venus covers up, and then some



This is Dubai, after all: We are pretty sure that the “skin baring” dress that Venus Williams would’ve kept her out of defending her singles title at the Barclay’s Dubai Tennis Championships (hey, what’s this event if not without controversy?), so it was probably a smart move that she went back to the EleVen dress that she wore at the 2009 U.S. Open.

And speaking of, she again got some henna tattooing done (like how she did at this tourney last year), this time adding some ink on her left thigh.

Draw: Venus looks good for a repeat; she’ll be up against the story of the tourney, Shahar Peer, in the semis. Teenagers Victoria Azarenka and Agnieszka Radwanska will vie for the other spot in the final. ([pdf]).

More: A few images (including the tattoos) -after the cut…

pavlyuchenkova too much for venus’ tutu



Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has Venus Williams‘s number, having upset the American for the second time in two weeks, more recently in the second round of the China Open. The score: 3-6, 6-1, 6-4.

“I just tried to play as simple as I can just into the court and just make her move,” said Pavlyuchenkova of Venus at her post-match presser. “And today I just tried to do the same thing.”

Make Venus — one of the tour’s best movers — move? Kids these days can stare death in the face and not flinch one bit!

Bracketology: Anastasia next faces Wozniak, and could face Kuznetsova in the quarters. The rest of the draw is here (pdf).

Thumbs up: Many of you didn’t like Venus’ U.S. Open ’09 bowling shirt dress, but make sure to send love to her doubles outfit from that Slam, which she also wore for singles this week. Straps criss-crossed down the back of the bright pink dress, fitting for a ballerina.

(image via Getty)

venus, animal style



Venus Williams and her EleVen line continue to run around like headless chickens, showing off outfits — one prettier than the next — even after their backer, Steve & Barry, declared bankruptcy a while back.

And for the 2009 French Open, Venus follows up her Hypercolor spring dress with this abstract take on animal print, which reminds us of Matthew Williamson‘s recent collection for H&M. (If you haven’t seen the latter, click here for the tiger/butterfly dress and here for the peacock-themed goods.)

Scoreline: Venus beat former fashion great Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the first round, and faces Lucie Safarova (sigh, that once would have been a juicy contest) in the second round. Venus will likely run into Li Na in the fourth; TSF predicts that the Chinese player will take out Sharapova in the round prior — you heard it here first!

Up close: This Venus dress is the same as the one she wore from Miami through Warsaw. See some more pics of the outfit in action after the cut…

venus williams: look at the fine print



Two snaps to Venus Williams and her EleVen line for going where no other player has gone before in recent years — at least not successfully. She made good on what she told TSF back in February, bringing out a print in purples, teals, and fuschias for a spring-appropriate tennis dress. I don’t know about you, but it’s making me crave Hypercolor!

Her year so far: Venus has two titles under her belt (Mexican Open, Dubai) and made it to the semis of Miami (losing to sister Serena) and Roma (losing to Safina). On the flip side, she’s also had disappointing early-round losses to Carla Suarez Navarro (Australian Open) and Alisa Kleybanova (Madrid). All that being said, she is ranked third in the world and is also seeded third for next week’s French Open.

In the details: Once you get over the pyschedelic effects, look for the dress’s tiered skirt whose staggered layers don’t quite wrap around the entire waist; the drawstring collar; and the teals and purples of her earrings and undies. See everything after the cut…

venus: walking in serena’s swimsuit footsteps + what to expect from eleVen in 2009



venus-williams-siswimsuit09

As we wrote about earlier, Venus Williams will be participating in the BNP Paribas Showdon at MSG next month, vying for $1.2 million in prize money to be split among her, sister Serena, and Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic.

“I’m hoping for an all-Williams final,” she told the press today. She’s also looking forward to playing at the storied tennis venue for the first time since the 1999 WTA year-ending championships.

In light of tennis’ contribution in this year’s SI swimsuit issue, TSF asked Venus about her own experience posing for the magazine, back in 2005.

“I did it because Serena did it,” Venus shared. “I want to be like her.”

Serena posed in 2003 and 2004.

But in the end the fashion isn’t the higest priority. “I like tennis more than anything. I would give up all the clothes and makeup for tennis.”

Even so, gallivanting in the sand sounds like a lot of fun. Would she consider giving it another shot?

“I would do it if Serena did it.” (C’mon, Serena — take your sister up on the offer!)

And Venus will soon fly to Dubai and participate in the Barclays tourney.

The American No. 2 (second only to her sister) gave us a small taste of what to expect from her EleVen outfits for the upcoming tennis season. She’ll wear more prints, perhaps taking another cue from Serena, who did the same for the Australian Open in January.

Browse: See Venus’ SI pics here.

More info: The BNP Paribas Showdown, March 2, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Tickets ranging from $1,000 to $50 available at ticketmaster.com. The event will be shown live on HBO (7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT) and will be called by Mary Carillo, Billie Jean King, and John McEnroe. This marks the first time since 1999 that the premium channel has broadcast a tennis event; they carried Wimbledon from 1975-1999.

(image by SI)