Veteran American tennis star Venus Williams cannot match sister Serena’s career Grand Slam haul, but she now has a record to her name that even the younger Williams may not equal.
The seven-time Grand Slam champion has now gone 28 seasons in a row to post at least one match win on the women’s Tour.
Old warhorse Venus Williams still going strong at 40
She achieved the feat following her opening-round win over Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus at the Yarra Valley Classic, a WTA 500 event currently underway in Melbourne.
What stood out about her win at the Margaret Court Arena on Sunday was the way she dominated her opponent, nailing her first serves and leaving the Dutchwoman in shock and awe with some vintage winners.
Not giving her 74th-ranked opponent so much as a whiff, the 40-year-old Venus produced near-flawless tennis to waltz into the next round with a commanding 6-1, 6-3 win.
Currently ranked 80th by the WTA, Venus will be up against Czech star Petra Kvitova in the second round on Tuesday.
In a statement of intent ahead of the Australian Open, the veteran American unleashed an unstoppable forehand crosscourt winner on serve during her opening-round tie against Rus.
2021 may be Venus’ last chance to win Australian Open
While Venus hasn’t spoken a word on retirement yet, this year, by all appearances, could be her last opportunity to add the one missing feather in her glory cap. Despite enjoying a dominating run in the early 2000s, the 40-year-old could never manage to lift the championship title at Melbourne Park.
The last time she came close to winning her maiden crown at the Australian Open was in 2017 when she made the title round.
However, she ran into an in-form Serena in the final and went down in straight sets.
Read More: “So Hard to Play First Match of the Season”: Venus Williams Produces Incredible Tennis at Melbourne WTA 500
While she won’t be carrying the burden of expectations into Melbourne Park, unlike her sister who is bidding for a record 24th title, it could actually work to Venus’ advantage, letting her play with a free mind.