Venus Williams believes she was ‘born to play’ tennis after advancing to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
The seven-time Grand Slam winner beat Germany’s Mona Bartel to reach her seventh quarter-final at Melbourne Park, at the ripe old age of 36.
After her fourth-round win, she said: ‘This is what you do all the hard work in the off-season for. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to advance even futher. It’s such a blessing.
‘She played well today, so many balls came back and I was really challenged to play my best tennis so it’s wonderful to get to the quarter-finals again against an opponent who was on fire.
‘I know what it’s like to be down on your luck but she knows how to play tennis, she’s experienced and we’ve played a couple of tough matches before.
‘Today I expected to have some competition and I’m wishing her the best for the rest of the year.
‘I think I was born to play this game, I really do. I really do.
‘And I’ve been blessed enough to do something that I love and I think this was my calling because I grew so big and tall, I can cover the court.
‘I was meant to do this.’