect rhythm. But after the first set I felt more rhythm. Hopefully going through the tournament, I will just feel more and more rhythm.”

Venus has said that Rafa Nadal is brilliant, which is true, but the Spaniard hasn’t won a Slam since 2014. So maybe both of them will come close, but winning again? Well, one more time.

“Every player who is here wants to be here. Each player in the draw has an unbelievable ability to play tennis,” Venus said. “ There are some that have won more champions than others, but it’s because we know how to play this game, and it’s pretty serious stuff for us.”

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