World number 11 Venus Williams will be absolutely delighted to be back on her favoured grass courts. The former world number one will be one to look out for at Wimbledon as she is one of two former champions in the draw along with Petra Kvitova that has lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish. The five-time champion has reached the second week in her last five consecutive Slam appearances, her best run since the 2009 Wimbledon Championships to the 2010 US Open, where she reached the second week at six Slams in a row. She will be competing at SW19 for the 20th time, which is an extraordinary achievement for Williams.
Notable results to date
The former world number one has played a light scheduled in 2017, which is vital for Williams as she suffers from Sjogren's syndrome. Furthermore, the American only plays a few warm-up events ahead of Grand Slams, where she has the motivation to add to her Grand Slam cabinet. The five-time Wimbledon champion began her preparations for the Australian Open at the ASB Classic in Auckland, where she won the title in 2015. She dispatched Jade Lewis in her first round match, and she had an anticipated second round clash with Naomi Osaka but she withdrew due to an injury. The veteran travelled to the Australian Open, where she lost in the first round last year to Johanna Konta. Nevertheless, Williams had plenty of points to gain and she advanced to her first Grand Slam final since the Wimbledon final in 2009. The 37-year-old was unable to claim the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Trophy as once again, her sister, Serena stopped her just like she did in the final in 2003.
The former world number one had a good run at the back-to-back North American Premier Mandatory events in Indian Wells and Miami. Williams ended her boycott at the BNP Paribas Open last year but she lost her first round match. Nonetheless, the American put that right as she won her first match in 16 years in the Californian Desert as she defeated Grand Slam finalists Jelena Jankovic and Lucie Safarova in the first two rounds. She defeated Peng Shuai in the fourth round but lost to eventual champion Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals.
Williams continued her sublime run of form at the Miami Open. The world number 11 recorded straight sets victories over Beatriz Haddad Maia, Patricia Maria Tig, and two-time Grand Slam champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber. Unfortunately, Williams' came to an end at the hands of eventual champion Johanna Konta.
The 37-year-old only participated in two clay court events leading up to the French Open. Williams lost to clay-court specialist Laura Siegemund in the second round on the green courts of Charleston. She didn't compete at the Mutua Madrid Open, but she returned to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she claimed the title in the Eternal City in 1999. The American dispatched Yaroslava Shvedova, Lesia Tsurenko and Konta in the first three rounds. Her run came to a halt when she lost to former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the quarterfinals. The seven-time Grand Slam champion returned to the French Open, where she reached the final in 2002. Qiang Wang, Kurumi Nara and Elise Mertens all fell by the wayside in the first three rounds, and the for the second successive year in a row, the American was trying to make the quarterfinals for the first time since 2006. Williams lost to Timea Bacsinszky for the second consecutive year.
Grass results leading up to Wimbledon
As usual, the seven-time Grand Slam champion opts not to play a pre-warmup event ahead of Wimbledon. The five-time champion will certainly be a threat at SW19 once she gets some practice on her favored surface ahead of the third Grand Slam event of the year.
Best Wimbledon result
The American has won Wimbledon on five occasions in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008. Williams was a runner-up in 2002, 2003 and 2009.
Williams won her first of seven Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon in 2000 at the age of 20. She advanced to the quarterfinals without a loss of a set. She defeated 1997 champion Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals in three sets, along with a straights sets victory over her sister Serena in the semifinals. In the final, Williams defeated Lindsay Davenport, 6-3, 7-6(3) to clinch the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first time as the fifth seed.
For the second successive year, Williams didn't drop a set en route to the quarterfinals. She retained the title in 2001 after defeating Justine Henin in three sets as the second seed. The former world number one was the 14th seed in 2005, and she didn't drop a set en route to the quarterfinals. She defeated two-time Grand Slam champion Mary Pierce in the quarterfinals, and she dispatched the defending champion Maria Sharapova in the semifinals in straight sets. The 14th seed claimed her third Wimbledon singles title after defeating compatriot Davenport for the second time.
In 2007, Williams was ranked 31st and seeded 23rd at the time. The American remains to be the lowest ranked and seeded player to win Wimbledon. Williams defeated Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ana Ivanovic back-to-back, and she would clinch her fourth title at SW19 by defeating Marion Bartoli, who would win Wimbledon, six years later.
The seventh seed didn't drop a set en route her Wimbledon triumph in 2008. She defeated her sister Serena in the final after losing to her sister in the finals in 2002, 2003 and a year later. Williams has also had success on the doubles court with her sister Serena, and every time they won the doubles together, one of them won the singles title in 2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2016. Williams was also a runner-up in the mixed doubles with her compatriot Bob Bryan in 2006.
How Williams' game translates to grass
The grass courts at the All England Club are fast, and Williams has the ability to dictate play with her natural power. The American has a big serve which works incredibly well on grass, and her groundstrokes work to perfection on this surface.
Williams has been unlucky not to add to her cabinet in the last three years as she lost to Petra Kvitova in the third round in 2014, to her sister Serena in 2015 and to Angelique Kerber in the semifinals last year. Should Williams have a good draw at SW19, she could be lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish in a few weeks time.