Venus joins little sister Serena on the Kastles roster this season, giving the team the most potent one-two punch in World TeamTennis this summer. The Kastles play their home opener tonight against the Philadelphia Freedoms.
Venus says the relaxed environment of “team tennis” is a welcome change of pace to the rigors of normal tournament play.
“Anytime I am able to team with Serena, it is something that I enjoy," she said. "It has been a good opportunity for me to get to know some of the male and female players on tour that I might not have gotten to know during the more stressful environment of tournaments. Everyone is relaxed and we have a lot of fun.”
We won’t get to see the Williams sisters compete on the same night because of World TeamTennis rules. However, just having the top two female tennis players on the planet setting up shop in D.C. for the summer certainly won’t be bad for business if you’re owner Mark Ein.
Ein considers himself lucky to have Venus summering in Washington with all that she has going on: Venus owns a fashion line called EleVen, is the CEO of her interior design firm, V Starr Interiors, and is a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins.
Oh yeah, she’s now a published author, as well.
Venus co-wrote “Come To Win.” The book collected thoughts from 50 people about the importance of sports in their lives. We won’t name names, but unlike many other athlete/authors, this wasn’t a job Venus just put her name on. Venus herself did many of the interviews.
“I actually got pretty nervous doing the interviews," she said. "The people we interviewing (Bill Clinton, Vera Wang, Condoleezza Rice, Magic Johnson) are so bright and successful that you wanted to make sure you did your homework and communicate that I am taking this project seriously.”
One of the main things Venus took away from the book was how many of her interview subjects expressed the importance of learning from losing, which she can relate to. Sort of.
“I learn from my mistakes on the tennis court, which I guess is similar, but losing is something that stings every time and is difficult to imagine embracing," she said.
One thing Venus has no trouble embracing is her inner diva when it comes to fashion.
She wore a Tina Turner-inspired number at Wimbledon, and made headlines at the French Open with an outfit most people were used to seeing on a Victoria’s Secret model.
The black-and-red lingerie-like corset was the most talked about sports related attire since Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at Super Bowl XXXVIII.
“I have always been interested in fashion and try to find insightful opportunities to do something different,” Venus said.
Perhaps even more controversial than the outfit was the flesh-colored underwear she wore at the Aussie and French Opens that gives the “illusion” of, well ... nothing.
The pause and rewind buttons on Tivos around the world were worn out during her matches as viewers tried to figure out what, if anything, Venus was wearing.
“There are more interesting projects forthcoming and at some point you will see the illusion again,” she promised.
Perhaps Ein can work some of Venus’ fashion ideas into the Kastles uniform this season. Now that definitely won’t be bad for business!