Venus Williams' three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

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Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

Venus Williams first played in the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in 1998.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

Venus won the Australian Open women’s doubles title with sister Serena in 2001.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

Two years later the sisters again the women’s doubles title at Melbourne Park after beating Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and Paola Suarez of Argentina.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

That same year the two sisters also met in the Australian Open women’s singles final with their mother Oracene watching on. Serena won the match 7-6 3-6 6-4.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

In 2005, Venus was seeded eighth but was knocked out of the Aussie Open by Alicia Molik of Australia.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

A year later Venus was the No. 1 seed at Melbourne Park but made a surprise exit in the first round after Bulgarian teenager Tszvetana Pironkova beat the American 6-2 0-6 9-7

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

In 2009, the two Williams sisters won their third Australia Open women’s doubles title after beating Ai Sugiyama of Japan and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

A year later the American sisters won their fourth Australian Open women’s doubles final after beating Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Liezel Huber of the US 6-4 6-3.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

Since 1998, Venus has missed three Australian Open tournaments, twice due to wrist injuries and in 2012 following her diagnosis with Sj√∂gren’s syndrome in 2011. She got as far as the third round in the women’s singles in 2013 where she was beaten by Russian Maria Sharapova.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

A year later Venus lost her first round match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the Australian Open women’s singles.

Australian Open 2018: Venus Williams’ three decade love affair with Melbourne grand slam

Last year the two Williams sisters met in the Australian Open women’s singles final for a second with Serena again getting the better of Venus, winning 6-4 6-4. Serena won’t be at Melbourne Park to defend her title following the birth of her first child and if Venus were to win this year she’s become the oldest player — male or female — to win a major in the Open era.



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