Venus Williams chases first French Open singles title

Venus Williams returns a shot from Elise Mertens during the third round of the French Open (Getty Images).

Venus Williams was already a household name when she arrived at the 2017 French Open, and during the first few days of the tournament, she’s added even more records to her résumé.

The 36-year-old made history when she entered the tournament, becoming the only woman to compete in the French Open 20 times. She also became the oldest player in the Open era to ever reach the fourth round of the Grand Slam when she defeated Elise Mertens of Belgium in two sets Friday morning.

But despite her accomplishments, Williams remains laser-focused on one goal, the goal she will be chasing with increased intensity as the weekend progresses: a French Open crown.

Williams has won four gold medals, seven grand slam singles titles and over a dozen doubles titles, but the French Open crown has still evaded her. On the second day of the tournament, Williams told The Associated Press that she plans to use her experience in the sport to her advantage in her quest for the Roland Garros win.

“I think today the experience helped, for sure,” she said on Monday. “Having the opportunity to play 20 of these tournaments helped me a lot.”

Channeling her self-described “consistent, aggressive and inspired” tennis, Williams has already taken down Qiang Wang, Kurumi Nara and Mertens on her way to the fourth round of the Open. Her next opponent, No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky beat her in this tournament last year, but Williams will look for a different result on Sunday.

Venus Williams smiles during an interview after her third-round victory in the French Open. (Getty Images)

And while Williams chases her goal, her famous sister and longtime doubles partner, Serena Williams, will be watching from the stands.