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African store ace for Venus

JESS ETHERIDGE
Last updated 05:00 14/01/2014
Venus Williams with Bayview’s Monica Jones
CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER: Tennis superstar Venus Williams with Bayview’s Monica Jones.

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An African store owner has been left star-struck after a visit from superstar Venus Williams.

The former world No 1 visited Northcote's Black Africa Hair and Clothing store a day after landing in Auckland for the ASB Classic tennis open.

Store owner Monica Jones says she is still reeling from the encounter.

Williams quietly walked into Black Africa, flanked by eager fans, and took a seat, she says.

Ms Jones says she coyly asked if it really was Venus Williams.

Williams bought almost $500 of authentic African clothes, hair extensions, products and a pair of tweezers.

"She was very friendly, we had a chat," Ms Jones says.

But Williams had to make a trip across the road to a service station to get cash out because Ms Jones does not take credit cards.

Ms Jones says she went along for the chauffered ride.

She says Williams saw a sign for the McDonald's Georgie Pie and was intrigued, as American McDonald's only sell burgers.

Ms Jones told her it was a classic Kiwi snack.

The pair returned to the shop where Williams signed autographs and posed for photos.

Black Africa was the only store at The Fox outlet centre Williams visited, Ms Jones says.

Williams said she would return to play the Classic again and will bring her sister - current world No 1 Serena - to the store, Ms Jones says.

The visit means a lot to Ms Jones, who moved to New Zealand seven years ago from Ghana.

The Bayview mum of three used to play tennis and says she is still reeling two weeks later.

Williams lost the ASB Classic final in three sets to Ana Ivanovic of Serbia.

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