Lesser players wouldn’t be able to produce the quality at her age, other players would have long-since retired, but Venus Williams is proving that age is no barrier as the 36-year-old heads into the Wimbledon semi-finals.
The five-time Wimbledon champ is the oldest Slam semi-finalist for 22 years, and for Williams this summer’s run is her best at one of the four big since the 2010 US Open.
Angelique Kerber stands between Venus and a potential date in the final with her sister Serena, but the seven-time Slam champ has showed across the last two weeks why she is one of tennis’ all-time greats.
Venus blasted onto the scene way back in 1997, reaching that year’s final at Flushing Meadows, and has now spent more of her life on the WTA tour than off it.
To showcase just how incredible it is to still be mixing it with the best a staggering 19 years later, here are some eye-popping facts about Venus and her breakthrough year of ’97…
– Venus’ third-round opponent this year, Daria Kasatkina, was only four months old when Williams reached the 1997 US Open final.
– Venus had reached six Slam quarter-finals by the time one player in this year’s Wimbledon draw, Britain’s Katie Swan, was even born.
– Facebook wouldn’t be founded for seven years
– Twitter wouldn’t be a thing for nine years
– Will Smith and ‘Men in Black’ was the UK number one when Venus played the ’97 US final
– Barnsley were enjoying their one and only year in the Premier League
– Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford wasn’t born yet
– Bill Clinton was embarking on a second term as US President
– Channel 5 was six months old
– J.K Rowling had just published her first Harry Potter book
We could go on.
Venus is the 2/1 outsider to beat fourth seed Kerber, but whether she wins or she loses, Williams’ standing as a legend in the sport is very much assured.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.