Evergreen American Venus Williams has dismissed any notion of announcing her retirement anytime soon, saying she is eager to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The 37-year-old had a successful year in the absence of her sister Serena through pregnancy, climbing to number five in the singles rankings after finishing runner-up at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the WTA Finals.
The seven-time grand slam winner has competed in five previous Olympics tournaments, starting in 2000, and has won three golds in the women’s doubles event with Serena and one gold in the singles competition.
“I have no plans of stopping soon,” Williams told American magazine Entrepreneur. “It seems somehow that 2020 Tokyo is on the horizon. Isn’t that wild? I’m trying to stick around for that.”
The Williams sisters along with ATP Tour veterans Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal have re-established their dominance at the top of the sport with Serena winning her 23rd grand slam title aged 35 at the 2017 Australian Open.
Spaniard Nadal, 31, reclaimed the men’s number one spot with six trophies this year, while 36-year-old Federer finished second after winning seven titles. The pair split the season’s four grand slams between them.
The sisters will resume their rivalry next season as Serena is expected to make a long-awaited return following the birth of her daughter in September.
nThe prestigious Miami Open hardcourt tennis tournament is poised to leave its Key Biscayne site in 2019 for the Miami Dolphins’ stadium, according to documents made public on Wednesday. The tournament is one of nine elite Masters 1000 events on the ATP tour and one of four Premier Mandatory tournaments for WTA players.
But since a 2015 court decision blocked upgrades to the aging facilities at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne there has been a suggestion the event could leave Miami altogether.
According to the Miami Herald, the tournament’s parent company has already signed paperwork with the administration of Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez that will see scenic Key Biscayne, a palm-tree studded island near downtown Miami, host for the last time next year. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross proposes building a $53mn facility to host tournament events in parking lots outside the stadium, while the marquee tennis matches would be held in Hard Rock Stadium itself.
In a memo, Gimenez said the county has agreed to let the tournament leave Crandon Park before its lease expires in 2023, in exchange for a payment of $1.3mn and an agreement not to leave Miami-Dade County for 20 years.
The deal must still be approved by the Miami-Dade commissioners who are expected to vote on it next Tuesday.