The former world No. 1 revived the popular channel she first launched in 2019.
Tennis fans have been disappointed not to see 1 Venus Williams on court for the first major of 2022, but the former world No. 1 aims to make up for her absence by reviving her popular YouTube channel, starting with an unfiltered look at her 1997 Grand Slam breakthrough.
Williams first launched the channel in 2019 with a mix of skits, interviews, and Q&As, having gone silent since the 2020 US Open, the seven-time major champion teased a return earlier this week and made good on her promise Friday.
“This is my first reaction video,” she explains in the introduction, “and I’ll be reacting to my 17-year-old self!”
The elder Williams sister was indeed just 17 years old when she made her US Open debut. Coinciding with the opening of Arthur Ashe Stadium, she promptly stormed into the final, finishing runner-up to then-No. 1 Martina Hingis.
Watching a highlight reel produced by the USTA, Williams takes fans through her 1997 US Open matches, starting with a tense first round against Larisa Neiland.
“I think I was only the second match to ever play on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and I was so nervous that I bombed the first set; I think they only showed three points because those were the best and the first half of the match was…” she trails off and makes a choking noise.
As young Venus lands a powerful overhead, she dissolves into laugher.
“That attitude!” Williams exclaims at a close-up of her face. “No wonder they hated me!”
Check out more insights and epic points—including a recap of the infamous semifinal “bump” against Irina Spirlea—in the full video.