Venus Williams following her second US Open triumph in 2001 (/Matthew Stockman)
Whilst it is unlikely that Williams will be the world number one after the tournament, she is certainly a major contender for the title. The champion back in 2000 and 2001, the four-time US Open finalist has more wins on the Grand Slam stage than any other women, and no one will want to face her when the action begins in New York.
Early 2017 results
The American was forced to withdraw from her first tournament of the year in Auckland, though rebounded with an incredible run at the Australian Open, beating Coco Vandeweghe in the last four before losing to her sister in the final. Williams then lost in her first match in St. Petersburg, though rebounded with more solid results on hard courts, reaching the last eight in Indian Wells and the last four in Miami.
Williams had a difficult start to her clay court season, losing to Laura Siegemund in Charleston despite having match points and was then forced to withdraw from Madrid, though then reached the quarterfinals in Rome and the second week at the French Open, falling to Timea Bacsinszky. Following that, she reached a staggering ninth final at Wimbledon, playing perhaps her best match of the season in the semifinal against Johanna Konta before falling to Garbine Muguruza in the final.
Hard Court summer
After deciding not to play in Stanford, where she was the finalist in 2016, Williams played at only the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the Western and Southern Open heading into New York.
Williams started off with a tough three set win in Toronto, eventually battling past Irina-Camelia Begu to win her opening round match, before seeing off Katerina Siniakova in two tight sets to reach the third round. She was then soundly beaten by eventual champion Elina Svitolina, winning just three games against the Ukrainian.
The American then moved onto home turf in Cincinnati, conceding just two games as she demolished compatriot Alison Riske in her first round match. However, she then became the victim of a surprise three-set defeat to qualifier Ashleigh Barty, and will likely be disappointed with her US Open build up.
Best US Open result
As previously mentioned, Williams is a two-time champion in New York, having won the title in 2000 and 2001, as well as reaching the final in 1997 and 2002.
Williams was the third seed in 2000 and came into the tournament fresh off her first Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon. The American breezed into the quarterfinal without dropping a set, beating the likes of Meghann Shaughnessy and Magui Cerna, before battling past eighth seed Nathalie Tauziat and then world number one Martina Hingis to make the final. There, she beat Lindsay Davenport in straight sets for her first triumph in New York.
The following year, Williams was the fourth seed and defended her title without dropping a single set. Williams beat the likes of 30th seed Lisa Raymond and 18th seed Sandrine Testud to reach the last eight. There, she crushed fifth seed Kim Clijsters for the loss of just four games, before easing past second seed Jennifer Capriati to make the final. In the final, she faced her sister, who she comfortably saw off to win a fourth Grand Slam title.
Williams has not won a title this year and may be disappointed by her lead up to Flushing Meadows, though has proven this year she is still a Grand Slam contender and will be incredibly tough to beat; a third US Open triumph may be possible.
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