The clock is ticking but Venus Williams is in no mood to simply fade away

When Venus Williams first stepped onto a tennis court in Oakland for her professional debut in 1994, the Rolling Stones were playing a concert next door at a neighbouring stadium.

Twenty-six years later, Williams, like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, is in no mood to simply fade away.

The trailblazing American star celebrates her 40th birthday on Wednesday with the tennis season on pause amid the coronavirus crisis which has decimated the calendar.

The former world number one, however, says there is no prospect of her quietly drawing a line under a career which has yielded seven Grand Slam singles titles, four Olympic gold medals and dozens of tournament wins.

So, despite the march of time and a recent record of futility – her last singles title came in a WTA Tour event in Taiwan in 2016 – Williams won’t be hanging up her racquet just yet.

“You always have to have dreams, so I keep having them,” Williams told the Tennis Majors website in an interview earlier this month, revealing that she still wants to challenge for the French and Australian Opens, the two Grand Slams that have eluded her.

“I would like to win Roland Garros. I was not far from it. The same goes for the Australian Open: I…

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