Venus Ebony Starr Williams (born June 17, 1980) is an American professional tennis player who is a former World No. 1 and is ranked World No. 20 in singles as of March 4, 2013. She has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association on three separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on February 25, 2002, becoming the first African American woman to achieve this feat during the Open Era.
Her seven Grand Slam titles tie her for twelfth on the all time list and is more than any other active female player except for her younger sister Serena Williams. Venus Williams' titles consist of: seven in singles, thirteen in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. Her seven Grand Slam singles titles also place her with four other women for twelfth place on the all-time list, whereas five Wimbledon singles titles tie her with two other women for eighth place on the all-time list. Venus Williams is one of only four women in the open era to have won five or more Wimbledon singles titles. Between the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2001 US Open, Williams won four of the six Grand Slam singles tournaments held. She is one of only five women in the open era to win 200 or more main draw Grand Slam singles matches.
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women's doubles. She and her sister Serena have won more Olympic gold medals than any other female tennis player. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Williams became only the second player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic Games, after Helen Wills Moody in 1924.
With 44 career singles titles, Williams, along with her sister Serena, lead active players on the WTA Tour. Her 35-match winning streak from the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2000 Generali Ladies Linz tournament final is the longest winning streak since January 1, 2000. She is also one of only three active WTA players to have made the finals of all four Grand Slams, the other players being her sister Serena Williams and Russian Maria Sharapova.
Venus Williams has played against her sister Serena Williams in 23 professional matches since 1998, with Serena winning 13 of the 23 matches. They have played against each other in eight Grand Slam singles finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they opposed each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, the first time ever in the open era that the same two players played against each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, let alone sisters. On the doubles side, the pair have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles playing alongside each other.