At 34, Venus Williams is ancient in tennis years. But then things like what’s normal have never mattered much to the Williams sisters, who have made careers out of changing the definition of normal. Venus hasn’t made it to the third round since 2010–when she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. But she has made quick work of her early opponents in the 2014 US Open. She’s looked like the Venus of old, named after a goddess for a reason.
Two more victories and Venus returns to the real New York spotlight, the quarterfinals. She begins the trudge up that hill today at 1pm against Italy’s Sara Errani, who knows the climb–Errani made it to the US Open semifinals last year. That’s what Venus did, come to think of it, last time she made it this far. Venus was a US Open semifinalist in 2010. Watch out?