Venus Williams says Serena has "big opportunity"
WASHINGTON (AP) Venus Williams spoke for everyone in women's tennis when a young girl asked her, ''How is it playing against your sister?''
Williams responded: ''Never easy, never easy.''
Speaking at a news conference before playing for the Washington Kastles in World TeamTennis, the 35-year-old seven-time major champion and former No. 1 recognized the ''big opportunity'' her sister Serena has to complete the calendar Grand Slam at the U.S. Open in September.
''I think they're good,'' Venus said of Serena's chances, ''but it's not just like she went out there and people gave her the matches (at Wimbledon) - she earned it. She earned every single match, every single point, so I'm sure that it won't be easy to win the Open.''
Serena, 33, is seeking to become the first woman since Steffi Graf in 1988 - and just the fourth ever - to win all four majors in the same year. With her 21st major victory at Wimbledon on Saturday, she claimed her second career ''Serena Slam'' of four majors in a row.
Venus touched on a handful of topics, including the controversy during the weekend involving a New York Times story about women's tennis players and body image.
''When it comes down to it, the only person that can understand what it's like to be a professional athlete is a professional athlete, how much you put into it - or maybe someone that's played sports at a high level who's really given their heart and soul,'' she said. ''Otherwise it's hard to walk in someone's shoes.''
Venus has no plans to slow down anytime soon. Answering a question about equal pay for female athletes, she said she would love to work on it ''but I'm knee-deep in my own career, neck-deep really.
''I'm really looking forward to the U.S. Open Series and just playing even better and (to) continue rising.''