In 2017 the Australian Open gave us many of memories. 18 years after her first Grand Slam semi-final the Croat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni was back in a major semi-final, we found out retrospectively that Serena Williams won the Australian Open whilst pregnant but it was sister Venus’ run to final and especially that semi-final that stood out for me.
About 8 minutes past 2 in the afternoon of the Melbourne sun the seven time former Grand Slam champion Venus Williams came out for her first semi-final in Melbourne since 2003.
Throughout her career Venus has fought and it defines her career as one of the best competitors but also someone who has never taken anything for granted.
After an hour of her semi-final against Coco Vandeweghe the 36 year old lost the tie-break 7-3 as she trailed in the semi-final.
A place in the final against Serena was at stake and even in the latter stages of her career at 36 at the time you just never write her off.
Venus just continues to play her way and at one game apiece in the second set Coco was broken to love and unraveled from there. What makes a champion like Venus so great is that she doesn’t have to change too much to make a big difference.
Venus continued to hit away off her groundstrokes and became more confident in pushing Coco outside of the singles tramlines finding the angles to do this and went onto win 6-7 6-2 6-3.
On her fourth match point it was a wayward forehand from Coco which sealed the deal and out pour of emotion and the celebration was one of my highlights but also highlights of Venus’ career.
Not many players can battle through injuries, illness and always keep in touch with the upcoming crop of players to make two major finals at the same event but with a 14 year gap.
An incredible moment for Venus and for women’s tennis.