Venus and Serena Williams have played tennis as a team and as competitors, they are icons in the world of tennis, but they are first and foremost sisters.
Before the gals were born their father, Richard, saw the end of a Tennis tournament where the gal was awarded $40,000 for a 4 day-tournament. Richard reflected that seeing how he made $52,000 in all of the previous year, he thought he was in the wrong business. He set up a plan for two of his five daughters to become the best in the world.
Practicing first in courts in Los Angeles, Richard instructed his daughters from what he learned in books and videos. By the age of ten, Venus has a serve that clocked in at 100 MPH.
The family moved to Florida where Venus and Serena could attend Rick Macci Tennis Academy. Where the two girls thrived.
Venus was first to become pro. In 1994 she took the world by storm. Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles, four Olympic gold medals, and in 2000 she won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
In 2006 a wrist injury slowed her down but she wasn’t out for long because she won Wimbledon the next year. When Venus was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome in 2011, she worked that problem too returning to win Wimbledon with her sister the next year.
Venus is also an entrepreneur. She also has a clothing line called EleVen, as well as an interior design company called V*Starr Interiors. She’s the author of Come to Win: Business Leaders, Artists, Doctors, and Other Visionaries on How Sports Can Help You Top Your Profession. Both Venus and Serena are co-owners of the NFL team the Miami Dolphins, there are the first African-American women to so.
Serena starting playing tennis at the age of four. Only 15 months younger than her sister, Serena turned pro 1995. Four years later Serena would beat out her sister at the U.S. Open.
2002-2003 was known as “The Serena Slam”. Serena won The French Open, the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. She had to face her sister at each tournament. In fact the gals have competed against each other more than 20 times. Serena went on to win her first Australian Open in 2003 having her name on 4 titles in at the same time.
Serena had her share of health problems as well to overcome. Serena had surgery on her knee as well as surgery to remove a blood clot in her lungs. Just like her sister, her injury was just a motivator to come back stronger than ever.
Serena currently has 23 Grand Slam Titles, four Olympic gold medals and holds the record for the most wins’ in the Open era.
When Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam title, she took a moment to talk about her sister, “I would really like to take this moment to congratulate Venus, she is an amazing person,” she said. “There is no way I would be at 23 without her. There is no way I would be at one without her. She is my inspiration, she is the only reason. I am standing here today and the only reason that the Williams sisters exist.”