Revisiting the 9 matches between Venus Williams and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
Venus Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time and has enjoyed a glittering career so far. The American has had a long spell on the court with 49 singles titles and 22 doubles titles to her name.
This includes seven Grand Slam singles titles, five of which came at Wimbledon. Williams also enjoyed a spell atop the WTA rankings during her illustrious career.
The American turned pro in 1994 and made her debut aged 14. Her second professional match came against then-World No. 2 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. The match featured a controversial bathroom break which had an impact on the outcome.
Williams has since faced the Spaniard another eight times, leading the overall head-to-head 6-3. Williams had some intense battles with Sanchez Vicario between 1994 and 2002. Here, we take a detailed look at all nine matches between the two.
#1 1994 Bank of the West Classic - Second Round
The first meeting between Venus Williams and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario is one that is very well remembered. Back then, the American was only 14 years old and was taking part in her first professional competition.
Sanchez Vicario, on the other hand, was the top seed who was having the best year of her career, having won the French Open and the US Open. Williams was up against the Spaniard in the second round after beating Shaun Stafford.
Williams started the match brilliantly and took the opening set 6-2. She then led in the second set before Sanchez Vicario took a bathroom break. This disrupted Williams' rhythm and the Spaniard went on to win in three sets.
Sanchez Vicario eventually won the tournament by beating Martina Navratilova in the final.
#2 1998 Sydney International - Final
The second meeting between the two came in the final of the Sydney International in 1998.
Williams, who had reached the final of the US Open the previous year, was unseeded in the tournament. She stunned World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the second round before beating Magdalena Maleeva and Ai Sugiyama to reach the final.
Sanchez Vicario, meanwhile, was the fifth seed and reached the final after beating Serena Williams in the semifinals. The Spaniard defeated Venus Williams 6-1, 6-3 in the summit clash to win the 25th singles title of her career.
#3 1998 Italian Open - Semifinals
By the time the 1998 Italian Open arrived, Venus Williams had risen up the rankings and was seeded ninth in the competition. She reached the semifinals of the tournament by beating sister Serena 6-4, 6-2. The American then faced fifth seed Sanchez Vicario.
Williams took the opening set 6-3 before the Spaniard rallied to take the second set 6-2. Williams held her nerve to win the final set 7-5 and reach the final. This was her first-ever victory over Sanchez Vicario.
Venus Williams lost to top seed Martina Hingis in the summit clash but not before giving the Swiss a tough fight.
#4 1998 US Open - Quarterfinals
Williams continued her strong run of form in 1998 after the Italian Open and was seeded fifth at the US Open while Sanchez Vicario was the fourth seed.
Williams reached the quarterfinals following straight-sets victories over Elena Pampoulova, Anne Kremer, Larissa Savchenko-Nieland and Mary Pierce. Sanchez Vicario also reached the last eight with four wins in straight sets.
The two players faced each other in the last eight. The Spaniard won the opening set 6-2, but Williams rallied to take the next two sets by identical 6-1 scorelines and reach the semifinals.
She was beaten by second seed and eventual champion Lindsay Davenport in the last four.
#5 1998 Grand Slam Cup - Quarterfinals
Williams and Vicario were drawn against one another in the quarterfinals of the Grand Slam Cup in 1998. The American beat the Spaniard for the third successive time, winning 6-3, 6-2.
Venus Williams then beat Nathalie Tauziat 6-4, 6-0 to reach the final of the competition, where she was up against Patty Schnyder. Williams won 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 to pick up her third title of the year.
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#6 1999 Betty Barclay Cup - Semifinals
Venus Williams and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario were seeded second and third respectively at the Betty Barclay Cup in Hamburg back in 1999.
The former beat Maria Serna and Amanda Coetzer in straight sets to reach the semifinals. She faced Sanchez Vicario, who had beaten Maria Sanchez Lorenzo and Silvia Farina Elia, in the last four.
Williams had little trouble against the Spaniard, winning 6-1, 6-3 to reach her fourth final of the year. The American thrashed fourth seed Mary Pierce 6-0, 6-3 in the summit clash to lift her third title of 1999.
#7 2000 French Open - Quarterfinals
Venus Williams was the fourth seed at the French Open in 2000. She reached the fourth round following comprehensive victories over Jana Kandarr, Tamarine Tanasugarn and Emilie Loit.
The American then beat Anke Huber to reach the quarterfinals, where her opponent was eighth seed Sanchez Vicario.The Spaniard survived a tough match against Barbara Schett in the fourth round to reach the last eight.
Sanchez Vicario bageled Williams in the opening set but the latter bounced back to take the second 6-1. The Spaniard went on to win the final set 6-2 to break her four-match losing streak against the American.
#8 2000 Olympics - Quarterfinals
Venus Williams competed at her maiden Olympics in Sydney in 2000 and was seeded second. The American reached the quarterfinals following straight-sets victories over Henrieta Nagyova, Tamarine Tanasugarn and Jana Kandarr.
Williams faced Sanchez Vicario in the last eight and the two played out a thrilling contest. The American came back from a set down to win the match 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 and advance to the semifinals.
She then beat Monica Seles to reach the final, where she defeated 10th seed Elena Dementieva to secure the gold medal.
#9 2002 Betty Barclay Cup - Quarterfinals
The last meeting between Venus Williams and Sanchez Vicario came in the quarterfinals of the Betty Barclay Cup in Hamburg back in 2002.
The American was the top seed in the tournament and received a bye to the second round. She beat future Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone to reach the quarterfinals.
Awaiting Williams was Sanchez Vicario, who won the opening set 6-4. However, the American bounced back to win the next two sets and seal her place in the semifinals.
She defeated Martina Hingis but lost to Kim Clijsters in the final.
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