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  Sunday, 8 July, 2001, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Venus is out of this world
Venus has now won three Grand Slam titles
Venus has now won three Grand Slam titles
After allowing Jennifer Capriati a brief glimpse at the Grand Slam, Venus Williams has restated her case to be recognised as the top player in the women's game with her second straight Wimbledon title.

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

Capriati's achievements at the Australian and French Opens can not be underestimated, but Venus is now sure to be the favourite when she attempts to retain her title at Flushing Meadow.

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


This year was a lot more difficult to win than last year when I was like a deer in headlights
Venus Williams on her 2001 Wimbledon victory

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.

Most Impressive Newcomer

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.

Champion Venus Williams
Williams can serve at over 125mph
The following year she won the mixed doubles title with Justin Gimelstob at the Australian and French Opens.

In 1999, Venus, alongside sister 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 would come 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.

Capriati's wins in Melbourne and Paris showed that Venus is not going to have it all her own way - especially with the likes of Henin and fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters emerging.

But, for now, she is back on top, and, no doubt, Venus is... over the moon.

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