India has a very good tradition in tennis, says Venus Williams

Bengaluru, Nov 21: Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams feels that the success of Vijay Amritraj, Leander Paes and Sania Mirza at the international stage proves that India has a "good tradition" in the sport.

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Citing examples of some of the great Indian tennis stars, Venus said she expects the tradition to continue in future. "India has a very good tradition in tennis. You have (Vijay) Amritraj, Leander Paes, (Sania) Mirza. I don't see why that tradition can't continue," the American told PTI in an interview here today.

Venus waves Bangalore Raptors flag

Besides seven singles title, Venus also boasts of 13 Grand Slam titles in women's doubles along with her sister Serena. Venus and Serena, famously known as 'the William sisters', once made up for the most lethal women's doubles combination having won 13 Grand Slam titles together.

The siblings have also won three Olympic gold medals in doubles and have expressed their desire to play in the 2016 Rio Games. Venus, a former world number one player, attributes her and Serena's success in doubles to mutual respect for each other.

"I think we both play well together and we also have good relationship. In doubles, you have to get along with your partner and respect him or her. If it it not there, then quite often the relationship deteriorates," she said ahead of the Champions Tennis League tie between Bangalore Raptors and Hyderabad Aces.

Even though she is satisfied with her performance in 2014, Venus was eyeing to rectify the mistakes she committed in this year. "Year 2014 is a great year for me. I had a lot of success. You keep on learning, you never stop. I expect 2015 to be another year for learning. I want to get better. Every time you lose you learn from it and after every win you look to building on the tempo," she said.

After playing the game for more than two decades, the After playing the game for more than two decades, the question of retirement is bound to creep up in any sportsperson's mind, but Venus wants to continue as long as the desire for the game is still there.

'I wouldn't be coaching'

"I don't know. We will see," Venus reacted when asked about her retirement plans. "At the rate I am playing, I have been playing for a very long time and competing at highest level. But as long as I want to be here, I will like to continue." Venus refused the idea of becoming a coach in future after calling it a day from the game.

"No I wouldn't be coaching, I don't mind helping someone. I have been playing tennis for a very long time. Tennis is my life. I see my life in other places and there are other challenges for me," she said. Asked about the trend of women being hired as coaches, Venus said, "Obviously women know the game. It depends though, in some cases men are good and in other cases women are good."

In the past the US has produced some of the legends of the game in the men's category like John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras to name a few. But of late, American men's singles players are struggling to make their presence felt at the big stage.

Asked Venus about the reason, she said: "We had many great players right since 1920s. But presently everything is not coming together. It is not easy for everything to come together - the mental, the physical and all that stuff. We had so much for so many years but there are ups and down in tennis."

However, Venus said that there are lot of talented players in the US, but they need to be consistent in their approach to achieve success at the world stage. "There is a lot of talent. So, you never know who would be the best player. Sometimes, best players come and vanish. One who is persistent will excel," she said.


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