Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Year of Misery over for Venus

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Year of Misery over for Venus

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Pierce

Venus Williams reckons she is back in the best form of her life after a miserable year.

And the two-times Wimbledon champion, who has had to admit to at least second best behind younger sister Serena over the last 12 months, insists she needs no artificial boost to regain her dominance of the women's game.

Venus moved her quality level up an extra notch to quell a fighting comeback from another former champion Lindsay Davenport, winning a Centre Court quarter-final thriller 6-2 2-6 6-1.

Then she brushed off suggestions afterwards that she is the girl on top again thanks to the food supplement creatine.

"I'm not sure what the other players are doing but I don't use creatine," said the 23-year-old.

"I stay away from all that."

Creatine is a meat-extract designed to build stamina but Williams, a solid 6ft 1ins, is nowhere near as bulked up as her sibling nor even the naturally hefty Davenport. Venus has slipped to number four in the world this year after losing to Serena in the Australian Open and suffering a shock defeat by Russian Vera Zvonerava in Paris - a result she comfortably avenged this week at Wimbledon.

And when the truly combative spirit finally kicked in among the top women at SW19, Venus showed she was so ready for it.

A thunderous opening set, which began with her slamming down two aces and breaking Davenport's serve at the first time of asking, threatened to simply blow her opponent away - just as in eight of their previous nine meetings.

But Davenport battled as if for her life and having impressively won the second set with some superb shots and an injection of jaw-clenching character it needed Williams to reach for her best form to regain the ascendancy.

Defending champion Serena joined Venus in the semi-finals to stay on course for another all-Williams Wimbledon final - but not before she had been given a scare by fellow American Jennifer Capriati. …

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