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Venus Williams
at age eleven, a exclusive!
"I'll get a Grand Slam."

Interviewer: There are prodogies, and there are curiosities, and there are cultural phenominams, and then there is Venus. Venus Williams is 5 feet 4 inches tall. She's eleven years old. She's a black girl from the hood who walks her puppy dog and plays hide and go seek and avoids the gangs and guns and drugs of the mean streets in Compton all the while training to become everybody says the next great tennis player in America.

Jack Kramer: She's got it all. If she doesn't end up being a super champion; I don't know much about tennis.

Author Ashe: She moves with a fluidity that you associate with ballet dancers.

Tracy Austin: I mean the stroke on the serve is just beautiful. She's already got that down at eleven.

JK: She might catch up with Jennifer Capriatti because she's a superplayer at 15 and of course she's being around awhile, but I would have to say Venus will in the end be a better player than Jennifer, which is, you might think I'm nuts; but I think that's what's going to happen.

I: Are there days when you take off from playing?

VW: Yes, lots of days.

I: Do you miss it when you don't play?

VW: (laughs) No, not really, because I have other things to do.

I: Have you got time for a boyfriend?

VW: No.

I: Is Serena your best friend?

VW: Yes, we're real good friends, but my best friend is my dad.

Richard Williams: They (Venus and Serena)can't get the type of training that they need here at Compton. If I took her to a Nick Bolliteri or a Rick Macci, where she needs to play a lefty, she could play a lefty. If she needs someone to play topspin...what she would need, she could get it at the academy. She can't get it here.

I: When a girl can hit a tennis ball like Venus Williams, her dreams are not a winking or blinking on bank accounts, but of the far off fabled venues of sporting legends.

VW: I'd like to win Wimbledon as many times as anyone could win it. More than any woman, man or junior did.

I: What about the other tournaments?

VW: (laughs) I'll get a Grand Slam. (smiles)

(from CBS 1991)

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