Venus speaks ahead of St. Petersburg debut

Venus Williams will make her debut in the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy this week, where she is seeded fourth.

The indoor event, which also features Simona Halep and Dominika Cibulkova, is in the middle of the Russian winter, a far cry from the heat of Melbourne Park where the Australian Open was held. 

But Venus isn't too worried about that…

"I knew I was coming here, so mentally I was prepared," said the 36-year-old on, who lost to her sister in the Australian Open final last week.

"This is a place I want to be, and have always wanted to visit because of the historic value, and because it's a beautiful city."

In terms of arriving at the event off the back of that loss in Melbourne, Venus simply viewed it as a great opportunity. 

"No one plans to lose, so it's never the outcome you work so hard for," added the former world number one.

"But it was still a wonderful opportunity for me to be in the right situation to win a championship. At this point, I can't wait to play another match.

"Of course, it was a privilege to be in the Australian Open final because you think about how close you are to the championship and having a chance to play for that. That's everything I wanted, but I always planned to come here, regardless."

Williams opens her account in St.Petersburg against Kristina Mladenovic on Thursday.