Venus Williams is looking for tour titles, gold medals


Her Olympic fashion is inspired by Wonder Woman and there are many tennis observers who would call former world No. 1 Venus Williams a wonder woman even now.

Williams' next WTA Tour title will be the 50th of her career and despite setbacks over the years the ninth-ranked women's tennis player has won over 78 percent of her career matches.

Venus Williams/WTA
She's returning to play in the Bank of the West Classic, with the main draw beginning July 18, and will then travel to Brazil to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"Additional challenges? Absolutely because the Olympics is such a highlight," Williams said Wednesday in a press conference. "At the same time it's important to play tournaments so you can continue with success on the tour."

Williams will be making her 13th career appearance at Stanford and her first since the 2014 event. She's reached seven championship matches, winning twice. Her last victory was over Kim Clisters in the 2002 final. She also beat Lindsay Davenport in 2000.

"It's great to play at home in front of the home crowd," she said. "There's not as many opportunities as there was when I first started to play in the U.S. Just being able to play at home, I really cherish it."

Williams is one of the 13 women, of the 20 on the current acceptance list, who has won a tour title. The field is loaded and Williams leads the way with seven grand slam titles and four Olympic gold medals.

"You want to come in strong, playing a lot of matches, hopefully winning titles. There's always something to work on," Williams said. "It gives me the opportunity to figure out what I need to perfect at this moment in time."

As for her Olympic outfits?

"Each and every Olympics it's Wonder Woman as the inspiration," Williams said. "It never changes. Second it's about trading pins and then you find out it's about meeting people."

World No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska has been one of the hottest players on tour to start the 2016 season. She has reached the semifinals or better in five of the eight events she has entered this year including a win in Shenzhen. She advanced to the semifinals of the Australian Open for the second time of her career which also marked her fourth career Grand Slam semifinal appearance.

Tickets for this year's event, which will be held through July 24 at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium on the campus of Stanford University, can be purchased online at the Bank of the West Classic website.

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