One of the most fascinating stories of the 2015 season is the resurgence of Venus Williams. At 34 years old, she won her 46th career singles title in the opening weeks of the 2015 season by defeating former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
With a quarterfinal run at the Australian Open and a semifinal effort in Doha, the 2008 WTA Finals champion has raced out to one of her best starts of her career. She has advanced to the quarterfinals at this week’s Miami Open presented by Itau by defeating Wozniacki, again. Through her first 18 match wins of 2015, four have been against Top 10 ranked opponents. Dating back to last year, she has now won seven of her last eight against Top 10.
ESPN Analyst and seven-time WTA Finals qualifier, Mary Joe Fernandez commented via conference call, “The consistency is what’s coming through more and she has so much more belief in herself and her ability now.” Fernandez, a 7-time WTA Finals qualifier told the press.
Venus agreed after her second round win in Miami, stating, “I enjoy what I do. I believe in myself. I believe I have the capacity to get through anything that comes to me in my life and to succeed.”
2015 is the best start for Williams since 2002, the year she first claimed the WTA world No.1 ranking. Entering Miami, Williams was ranked No. 9 on the Road to Singapore standings, but with a solid result in Miami is projected to move into the Top 8 after the tournament. Depending on other players’ results and a title run, Williams could rise up to No. 5 on the RTS Leaderboard.
Brad Gilbert, a commentator for ESPN, thinks Williams has a great shot for the WTA Finals. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Venus take a run at Singapore. She’ll need a good run at a Slam, but I was blown away at how good she is still moving. She is moving in the top 5 of anyone playing tennis and at her age, it’s incredible.”
Although it’s only three months into 2015, Williams is showing signs of the game that originally brought her to the No. 1 ranking. Like Gilbert said, a deep run at a Grand Slam could help vault Williams into qualifying territory for Singapore, but it’s all up to Venus.