On June 17, former world number one Venus Williams announced that she would not play at Wimbledon this year. The five-time champion of the tournament, who recently turned 42, was not entered into the tournament, but could have received a wild card.

“Serena will play at Wimbledon. I hope this helps to sort things out regarding the Williams family,” Venus said.



Daddy Richard's Secrets.  How Serena and Venus Williams built character in a gangster neighborhood
Daddy Richard’s Secrets. How Serena and Venus Williams built character in a gangster neighborhood

The return of 40-year-old Serena to the court is a big event. But we have to admit that the era of both Williams sisters is ending. With regard to Venus, this can already be spoken of as a fait accompli.

A professional since 1994, Williams Sr. has 49 singles titles, 11th in history and second among active tennis players (after Serena). Venus Williams is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, winner of the final tournament in 2008, four-time Olympic champion (single 2000, pair 2000, 2008, 2012). The owner of the doubles career “Slam” and 14-time champion of the doubles TBSH. Two-time champion of the “Slams” in the mixed doubles and the owner of the Federation Cup – 1999. This is a list of the main merits of an American, whose best years are long behind.

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The last time Williams Sr. went to the court in Chicago in August last year. Venus has long ceased to dominate his sport. The last successful result was at Wimbledon 2017, where the American reached the final. Then the tennis player came to England amid the scandal. A few weeks before the tournament, Venus committed a terrible crime with a fatal outcome, but was not punished. We recall a resonant incident five years ago.

On June 9, 2017, while driving an SUV, Venus was involved in a car accident in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which resulted in the death of a 78-year-old man and injury to a second passenger. The family of the deceased filed a lawsuit against Williams.

According to the initial police report, it was Venus who was blamed for the car accident. Witnesses told investigators that Williams ran a red light in her Toyota Sequoia SUV. As a result of the incident, 78-year-old Jerome Barson was seriously injured and died two weeks later in the hospital.



Legal doping!  How Serena and Venus Williams spent their entire careers playing illegal drugs
Legal doping! How Serena and Venus Williams spent their entire careers playing illegal drugs

The Hyundai Accent, driven by Barson’s wife Linda, crashed into the side of Williams’ SUV. Linda Barson told investigators that she was approaching the intersection when the green light came on. She was unable to brake in time to avoid a collision. Linda received moderate injuries. Venus was not hurt at all.

Williams’ version was different. The tennis player told investigators that she was running a green light and was forced to stop halfway through the intersection due to traffic in front of her. Venus claimed she had not seen the Barsons’ car.

Venus’s name was not mentioned in the coroner’s report, but it did state that the driver of the SUV (actually Williams Sr.) had violated traffic laws while crossing the intersection and was at fault for the accident. It was also stated that the person driving the vehicle was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

For two weeks, doctors fought for the life of Jerome Barson, but to no avail. The 79-year-old man died on June 22, 2017. Williams immediately expressed her “deepest condolences to the family that lost a loved one.”

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The injured party simply did not want to close the case. Attorney Michael Steinger accused Venus of running a red light, inattentive driving and reckless driving. Representatives of the widow Barson did not ask for imprisonment. Apparently, backstage negotiations were already underway between the parties. This process is not fast. But first, Venus was waiting for a major tournament.

Wimbledon 2017 was held from 3 to 16 July. Venus went to England against the backdrop of an unpleasant informational hype around the incident with a car accident. Because of this, she even missed the press conference before the start of the tournament, although the rest of the former champions took part in it. Venus still had to talk to reporters on an unpleasant topic after winning in the first round over Belgian Elise Mertens. Williams Sr. said that she could not find words to describe the situation, after which she burst into tears. The moderator of the press conference asked the media not to mention this topic again.

Venus stopped pestering unpleasant questions. This allowed her to focus exclusively on tennis. The Williams sisters did not defend their doubles title as Serena missed the tournament due to her pregnancy. But in singles, Venus showed herself perfectly, reaching the final. In the decisive meeting, the American lost to Garbine Muguruza (5:7, 0:6).

It is very disappointing to stop one step away from the title, but in general, the 37-year-old tennis player, seeded under the 10th number, has exceeded all expectations. Wimbledon 2017 witnessed the decline of Williams’ older sister’s career. In the future, injuries and the consequences of Sjögren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease) increasingly made themselves felt. But this is a digression.

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

How did the trial of Venus and Linda Barson end? In November 2018, Williams and Jerome Barson’s family reached an out-of-court settlement. Details are hidden from the public, but the injured party, according to media reports, received monetary compensation. Previously, Venus was cleared of misdemeanor charges related to the accident.



“Despite all the battles, we love Maria!”  The Williams sisters already miss Sharapova
“Despite all the battles, we love Maria!” The Williams sisters already miss Sharapova

Lawyer Michael Steinger, who represented Linda Barson, said Venus Williams’ fame played a role in the case. It is quite possible that someone less famous would not have gotten off with a light enough punishment or simply would not have found the means to pay compensation. Although throwing a stone into the garden of the injured party is also wrong.

Jerome Barson’s relatives have lost a loved one, but life doesn’t end there. They decided to take the money without seeking jail time for Venus. They had every right to do so. In any case, Williams Sr. consciously did not want the death of a person and paid her price for what happened. Surely, even without prison, she rethought many of her life guidelines after this incident.

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