Venus Williams won the US Open twice. She has won seven majors overall. She is the second most decorated woman playing tennis in Flushing Meadows this fortnight. She is also — undeniably — only the second most accomplished player to emerge from the house she grew up in. (Patrick McEnroe, who announces the tennis matches alongside his 7-time major winning brother John, knows this feeling best. You can hear it when he talks about Venus.)
But here’s the thing about Venus Williams right now: she’s into the fourth round at the US Open. She’s been plagued by physical problems due to an autoimmune syndrome, but she’s managing the resultant fatigue far better this year than in the past — to judge by her performance in Grand Slams. Venus’s advance to the fourth round at the US Open marks her third such run in the last four majors. At the Open she beat 18-year-old Swiss rising star Belinda Bencic to get there — and beat her in straight sets, too. (6-3, 6-4.) You probably know Bencic’s name because last month she beat a pretty good player named Serena Williams in Toronto. Venus Williams is playing exceptional tennis right now. At 35, she might just have another slam left in her. It’s late summer/early fall in New York; that’s the same time it is in Venus’s career.