Venus Williams may not have made any kind of history with her title win in Luxembourg on Sunday, but it was a momentous occasion for the American. Although this is her 44th career title, it is her first in over two-and-a-half years and the first since her announcing she suffered from the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome last year.
Her 6-2 6-3 win over Monica Niculescu may have looked easy, but Williams was tested as she was forced to “hit five, six, seven shots more than usual” against the Romanian’s tough defensive game.
Williams also admitted her drive for coming to Luxembourg: “My main goal coming here was to make the Top 32 and be seeded going into the Australian Open. I hope I’m somewhere in the Top 32 now. But wherever I end up, it’s just very rewarding to win here after facing a lot of challenges.”
With the win, she is indeed close to the cut-off, but the end of this season and beginning of next will solidify her placement.
And what about Williams’ dog Harold who has been spotted traveling with her this week?
“Me and Harry went for a lot of walks, and he’s very popular in Luxembourg now – he has a lot of new fans and friends,” Williams said. “I was really jetlagged so I didn’t spend much time outside the hotel – usually I do, I don’t know what happened!”
Full gallery by Rick Gleijm of the final, awards ceremony, Williams with her dog Harold, and even some bonus doubles practice footage of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka.