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Venus Williams had “no plans to play” but was finally “inspired by Serena”

Venus Williams, now aged 42, won her first round In mixed doubles with Jamie Murray, in what she said what a last-minute decision

Venus Williams and Jamie Murray during their first round mixed doubles match at Wimbledon 2022 Venus Williams and Jamie Murray during their first round mixed doubles match at Wimbledon 2022 Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

It was the most hyped-up doubles match of Wimbledon 2022 and it did not disappoint. American legend Venus Williams, aged 42, partnered with British doubles specialist Jamie Murray and the duo won their opening match against Alicja Rosolska/ Michael Venus 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 on a packed Court 1.

This was Williams’ first match since the WTA Chicago Open in August 2021 and in her press conference, the American revealed her decision to play mixed was a last-minute one inspired by her sister Serena’s comeback to the tour last week.

Serena, aged 40, returned to play doubles last week and took a wild card entry into the singles event at Wimbledon, where she lost a first-round thriller to Harmony Tan in her first match in 12 months.

No practice for Venus

“It was definitely super last minute (decision). Just inspired by Serena“, said Venus Williams. “I had no plan to play. I saw the grass and I got excited (smiling). I was at the French Open, it’s a beautiful event, but my heart didn’t beat the same way. Not that I could play but…”. 

“That’s why I was asking (Jamie Murray) last minute. He just had a baby, too, so I know there’s a lot going on. Definitely I couldn’t have guessed that I would be here right now, taking it at the last minute.”, she commented.

Venus admitted that although she had practiced, the feeling of playing a match is always different even after all these years.

I felt something in my heart

Venus Williams

“I haven’t played in a year so you don’t know what you’re going to get. Practice is so much different from a match. It’s not easy physically or mentally or anything Finally it was like : Oh, my God, wow. I just not only played a match but won a match. I’m never like that kind of player. I always expect to win. But when I sat there, we wanted to win, but when I sat there at the end, it was like real. Yeah, I felt something in my heart,” the seven-time Grand Slam singles champion said.

Just like sister Serena, Venus has had several interests outside of tennis, including her clothing line and her interior designing business, and she said she had been very busy during her time away from the tour.

“I was very busy when I wasn’t on tour. I think it’s easier to be on tour than off tour. I think I should just come on back so I can sleep a little more. I’m a professional athlete, so that’s who I am. But I’ll be all right without. I’ll be all right if I’m here, I’ll be all right if I’m not. But I’m a professional athlete”.

Williams and Murray will be back for their second round mixed doubles match when they take on Alicia Barnett/ Jonny O’Mara in the second round.

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