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MailTribune.com
  • V. Williams looking to end summer with one more first

  • COLUMBIA, S.C. — Venus Williams hopes to end a healthy and successful summer with another first — a World Team Tennis championship.
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  • COLUMBIA, S.C. — Venus Williams hopes to end a healthy and successful summer with another first — a World Team Tennis championship.
    Williams will play for the defending champion Washington Kastles at the WTT Finals Weekend at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston. Orange County takes on Sacramento for the Western Conference crown tonight before Williams' Kastles face John McEnroe and the New York Sportimes on Saturday in the Eastern Conference finals.
    The conference champions meet Sunday for the WTT title.
    "This is exciting," Williams said by phone Thursday. "I've never won a World Team Tennis title and maybe I can help the Kastles win again."
    It's already been a satisfying season for the 32-year-old Williams. She competed in the final three Grand Slam events this year after withdrawing from the 2011 U.S. Open because of Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue and joint pain.
    The highlight came at the London Olympics, when she teamed with sister Serena to capture the doubles gold medal for Team USA.
    It was Venus Williams' fourth Olympic gold and confirmed her belief she was still capable of competing at the game's highest levels.
    "It was the pinnacle and what I was going for over there," she said. "My whole dream was us winning the gold for the U.S."
    Bell Challenge
    At Quebec City, Canadian star Aleksandra Wozniak injured her right shoulder during a warm-up session and withdrew from Bell Challenge before her scheduled second-round match against Melanie Oudin
    Wozniak, ranked 48th and seeded fourth, said she will have an MRI this morning.
    In other second-round matches, Anna Tatishvili beat seventh-seeded Petra Martic 6-2, 6-3, and Kirsten Flipkens edged Mirjana Lucic 6-7 (2), 6-2, 6-4, and eighth-seeded Lucie Hradecka beat Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 7-6 (2), 2-6, 7-6 (4).
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