Venus Williams Is All Grown Up Now

Venus Williams Is All Grown Up Now

Fifteen U.S. Opens ago, at age 17, she spoke of hair beads and Algebra 2, of her dismay at losing some of the former on court and her preference for geometry over the latter in school. She charmed and chirped but threw in episodic snideness, as when somebody asked Venus Williams what happened in the final and she replied: "I went out there. Lost first set 6-0. Second set 6-4. Then awards ceremony."

Fourteen Wimbledons ago, at 18, she harangued a chair umpire, blubbered in her chair after haranguing the chair umpire and lectured us on the virtues of haranguing chair umpires. "I think the crowd probably enjoyed my emotional outbursts," she said. "I guess someone would turn the channel and suddenly see some girl screaming and keep it there, because I know I would. It probably brightened up someone's day."

Thirteen U.S. Opens ago at 19, she clapped so despondently in the stands upon her younger sister's maiden Grand Slam title that some wondered if Serena Williams' breakthrough Williams title might wreak friction. "No, I don't think so," Serena answered. "We really believe in family, in the family. I just don't see where it can affect her. Tennis is a game; it's not your life."

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