Venus, now 37, is an old woman in tennis years. But the senior player held her own and beat out two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, 27, on Tuesday in a three-set contest at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
The two-time U.S. Open champ showed everybody how tennis is done, in spite of having Sjorgen's syndrome, an incurable auto-immune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain.
Venus and sister, fellow tennis superstar Serena Williams, who would normally be there to cheer Venus on, was absent for a good reason. She gave birth to her first child—a baby girl last Friday. Serena and fiancé Alex Ohanian, had not yet released the name of the daughter. Inspired by the news, Venus dedicated the rest of her tennis tour to her sister and niece’s honor.
"It definitely felt like a special match," Venus told reporters after coming back from 3-1 down in the final set. There were no easy moments. It wasn't easy to hold serve or break serve. This match meant a lot to me, obviously, playing at home and, of course, it being a major."
She now advances to the semifinals to play against Sloane Stephens, who is 24.
“Venus is our leader," Sloane says.
“"She's who everyone looks up to. She's a great player, a great person, a great leader. There is not anything bad you can say about Venus. I'm honored to be able to play at the same time as her. I'm happy she's still playing. She means a lot to the game."
If she wins the title on Saturday, Venus could rise to No.2 in the rankings.