Venus Williams: Mentor Richard Williams set to score personal best ATP 500 points

Image copyright AFP Image caption Richard Williams watched as his wife, sisters and son took to centre court at the ASB Classic As Richard Williams watched his daughters Serena and Venus toil in the…

Venus Williams: Mentor Richard Williams set to score personal best ATP 500 points

Image copyright AFP Image caption Richard Williams watched as his wife, sisters and son took to centre court at the ASB Classic

As Richard Williams watched his daughters Serena and Venus toil in the final stages of the ASB Classic, he was reportedly aiming for a personal best score on the ATP 500 Tour.

The grandson of tennis great Arthur Ashe wore a hat with the logo of the state of New York – which his daughter is from – during the match against Polish qualifier Magda Linette.

“I’m trying to get a thousand. I’ve got one match left,” the 67-year-old said in New Zealand.

“A good result would be perfect – baby Venus can play singles next week and I’d love to see the look on her face.”

Williams put his previous record of 7,450 points on the line at the Auckland Classic. The men’s equivalent features tournaments in a different country each week with this year’s features billed as the “Finals Tour”.

But the seven-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of a New Zealand Open tie with Joe Schober – the highest-ranked player in the draw – earlier this month.

Despite the absence of his seven-time Wimbledon champion wife, it was Williams’ younger daughter, 14-year-old Olympia, who was doing the heavy lifting in Auckland with 17-year-old sister Serena winning the tournament by beating Kaia Kanepi in the final.

Venus was handed a bye in the first round at the WTA Auckland Classic but won the following three rounds to secure a final berth against Linette.

In February, Serena Williams won her seventh Australian Open title by beating her older sister 6-2 4-6 7-5 in the final.

At the end of 2017, both sisters decided to take time out of the game due to the impact of life on tour.

Serena returned to competitive action at the Australian Open in January and since has won titles in Indian Wells and Miami, before taking home the title in the Mallorca Open at the end of April.

Venus opted to undergo a recovery period from a foot injury before breaking her two-year Fed Cup title drought to help the USA to World Group II for the first time in more than a decade.

Williams was hoping to surpass Fed Cup pair Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova’s scores, having previously added 8,150 points to his collection by finishing in the top 14 of the world in each event.

Williams, however, still managed to scoop 7,664 points in total this year after beating 32nd-ranked Radek Stepanek in Auckland, 1-6 6-4 7-6(5) and above 15th-ranked Andrey Rublev to reach the final.

Following his victory over Rublev on Saturday, Williams said his daughter could stand to benefit from an early start to 2019.

“She likes her tennis shoes. She’s got a new pair of Serena shoes that I just bought her last night,” he said.

“Venus, it’s going to be tough. She plays the hard court all the time and we’re still sitting there playing ping pong.”

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