Venus Williams is “kind of targeting” the 2020 Olympics, the five-time Olympian said when asked how much longer she will play tennis.
“I am targeting that to see if it’s possible to play there,” Williams said on a Hallmark Channel show that airs this week. “While you’re out there playing, I love that challenge, I love the pressure, it’s all a privilege. If I can be out there, I will be.”
In Rio, Williams won her fifth medal, silver in mixed doubles with Rajeev Ram, and became the most decorated tennis player in Olympic history. And she left the door open for Tokyo 2020.
“God willing, I imagine if I really wanted to be there, I could,” Williams said Aug. 14. “So Tokyo is about if I want to be there. If I want to continue to work as hard. It’s a lot of hard work. I have to want to do the work. So we’ll see.”
Now it sounds like Williams, who will be 40 in 2020, is willing to put in the work.
In Rio, Williams became the second-oldest singles player since the sport returned to the Olympic program following a 64-year break in 1988. If she is back for Tokyo, she will break Jonas Bjorkman’s record as the oldest singles player.
If Olympic tennis qualifying remains the same, Williams will have to be one of the top four Americans in WTA singles rankings come spring 2020 to outright qualify for singles.
Williams is currently No. 17, trailing Serena Williams (No. 2) and Madison Keys (No. 8) and ahead of Sloane Stephens (No. 35) and Coco Vandweghe (No. 37).
If her singles ranking falls, Williams could still make her sixth Olympics in doubles only.
One American has competed in more than six Olympics — equestrian J. Michael Plumb.Follow @nzaccardi