Venus Williams is two sets away from history. A win over Garbine Muguruza in the Wimbledon finals would make Williams the oldest major champion in women’s tennis history (by more than two years), taking that honor from her sister, Serena, who was 34 when she won last year at Wimbledon.
This year has been an incredible renaissance for the elder Williams tennis sister. Venus, who turned 37 in June, is making her second finals appearance of 2017 — she lost in the final at the Australian Open — but before that hadn’t been to a major final since 2009. Since that 2009 appearance, Williams has battled Sjorgen’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that leads to fatigue and joint issues, and of course natural regression that comes with age. Of course, she seems to be winning that battle against time. Then, most recently, she was cited as the at-fault party in a car crash and got emotional in a post-match interview room. She was recently cleared of any wrongdoing.
But here she is, yet again in a final, an Open Era-record 20 years after her first major final at the 1997 U.S. Open. Even at 37, Williams continues to play a very high level of tennis. In her 20th Wimbledon, she has lost just one set so far. It’s her 75th major appearance — more than any man or woman. She’s dispatched this year’s French Open champ (Jelena Ostapenko) and hometown favorite (Jo Konta) along the way. And she’s only getting better. After committing 50 unforced errors in the first two rounds combined, she has just 49 in the four rounds since. Against Konta, she had just eight.
Williams is seeking her eighth major title and sixth at Wimbledon. It would put her one Wimbledon title behind Serena Williams and Steffi Graf and three behind Martina Navratilova. And she’s much more than a good story. At 37, Venus Williams is still a force to be reckoned with.