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  Sunday, 9 September, 2001, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Venus looms large
Venus has now won four Grand Slam titles
Venus has now won four Grand Slam titles
Venus Williams' triumph in this year's US Open underlines her status as one of the finest players seen in recent times.

She is undoubtedly a big-tournament player and along with compatriot Jennifer Capriati, Williams has helped America to all four Majors in the women's game this season.

After allowing Capriati a brief glimpse at the Grand Slam, Williams restated her case to be recognised as the top player in the women's game with her second straight Wimbledon title in July.

Fate dealt the cards at Flushing Meadows two months later as sister Serena was drawn in a different group to Venus - meaning that they could eventually face each other in the final.

  Venus Williams
Born: 17 June 1980, Lynwood, California
Turned pro in 1994
21 career singles titles
8 career doubles titles
4 Grand Slam singles titles
4 Grand Slam doubles titles
And so they did, with Venus brushing aside sisterly love, for just over an hour, to clinch her second US Open title.

Venus looked set to take a total grip on the women's game last year when she followed her Wimbledon 2000 triumph with victory in the US Open in a streak of 35 straight victories.

Martina Hingis was nominally number one in the world, but the Swiss star only maintained her ranking through her slavish routine which means she never misses a tournament.

Venus, on the other hand, seems less concerned with world rankings, and picks and chooses the events she plays in.

This allows her to concentrate on interests outside tennis, including studying for a fashion design degree at a university in Florida, plus home study in financing and taxation.

She is also a keen reader and often lights up her post-match press conferences with literary quotes.

These outside interests have led people to speculate that Venus, a multi-millionaire many times over, may decide to retire in two or three years time.

Champion Venus Williams
Williams can serve at over 125mph
That would be a massive blow to the women's tour as Venus is undoubtedly one of the game's biggest stars.

Born on 17 June 1980 in California, Venus began playing tennis on the neighbourhood courts at the tender age of four.

Coached by her outspoken father Richard, it was soon clear that Venus had immense potential.

When she began playing competitively, she won the WTA Tour's Most Impressive Newcomer award in 1997 after reaching the US Open final at her first attempt.

The following year she won the mixed doubles title with Justin Gimelstob at the Australian and French Opens.

Upstaged

In 1999, Venus, alongside Serena, won the women's doubles at the French and US Opens.

But while she was also winning titles on the tour, a first Grand Slam singles title was proving elusive.

In fact, she was somewhat upstaged when younger sister Serena took the US Open title in 1999.

But things came together in the year 2000.

Not only did Venus win at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadow, she also won the gold medal in singles and in doubles, once more with sister Serena, at the Sydney Olympics.

At 6ft 1in tall and with an incredible physique, Venus is perhaps the most impressive of the power hitters currently dominating the women's game.

Venus' 125mph serves would not be out of place in the men's game, but there is more to her game than just power as she showed with some delicate touches in her victory over Henin in the Wimbledon final.

Venus Williams, is at this moment in time, the queen of women's tennis - it would take someone very special to usurp her from the throne.

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