It has been a historic season for Venus Williams. Her stellar Grand Slam results have seen her propel up the rankings to a top-five spot in the world, but it has also given her a chance to compete at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
The American will join Garbiñe Muguruza, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova, and Caroline Wozniacki in the field. This will be her first time qualifying for the field since 2010 and barring injury, will be making her first appearance at the WTA Finals since 2009.
Performing On The Grandest Stages
Despite having no titles to date, the 37-year-old has performed exceptionally at Grand Slams with her worst result being a fourth round showing. At the Australian Open, she just squeaked by Kateryna Kozlova in her opener before storming through her next four matches.
She ran into some problems against compatriot Coco Vandeweghe where she dropped a set but still managed to make the final against younger sister Serena Williams. In a tight final, the younger Williams prevailed.
The French Open was where Venus had her earliest exit in the majors but still managed to make the second week. She squeaked by Qiang Wang in her opener before easing through her next two matches. She was eliminated by Timea Bascinszky in the round of 16 despite taking the opening set.
Despite being Venus' most successful Grand Slam, Wimbledon was where the American had her trickiest matches. She survived three close encounters in the first three rounds including another close call with Wang.
After that, she managed three more straightforward wins before meeting Muguruza in the final. The American was in control of the opening set before squandering the lead and could not recover as the Spaniard went on to win her second major title.
At her home Slam, Venus did not disappoint once again. Similarly to her three previous Slams, she ran into some trouble in her opening round. She went the distance with Viktoria Kuzmova and eased her way through the next two matches. She dropped a set against both Carla Suárez Navarro and Petra Kvitova but managed to squeak by in a couple of three-set thrillers.
Against Sloane Stephens in the semifinals, she was dominant in the opening set and looked like one-way traffic was about to commence. However, her younger compatriot did not back down and eventually won in a three-set thriller.
Not So Grand Outside The Slams
In regular tour-level events, Venus has done average at best this year. The 37-year-old plays a lighter schedule compared to the others but still has yet to make a final outside of the majors. Her best showing in a non-major came in Miami where she made the semifinals, losing to Johanna Konta in two tight sets. She's also made two other quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Rome respectively.