Venus Williams waves to the crowd at a tournament

Venus Williams congratulates Yannik Rahman on 1R win at Australian Open 2022 

Shyam Kamal
ANALYST

Venus Williams might not be at the 2022 Australian Open but her presence could still be felt at Melbourne Park. Her words of wisdom have propelled compatriot Yannik Rahman into the second round of the boys' singles. The former World No. 1 recently took to Instagram to commend Rahman on a job well done.

Rahman is a protege of Eric Hechtmann, who also coaches Venus Williams. Following Rahman's victory in his first match at the Australian Open Junior Championships, Hechtmann posted the success story on Instagram.

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The American came from a set down to beat Great Britain's Louis Bowden 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes. His coach praised him for overcoming his nerves and the heat to prevail over the qualifier and thanked those who supported him back home in the USA.

He further added a special message of thanks to Williams, saying her "champion's insights" helped Rahman pull off the win.

"Congrats to Yannik Rahman for winning his first-round match at the Australian Open Juniors and overcoming heat, nerves, and losing the first set to battle back and win in 3 sets," Hechtman wrote. "Thank you to all those back home that watched and supported him. Big thank you to Venus [Williams] for her champion's insights and wisdom."

The 41-year-old added the post to her Instagram story, along with a congratulatory message for Rahman and Hechtman.

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"Well done!" Williams wrote.
Screen grab from Venus Williams' Instagram story

Yannik Rahman went on to beat eighth seed Olaf Pieczkowski 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the second round. He now faces Yaroslav Demin for a place in the quarterfinals.

The 2022 Australian Open is the first tournament without both Serena and Venus Williams since 1997

Venus Williams and Serena Williams at the Australian Open
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Since Venus Williams made her debut at the Melbourne Major in 1997, every edition of the tournament has featured either her or sister Serena Williams up until 2022.

Serena and Venus at their first Australian Open
Was also Serena's Grand Slam debut

1998

#getty
09:38 AM · Feb 12, 2021

The seven-time Grand Slam champion was absent for the first time in 2000 as a result of tendinitis that affected her wrists. Her next absence came in 2007, once again due to a recurring wrist injury.

Her third and final absence prior to 2022 was in 2012. Williams withdrew, citing the ongoing treatment for Sjögren's syndome, an auto-immune disorder that predominantly affects the body's moisture-producing glands.

this the first australian open without venus or serena williams in 25 years. that’s absolutely insane.
08:27 AM · Jan 22, 2022

During all three years, Serena was present to carry on the Williams sisters' legacy. The 23-time Grand Slam champion reached the fourth round in 2000 as well as in 2012. In 2007, she went on to win the Australian Open, defeating Maria Sharapova in the final.


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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
 
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