Venus Williams set for first 2011 match in US

Venus Williams is set to play her first match in the United

States this year on Tuesday night.

The 31-year-old Williams, who returned to competitive action in

June after missing nearly five months with a hip injury, is playing

World Team Tennis as a member of the Washington Kastles.

Williams and her sister, Serena, who will make her season debut

with the Kastles on Thursday, both lost in the fourth round on the

second Monday at Wimbledon.

Since then she has ”just been relaxing and enjoying life.”

Time for relaxing is over.

”Now it’s time to gear up and start playing again,” said Venus

Williams, who often uses WTT to prepare for the upcoming hard court

season.

The winner of seven grand slam singles titles, Venus Williams

last played competitively in her home country during last year’s

U.S Open.

She will help break in the Kastles’ water-adjacent stadium,

located on the banks of the Potomac River

”It’s fantastic, I can’t think of any other stadium on the

water,” said Williams, who is playing her second season for the

Kastles. ”It feels like we have a real home. I’m hoping my tennis

will match up with the location.”

Prior to Tuesday’s season opening match, Williams participated

in a clinic with kids from various youth organizations which

brought back memories from her childhood days

”I went to a World Team Tennis clinic with Billie Jean King and

remember really wanting to impress her,” Williams said at the

clinic’s conclusion. ”It’s full circle. Now I’m in that

position.”

Williams was asked at the pre-match press conference if she

would play mixed doubles with noted doubles player Bob Bryan.

”I’ve been known not to commit to relationships,” Williams

said ”I’m always a grass is greener girl kind of girl. It’s a bad

habit that’s followed over into tennis.”

Owner of three gold medals from her two previous Olympics, she

said her plans are to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles at

the London games.

Her ties to the D.C. area extend beyond the Kastles. Besides a

sister living in the area, Williams’ design company is working on a

remodeling project at Howard University’s basketball gymnasium.

The outside projects, including her efforts in the fashion

world, are already a component of her life and will be where she

channels her competitive spirit once her professional tennis days

are done.

”While I’m playing well, I’m just going to try and dominate,”

she said. ”When I’m done, I’ll dominate somewhere else.”