Venus rising: Williams wants to maintain new-found momentum
By Bill Scott Jul 9, 2007, 3:42 GMT
London - After whipping herself into shape after a shaky start in a successful campaign for a fourth-Wimbledon title, Venus Williams is not about to waste her winning momentum.
'I'm playing Fed Cup next weekend,' said the unseeded champion, who defeated France's Marion Bartoli in straight sets.
'I'll take a few days off, try to recover with this (hamstring pull). I just have to treat it very aggressively. Then we're playing Russia, so that's my priority. That's what I have next on the radar.'
Williams is due to compete on the side that faces the visitors at a Vermont mountain resort.
Williams, now with six Grand Slam titles, called her latest victory 'so much different from the others,' including Wimbledon championships in 2001, 2002 and 2005.
'In those, I felt like I was playing in championship form from minute one,' she said.
She lifted the honours two years ago in a drama-fest, seeded 14th and saving a match point to defeat Lindsay Davenport.
The trophy now occupies pride of place at home in Florida.
'The last time I won, it was a really outrageous way to win. I keep that trophy by my bed. That's the only one I keep close to me,' Williams said. 'Here I really had to focus on my game, overcome a lot of challenges, including obviously being seeded low, those kinds of things.'
The 27-year-old called her success 'wonderful.'
'Obviously I feel fantastic. My sixth slam - I want some more. My main goal is definitely to stay fit. Right now I'm a little taxed.'
Williams started her season only in February, due to a wrist injury that limited her play to a mere six events in 2006.
'I finally got to play in February. It's just been a process, a step by step of getting healthier and stronger, just being able to get physically back to where I was,' she explained.
'In the beginning of the year I had to build my strength. It was a lot of work. I began to realize, like, what level I was on, how I was playing and, like, how much energy and strength it takes to even move. I needed to work harder to get right back where I was.'
But even with a full trophy shelf, the elder Williams sister knows that what she has achieved at the All England Club was special.
'I always imagined, like, winning lots of Wimbledons. But when you start doing it, you start realizing how blessed you are to be able to do what you do. It's just amazing, it really is,' she said.
'I don't take anything for granted any more. I did, but not any more. I appreciate being healthy, being able to have a chance just to play.'© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur