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Venus Williams not sure what to expect from aunthood

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 29/05/2017

© Provided by USA Today Venus Williams has always tended to be the more reticent sister in terms of giving out personal information in comparison to younger sister, Serena.

So it came as no surprise Sunday that her lips were locked when asked if she already knew that Serena was expecting a baby with fiance Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit, during the Australian Open in January. Venus lost to Serena in that Australian Open final, her first Grand Slam championship match appearance in seven-and-a-half years.

Pushed a bit more after her 6-4 7-6 (3) first-round win over Wang Qiang of China in the French Open first round, Williams relented to briefly discuss pending aunthood, which should occur sometime late in the summer.

It won’t be Venus’ first time in the aunty role, but it will be her first as a full-fledged adult.

“Well, I don't like to talk too much, so my mouth will always be shut,” Williams said, smiling. “But I'm definitely looking forward to it. I have no idea what the experience will be like because previously I became an aunt when I was very young and lived far away, across the country (in Florida), so it was a completely different experience than it will be this time.

“So I hope that I can live up to this job. I've got to get some confidence that I can do this. It's all new for me. It's a great journey.”

Asked what she anticipates her responsibilities might be as Aunt Venus and she admitted that’s her biggest concern.

“I don't know yet, that’s the problem,” she said, laughing. “I don't know how well I'm going to do, because I don't know what to do. I think you just have to be ready, aware and alert. Then have a lot of diaper duty.”

Williams was more revealing when asked what it feels like to be playing here at Roland Garros — an Open era record 20th career French Open for her — without Serena also tagging along.

“We definitely miss the doubles, we were talking about that, how much we miss the doubles,” said Williams, who has teamed with Serena to win 14 Grand Slam doubles trophies, including two at the French.

“But obviously I have played events without her. I think I was prepared to come here without her, so it makes it — when you know something is going to happen, then you're like, ‘OK, I'm ready to deal with this.’ I've had some time to prepare, I think.”

At one point, Williams even shared how she believes Serena is feeling about missing this French Open.

“I think it's not easy for her to watch, because, you know, obviously she knows she can do well here,” Williams said. “So I think that she's just excited about everything coming up in her life, on and off the court, (and) excited about returning here hopefully next year.”

As for Williams, herself, she acknowledged it was a tricky first-round match to handle Sunday, as she fell behind 4-2 in both sets.

“I was trailing,” she said. “I know she had done things to earn it, to be at 4-2, so it was a credit to her. But also, I realized I had to put some balls in the court, so that would be my main focus at that point.”

As to her goal for this French Open, the seven-time Grand Slam champion views situations with the experience of someone whose played on tour since 1997.

“It's always an opportunity, for sure,” Williams said. “You know, I want to play the kind of tennis that's consistent and aggressive, inspired.

“That's my goal, really, every match."

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