Venus Williams on Feeling Ready for Her US Open Return and 'Building Equity' in Outdoor Sports

·2 min read
Clif Bar rep. Venus Williams
Clif Bar rep. Venus Williams

Clif Bar

Tennis star Venus Williams is ready to meet Alison Van Uytvanck in the first round of the US Open on Tuesday.

"Honestly, it's just the countdown to get ready," Williams tells PEOPLE ahead of the match. "Every day is adjustments, but most of all, just believing you're ready to be there. So I am, I'm ready."

In addition to Tuesday's first round against Van Uytanck, Venus will compete in the 2022 doubles tournament with her sister, Serena Williams. It will likely be the pair's final run together as Serena, 40, is set to retire following the 2022 US Open. Serena advanced to the second round of the singles tournament on Monday.

In addition to preparing for the highly-anticipated match, Venus tells PEOPLE she's been hard at work on her partnership with Clif Bar and Outdoor Afro, to inspire Black connections in nature.

Clif Bar rep. Venus Williams
Clif Bar rep. Venus Williams

Clif Bar

"I didn't realize that this was so important, but it is," she says of her work with the brand and their outdoor initiative.

The tennis star can be seen in the company's recent ad, shot in Florida, where Venus lives full-time. "It was really so much fun to meet everyone from Outdoor Afro," the seven-time Grand Slam winner says. "It was about the experience of being outdoors. It was about the experience of connecting. It was about the experience of letting nature run its course, so to speak, in a healing way, in a joyful way."

Working with Outdoor Afro and Clif Bar has been just as empowering for Venus as it has for the fans she's sharing the initiative with. "It was nice even for me to take that moment and just be so focused when I'm outside, actually just enjoy it."

"A lot of times, a lot of us don't take those moments. And also in the African American community, sometimes we haven't taken those moments. So learning about and being involved with Outdoor Afro was actually very inspiring and it's important to have people who are taking opportunity to give back to the community in every single way."

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Clif Bar rep. Venus Williams
Clif Bar rep. Venus Williams

Clif Bar

At home in Florida, Venus takes every opportunity to spend moments outdoors, and she encourages fans to do the same. "I take a lot of my meetings outside. If I have conference or video calls, I just sit outside and have them. I don't like to be indoors."

RELATED: Serena and Venus Williams' Throwback Twinning Moments on the Court

The tennis star playfully advises, "That's a fun tip! Take your meetings outside."