Venus Williams has arguably never been better. Ranked second in the world, she's nipping at her sister Serena's heels. And in less than 2 weeks, her book "Come to Win" hits the shelves.
But in reality, both are footnotes compared with the ruckus she caused at the French Open a couple of weeks ago. Williams' outfit - a risqué, black-and-red-laced, French-maid dress - caused great controversy with its scandalous see-through effect.
Sorry, Philadelphia, Williams won't be making a fashion statement when she comes to town next month as part of the World TeamTennis schedule.
"No, I won't be having new outfits during World TeamTennis," Williams said on a conference call yesterday. "At Wimbledon, I will and at the U.S. Open, I will. I'm looking forward to both of those."
Williams and the Washington Kastles will visit the Philadelphia Freedoms on July 8 at the Pavilion on the Villanova University campus, the Freedoms' home opener. Philadelphia opens its season July 5 at the New York Buzz.
Philadelphia traded Williams to the Kastles before the WTT pro league draft in February. Yesterday, she laughed off the trade.
"Now, I'm going to need to adjust to my new team," she said. "Now, I'm a Kastle. It'll be tough playing against what used to be my home, but it will be all good fun."
Williams will join her sister on the Kastles. The Freedoms, coached by Craig Kardon, are headlined by Andy Roddick.
Billie Jean King was among the founders of the original World TeamTennis, which began in 1974 as a way for men and women to compete together. Each of the 10 teams in the current league is composed of two men, two women and one coach. Five sets - men's and women's singles, and men's, women's and mixed doubles - make up a match.
This season begins on July 5 and concludes with the finals on July 25 in Kansas City.
For the Freedoms, who joined WTT in 2001, this season will have a much different feel. After hosting matches just outside the King of Prussia Mall the past two seasons, the Freedoms will play in the Pavilion at Villanova.
Williams said she wrote "Come to Win" to show how competitiveness in tennis can translate to everyday life. For the book, she talked to King. Williams, who turns 30 on Thursday, guessed she was 8 the first time she met King at a WTT clinic.
While she has always been extremely busy during the season, Williams said WTT is an important part of her life.
"It has become a tradition for me now," Williams said. "Not only everything that happens on the court, but everything we get to do with the kids and clinics makes it a lot of fun, so I enjoy all of that."
As for the uproar over her outfit? She welcomes the feedback. After all, it was part of her clothing line, EleVen.
"The outfit is my design," Williams said. "I put a lot of hard work and thought into what I'm wearing on the court. For the people that like it and enjoy it, it's definitely rewarding for me." *