Age is no barrier for Venus at the U.S. Open

Sun Sep 5, 2010 6:04pm EDT
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By Matt Majendie

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two-time U.S. Open champion Venus Williams is still feeling young despite her senior status on the women's tour.

Williams booked a quarter-final meeting with the only other 30-year-old left in the Open draw, Italy's Francesca Schiavone, with a 7-6 6-3 victory over Shahar Peer, of Israel, Sunday.

Williams, who turned professional when Peer was just seven, might be feeling her years in her legs - tendinitis in both knees has seen her pull out of three tournaments this season - but mentally she insists she feels as youthful as ever.

"I don't even know how I feel, well, still young I would say," she said. "Still young, especially in the head, really young in the head."

Williams, who blew the candles out on her birthday cake back in June, is in the twilight of her career.

Although only Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova have consistently dominated the grand slams in the third decade of their lives, Williams is not concerned.

"It seems like everybody is hitting their stride at 30 - it's the new 20," she said with a smile.

Her quip is not so fanciful when you consider that Schiavone reached her peak as a player just a few days shy of her 30th birthday with victory at this year's French Open.   Continued...

<p>Venus Williams of the U.S. serves to Shahar Peer of Israel during the US Open tennis tournament in New York, September 5, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>