Venus Williams Critics Should 'Just Shut It' as She Receives Roddick's Backing

Venus Williams Critics Should 'Just Shut It' as She Receives Roddick's Backing

by Alex Waite

Venus Williams has received support from former US Open men's champion Andy Roddick after the 43-year-old encountered criticism for her decision to continue playing.

Williams progressed past Camila Giorgi in the first round at the Birmingham Classic for her first tour win since January 2023. The seven-time Grand Slam champion eventually edged Giorgi in a gripping three-set match, where Williams also required a medical time-out after slipping on the surface.

But the 43-year-old's eventual recovery and victory showcased her physical and psychological strength to compete at the highest level, despite being in more advanced years compared to her competitors. In addition, when speaking to the Tennis Channel, Roddick backed his compatriot to play for as long as she desires and he said Williams should be respected as 'one of the greats'.

"Anyone who says oh they shouldn’t be playing anymore, just shut it. Venus has earned every right to play. Andy Murray has earned every single right to play. They are the greats for a reason. They’re not competing against their own shadow at this point. They’re competing for those moments of accomplishment and we saw that with Venus. How relieved she was, how satisfied she was with herself after that. Rightfully so,"

Roddick told the Tennis Channel

Also, Roddick revealed he was interested to see how Williams will progress throughout the remainder of the Birmingham Classic and further into the grass season. Williams has received a wildcard entry into Wimbledon and Roddick feels the former world number one has a decision to make about possibly holding back in Birmingham to keep fresh for SW19.

"On the slower surfaces, I think she has a tough time moving in and out of the courts. But she can still create pace. That serve looked amazing today. I am curious to see how that knee is going to hold up. The conversation starts becoming listen ‘do I do I push it here or do I save it for Wimbledon?’ But none of that matters tonight. Enjoy the victory Venus, you deserved it. It was so much fun to watch. I loved it,"


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