With the women’s title of Wimbledon still in the hands of Serena Williams, the crown has been firmly in the hands of her sister Venus, who last year won six matches at SW19 and now looks set to complete a fairytale at this year’s event. Venus, 35, will be among those odds-on favorites for the trophy as she comes up against Simona Halep and her Serb rival, Novak Djokovic, the last two men’s champions.
On Wednesday, it was a family affair as Venus took to the court as she went head-to-head with younger sister Serena, 33, in the second round of the Miami Open, proving she has lost none of her determination or power in the last few months. Venus was blown away 7-5, 6-4, but just as Serena arrived in Miami in February, a number of her friends — her husband, Alexis Ohanian, and her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou — met up in Palm Beach, Florida, with a mission.
The meeting was a spur-of-the-moment call as the 33-year-old had just returned to London and was enjoying a night out with her friends at a restaurant at nightspot Juan and Amaro in South Kensington. On hearing news of Serena’s pregnancy, the trio hatched a plan to create a viral video in which Venus would play Serena as they went head-to-head at Wimbledon. Titled Serena vs Venus (an allusion to their respective ranking after years of rivalry), it was soon in the making and, after a final edit, was posted on social media.
A couple of days before Serena was due to make her return to the court after injury, a few tennis fans had already started watching the online clip online. Now, Venus finds herself on the other side of the camera. In just four days since the video was released, it has clocked up more than 500,000 views on YouTube, and was made available in several countries. By Wednesday evening, a smiling Venus was making the rounds and she was in Australia as she was at center court in the first round of the Sydney International. Venus was playing Daniela Hantuchova in the third round, the Slovakian in control of the match as her sister crawled around the court.
Serena and Venus both have trophies at the disposal of either of them should they win at Wimbledon this year, which would be the end of their rivalry and a new era in women’s tennis. Many believe Serena is more likely to triumph at SW19, but it’s Venus — who says she has been struggling with a toe injury — who just might triumph this time around.
This story first appeared in The Daily Beast.
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