Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lawn Tennis: Venus Trains Her Sights on Hitting Martina Record; Wimbledon 2008

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Lawn Tennis: Venus Trains Her Sights on Hitting Martina Record; Wimbledon 2008

Article excerpt

Byline: Phil Casey

VENUS Williams is dreaming of matching Martina Navratilova's record of nine Wimbledon titles after her fifth triumph on Centre Court.

Williams (pictured, left) defeated younger sister Serena 7-5 6-4 in Saturday's final, recovering from a break down in each set to successfully defend her title.

The 28- year-old could already have had seven titles, having lost to Serena in the final in 2002 and 2003, and is now looking to move up from fourth place in the Wimbledon singles hall of fame in the modern era behind Navratilova (nine), Steffi Graf (seven) and Billie-Jean King (six).

Asked about matching Navratilova, who watched the final on Centre Court, Williams said: "Oh my God.

That would be the ultimate. That's not easy. Her career spanned like three decades, so I'm not sure if I have that much time. If I did, I think I would definitely dream of that.

"Tennis is so much different now.

Tennis is a big business now, all the tournaments, the players. The pressures are different."

One thing in Williams' favour is the limited schedule she tends to play, either by choice or through injury.

Wimbledon was only her eighth tournament of the year - the same as Serena - and she said: "I've had my fair share of downtime, I try to stay as fresh as I can." An all-Williams final was a common occurrence when the pair first began to dominate. They contested five of the six grand slam finals between the 2002 French Open and Wimbledon in 2003, but that was the last time until Saturday they had met at such a stage.

The feeling persists that the siblings could achieve such dominance again if they were not distracted by their offcourt activities, and Venus was at least making all the right noises.

"I would love that," she added. The main goal for both of us is to stay healthy. …

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