September 30, 2023

Open Court


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Venus Williams’s ranking actually dropped seven spots on Monday, from No. 36 to No. 43.

She went all the way to the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open last year, including a 6-3, 6-4 win over her returning sister Serena in the third round.

This year, she went to the quarters, losing to Angelique Kerber but beating Petra Kvitova in a great comeback win in the second round.

That’s the direct consequence of her current ranking – that she’ll be unseeded, and potentially meet top-ranked players early in draws.

But that’s really not what it’s about for Williams, at 38. She want to play, when she wants to play, and where she wants to play.

(As an aside, the black and white EleVen kit she’s wearing for her first-round match against Dalila Jakupovic of Slovenia is top-notch).

Friendly draw for Venus

The seeds in Williams’s draw are very Venus-friendly, as No. 14 Daria Kasatkina and No. 24 Carla Suárez Navarro have really had a tough time of it so far in 2019.

Williams has a quarter-final to defend in Miami. And without those points, she would drop below 1,000 points and close to being out of the top 60.

That has implications, obviously, in terms of playing the big Premier Mandatories. But in her case, probably not much of a concern.

The early moments of her match against qualifier Dalila Jakupovic were not that promising. In addition to a big tape on her right knee. She only broke 90 mph with her serve once in her first four service games.

Here she is doing a lot of work on her slice backhand Wednesday in Miami.

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