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Venus Williams

The elder of the Williams sisters, the pre-eminent forces in women’s tennis this century, Venus not only won seven Grand Slam singles titles but is also a four-time Olympic Games champion.

At Sydney 2000, she won both the Women’s Singles and Doubles (alongside younger sister Serena) - the first player since Helen Wills Moody in 1924 to achieve that feat.

She and Serena also won the Doubles titles at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, while at Rio 2016 she reached the Mixed Doubles final with Ram Rajeev.

That silver medal came 22 years after she turned professional, aged 14.

In February 2002, she became world number one for the first time, and dominated the sport for much of the 2000s, although her achievements were later surpassed by Serena, with whom she won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles but against whom she has an 11-16 losing record in head-to-head matches.

In 2011, Venus started to withdraw from tournaments because of a viral illness, eventually diagnosed as Sjogrens Syndrome, an autoimmune disease, and dropped out of the world’s top 100 by the end of the year.

But she returned to the top 10 in 2015 and the following year reached the Wimbledon semi-finals, aged 36 - her first Grand Slam semi in six years.

Venus Williams

Venus Williams Venus Williams of the United States returns a shot to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada during the second round of Women's Singles Tennis at the London 2012 Olympic Games. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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