Gray clouds hang overhead, thunder booms. Venus ignores it. Screen tests, money, winning, family: It's a beautiful day. The philosophy is simple, she says. You want it? Get it. "I like being the best," she says. "This year I have the most titles of any player on the women's tour. [After Hingis won in Berlin two weeks ago, she and Venus were tied with four titles.] I feel good about that. I'm going to try and make sure it stays that way. I like moving toward goals: Right now I'm Number 5. Soon I'll be Number 4, and that's great. One day I'll win the French Open, and that'll be great. Then I'll have to move on and win Wimbledon."
She's talking of moving out of her parents' house, of building one nearby with Serena and settling in. She laughs some more and stands up, walks out where it will soon be pouring. "Hello, beautiful girl," Richard says. They hug, Richard asks her a question, and they hug again.
"See you later, now," Richard says.
"I love you, Daddy"
"I love you, Venus. Thank you."
Venus climbs into her Porsche, backs up and turns, grinding the gears a bit. The engine starts to whine. Richard stands stock-still in the parking lot, his face grizzled by a beard going white. He watches as she pulls away. The road stretches out before her like an open hand. He looks like the embodiment of parental pride.
When he finally turns and breaks the silence, Richard says, "She does love to drive it, but she doesn't have time. I'll get it anyway. She'll buy another one, and she'll give the old one to me. It'll be my car very soon."