Venus: I can’t wait until Rio
Originally published on: 16/08/12 00:00
“I love the Olympics,” Williams said. “The last day when it was over, I'm like: ‘I can't wait until Rio.’ It's no secret how you feel about the Olympics. I'm very excited about Rio. That will probably be my last one. By that time I'll be creeping up in age. Until that, I'll try to play great tennis.”
Following her diagnosis last summer with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease, Williams spent six months off the court before returning earlier this year. Her main goal was to boost her ranking sufficiently to earn a place in the London Olympics, which she duly achieved. Although she went out in the third round in the singles, she proved unstoppable in the doubles alongside her sister Serena.
The prospect of going for a fourth Olympic gold in doubles is clearly an exciting one. “With the doubles partner I have, absolutely,” Venus said when the idea of playing with Serena in Rio was put to her.
“That's what we want. I think nowadays tennis players are seeing that you can play great tennis into your thirties. I think a lot of people were brainwashed early that you had to quit. It's really not the way it is. By the time you get to this age, you really understand the game, the nuances, you're just getting better. As long as you can stay healthy enough to play, we stay healthy enough to play, it would be great.”
This week Venus has been back in action at the Western and Southern Open at Cincinnati, where she has demonstrated her fitness by recording two successive three-set victories, over Maria Kirilenko and Chanelle Scheepers.
Williams admitted that she now has to be very conscientious in her training. “For me, it's all about just continuing to get more endurance, trying to continue to conquer my disease every day,” she said. “I have to be very disciplined. I have to remind myself of that, that my life is different now.”
She added: “Every day, everything I eat, drink, rest, everything is on the road to be better and better. I just want to keep getting better.”