United States of Sports: Venus Williams in Miami
Venus Williams reflects on all that makes Miami great.
Venus Williams is a seven time Grand Slam champion and regarded as one of the all-time greatest women tennis players. Venus and her younger sister Serena, moved to Florida, the Sunshine State, with her family in 1990. They were lured by tennis programs up to the task of challenging two young prodigies. For Venus, it was a match made in heaven. She may be a focused and fierce competitor on the court, but off it she’s lively and laid-back, just like the city of Miami.
It was that beautiful city that gave her a first taste of greatness. Venus won the Miami Open in 1998, a memory she holds dear as her first big title. But many more would come over Venus’ illustrious career, as she and her younger sister, Serena, rewrote the book on women’s tennis. Propelled by a powerful baseline game and a record-breaking serve, Venus has captured 7 Grand Slam singles titles, 16 Grand Slam doubles titles, 4 gold medals, and her pursuit of the next big win continues. As a vocal pioneer for both black tennis players and female athletes, Venus has also won some big matches off the court. In the pantheon of tennis greats, her place is secure.
As Venus Williams imagines a next chapter to this storied career, she dreams of mornings spent on a Miami beach, not a tennis court. But what really draws her in is the city’s rich culture, a vibrant blend of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. It’s a wonderful destination for fusion cuisine, lively music, and colorful art. For creative entrepreneurs like Venus, it’s also a thriving center of fashion and design. She doesn’t hesitate when asked for one word to describe the city of Miami. “Paradise.”
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