Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Team Venus Seeing Stars

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Team Venus Seeing Stars

Article excerpt


IN case you were wondering, Venus Williams is going to be an astronaut when she stops playing tennis. Or an architect.

Or a clothes designer. Or an archeologist. We know this from information supplied by her kit sponsor, Reebok, so it must be reliable.

Of course, that same information lists her age as 20 when she is actually 21, but no matter.

If Reebok say Venus is going to be an astronaut, they will believe it is an absolute truth, just as they believe she is 20. Such is the insane world inhabited by the Wimbledon and US Open champion.

Perhaps Reebok see it as the ultimate marketing coup - Venus on a journey to the eponymous planet in a rocket with the company brand name on its side.

Planet Reebok and all that. Nothing is too preposterous for marketing types.

You only have to attend a Williams-Reebok photo opportunity to see that.

The other day, a dozen camera crews and twice as many photographers queued up to picture Venus in the unremarkable frock - sorry, the "stunning new statement dress'' - she will wear tomorrow when she steps on Centre Court at 1pm to begin the defence of her title against Japan's Shinobu Asagoe. Mere pictures of the frock are not enough.

Only the Reebok blurb can capture its Full Significance.

It is available in white with chartreuse, white with turquoise, or white with a nasty-sounding "injection of raspberry''. Chartreuse and turquoise just turn up by themselves, see. They don't need injecting.

Geri Halliwell injects vitamin C.

Venus injects raspberry. Barking.

But wait. The dress has "a halter-neck silhouette that beautifully accentuates her athletic physique while allowing her femininity, cutting-edge style and sophistication its full expression''. In other words, you can see her nipples. (Anyone becoming overexcited can rest assured that Reebok tennis wear is made from "moisture management technology''. So you're quite safe from embarrassment. …

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