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Pam Shriver
"This is not just on the sports pages, it's news and that's fantastic"
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Saturday, 8 July, 2000, 21:34 GMT 22:34 UK
Venus: A star in black America
Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport
The champion and the defeated
BBC TV commentator Pam Shriver reviews the all-American Ladies' final and celebrates a new champion.

It was fabulous for Venus Williams to win her first major and do it over the defending champion on the heels of beating her sister.

She couldn't enjoy the semi-final win, but she's made up for that now.

Venus' win over Martina Hingis was the springboard for her victory.

The way she served out that match to love, showed what she could do.

As we saw when she tried to serve for the Championship, she got very nervous and served a couple of double faults.

Black influence

But she never dwelled on those and came back with a string of points in the tie-break.

Although I publicly said it was difficult not to go with Lindsay Davenport, I thought Venus could win it.

Lindsay had never lost a major final that she's played in. I thought she might find a way to win another one.

But you could see her movement was hindered and once Venus held her serve, you got the feeling Venus was going to be just a little too tough.

In terms of the impact this will have on black sport in America, Tiger Woods has set such a high standard in men's golf and I don't think Venus and Serena Williams have connected with the masses the way Tiger has.


Venus Williams
Springboard for success
However, on the heels of Serena's US Open win last year, maybe this will create a real groundswell of interest not only in the African-America community, but also among minorities and people who come from a disadvantaged situation.

They will realise that you can not only play the sport, but if you have the ability and the determination you can get to the very top.

We have had African-American champions in tennis. Arthur Ashe won the US Open and Wimbledon, Althea Gibson won Wimbledon and the US Closed Championship. Malavai Washington and Zena Garrison both reached the finals of Wimbledon.

So black American players have had enough success that I think people got the message.

But now these two flamboyant, charismatic black sisters are having a huge impact on and off the sports pages. That is fantastic.

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See also:

08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Venus' name was on the trophy
08 Jul 00 |  AudioVideo
Venus shines on centre court
08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Wonderful Williams
08 Jul 00 |  Photo Galleries
Women's singles final: In pictures
06 Jul 00 |  The BBC Team
Americans go from strength to strength
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