Venus wants ‘to be a champion’

Venus Williams is targeting titles in 2017 as she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open for the first time since 2003 on Tuesday.

The American defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets to line-up a clash with her compatriot Coco Vandeweghe in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park.

Nineteen years after making her Australian Open debut, Williams is delighted with the tennis she is playing.

"To me, the semifinals is a stepping stone, just like the other rounds," she said.

"It's an opportunity to advance. The tournament is by no means over. It's definitely down to the business end.

"I feel like I'm playing the kind of tennis I want to produce the results that I want."

Williams is adamant she isn't at the tournament just to make up the numbers and is looking to claim her first Grand Slam since she won Wimbledon back in 2008.

"Should I look across the net and believe the person across the net deserves it more?" Williams asked. "This mentality is not how champions are made. I'd like to be a champion, in particular this year.

"The mentality I walk on court with is: I deserve this."

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