Venus Williams' greatest achievement comes off court

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Williams has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open, leaving the desert tournament without the world’s top-ranked women’s player.
USA TODAY Sports

There’s one title Venus Williams cherishes more than all others.

It’s not the one you might think.

“Role model, definitely,” Williams told USA TODAY Sports. “Tennis is limited. … Being a role model transcends.”

Seven Grand Slam titles, the Olympic gold medal and world No. 1 – she’s done it all in a career that has stretched into its third decade. The power and athleticism with which she and sister Serena play transformed the game.

MORE WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH:

Yet for all of that, Venus Williams’ greatest impact has come off the court. There is equal prize money at Wimbledon largely because of her. She was the driving force in the WTA’s partnership with UNESCO that promotes gender equality. She is a financial backer of Ellevest, an online investment platform geared toward women.

She is part of Brawny’s new Strength Has No Gender campaign, which is recognizing trailblazing women in honor of Women’s History Month and…

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