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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 15:19 GMT
3 Venus Williams
Venus Williams
Born: 17/6/80
Nationality: American
Seeded: 3
World ranking: 11
Australian Open best:
Runner-up (2003)
Recent record:
2003: Runner-up
2002: Quarter-final
2001: Semi-final
The return to action of Venus will be in many ways more interesting than that of her sister, as the elder Williams has much more to prove.

Like Serena, she missed the second half of last year after picking up an abdominal strain during Wimbledon.

The absence has seen her fall to number 11 in the world rankings, but her slide cannot be put totally down to injury.

Formerly world number one and the dominant force in the women's game, Venus was comprehensively overtaken by her sister in 2002.

Venus has not won a Grand Slam title since the 2001 US Open and has since suffered five final defeats - all to her sister.

Her ability is not in question but Venus has looked increasingly happy pursuing her interests away from the court.

It remains to be seen whether she has the desire to fight off the challenge of the new generation of Russians, the all-conquering Belgians and, above all, her rejuvenated sister.

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