Memory Lane: Venus Williams wins first career title ... and raises the roof

Friday March 1st, 2013

Venus Williams Venus Williams won the first of her 44 singles titles as a 17-year-old in 1998. (Jerry Laizure/AP)

Memory Lane is a recurring feature in which we dig through photo and video archives for classic moments.

Fifteen years ago Friday, a 17-year-old Venus Williams won the 1998 IGA Tennis Classic in Oklahoma City for her first WTA title. Wearing a white Reebok dress and beads in her hair, Venus broke through in her third career final by defeating South Africa's Joannette Kruger 6-3, 6-2.

Ranked No. 14 at the time, Venus earned her spot in the final with a 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-3 victory against top seed and world No. 2 Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals.

How did Venus celebrate her maiden win (and $27,000 windfall)? By raising the roof:

That day in 1998 also sparked another Williams trend, as Venus came out 30 minutes later to team up with Serena to win their first doubles title.

"This is one I will probably always remember," Venus said at the time. "I can say it all started back in Oklahoma City."

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