“Thank Heaven for little girls, they grow up in the most delightful ways,” sings Maurice Chevalier in the classic movie ‘Gigi’. A most appropriate tribute song for tennis sisters Venus and Serena, only that refrain is best edited to…”they grow up in the most ‘winning’ ways.”
(Video of the song can be found at the bottom of this post.)
This story is about the time a man with a vision who saw it through to total fulfilment‼ Richard Williams, the father of tennis phenoms Venus and Serena, made the successful journey from a man who self-taught himself tennis fundamentals and then developed two Tennis Champions who changed the women’s game.
While only youngsters, the tennis world was swirling with rumblings about their athletic ability…
but only Father knew best about their champion acumen.
Early on Richards describes Venus as a Champion-To-Be, he said: “…she possesses the four qualities all champions have naturally – Rough, Tough, Strong; and mentally, unbelievably Sound.”
Yet he reserved speaking of greatness for his comments about Serena. Father Richard predicted her tenacity would enable her to soar: “…so strong, once she gets a hold of you she never let’s go and plays with anger better than any athlete‼
Watch and listen to the Williams Sisters, though adolescents, speak boldly and clearly of their dreams. Venus at the time only 12 had won all 63 of her junior tennis matches.
And not to be outdone in accomplishments 11-year-old little sister Serena had claimed victory in all but two of her 52 matches.
Let’s speak of dreams…the dream of Venus then was to win the title on the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon; and, for Serena, the desire to lift the trophy at the grand slam of her home country, the US Open.
The rest is a kind of amazing history, the achievement of both an America Dream along with a father’s belief he had champions-in-the making…still being played out, before our very delightful eyes. The sisters now in their 30s, continue to stun the tennis establishment and fans the world over.
For now…let’s go back to the time of the beginning of the careers of Venus and Serena Williams – two little girls from Compton – and their musings as they look to the future:
AND THANK HEAVEN FOR VENUS AND SERENA WILLIAMS…
and all joy they’ve given to us on court, bringing excellence in every match, and a reality that dreams matched with drive do come true‼ Now time to share that musical moment from one of my favorite movies – ‘Gigi’:
My treasured moment at the 2015 Australian Open came in the third round; for the first time since 2011, both Williams sisters were still alive in the round of 16 in the same Grand Slam. Nothing could be better for this fan. Of course younger sister’s win at the Aussie Open, claiming her 19th Grand Slam and the victory speech about struggle-to-triumph that Serena gave, holds a significantly special place of it’s own.
Special as well is the Resurgence of Venus
Venus is back at the top echelon of the world tennis rankings, in lieu of her health battle with Sjogren’s Syndrome (autoimmune disorder).
After reaching the quarters in Australia, seeing her ranking rise to #11 is a phenomenal achievement!
Most notably so, as most tennis commentators and others in the tennis media had written Venus off after her announcement at the 2011 US Open that she was diagnosed with the debilitating, fatigue inducing disorder.
Venus Talks Turning Losing into Winning in Thrive Magazine
ELEVEN WAYS I GAIN MY CONFIDENCE BACK BY VENUS WILLIAMS
Sport is just like life; it’s filled with up and downs. There are times when you just can’t lose and other times when the luck always seems to go the other way. Life can be especially tough when we are dealing with challenges that are out of our control. Here’s where my story comes in.
For the best part of 2013, I had been struggling with a back injury. I’ve dealt with a lot of injuries—countless, actually. But this one was quite devastating as it took away my biggest weapon, and the life of my game, my serve. Coming back from this injury has been one of the biggest challenges of my career. I was shocked to see how much it affected my confidence.
What I quickly found was that recovering confidence can be tricky. I have made a set of rules that helped me along the way. It came through trial and error and a handful of somewhat tragic losses. Thankfully, my losses weren’t in vain: they paved the way to self-reflection and some mind-blowing insights. As they say, “The only tragedy in losing or failing is not learning from it.”
Evidence That She’s Back in Her Winning Stride Again
It’s still very early, but the 34-year old American has been most impressive, winning five of her past six matches against top-10 players. Venus has lost only one match this year (9-1), won her first title in Auckland and played in the quarterfinals of a major for the first time since the 2010 US Open (when she reached the semis).
Nothing short of awesome that Venus is still playing, returning to her old form and thriving while past opponents have long been enjoying retirement. What better illustration than this – Venus’ opponent in the Australian Open quarterfinal is the protegé of her old rival Lindsay Davenport. That quarterfinal Australian Open match is the only loss for Venus this year; to Madison Keys, who wasn’t even born when Venus played her first WTA tournament.
Davenport 38 , who retired from singles, developed a career as TV commentator and play-by-play analyst, is a married mother of four turned coach. Lindsay is proving her mettle as 19-year-old American Madison Keys reached a semifinal round in a grand slam for the first time in her career.
Wise move by the young Keys to secure such an accomplished coach: former world No. 1 and 3-time Grand Slam tournament champion Lindsay (a favorite player of mine) was in the finals of seven grand slams; two of them the Australian Open which she won in 2000. And overlooked is the fact that Lindsay remarkably came back into tour-level competition twice after giving birth.
Rivalry between Venus Williams and Lindsay Davenport
They played 27 competitive matches – more often than Venus has played any other opponent. Venus Williams played Lindsay Davenport for the first time in 1997 at Indian Wells. Twice they met in the final at Wimbledon, which Williams won each time. Many consider the 2005 Wimbledon as one of the, if not the best, women’s final ever. An epic match between two talented women, with similar games, playing it the way I love to watch – “Big Babe Tennis.”
WATCH: 2005 Wimbledon Final
Venus Williams Vs. Lindsay Davenport 2005
Venus has evolved into an elder statesman of the game, who successfully took on Wimbledon off-the-court, leading & winning the battle for equal reward money for women in tennis. [See Blog post: Venus Williams’ Other Career as Equal Pay Activist : Revisiting ESPN Film’s Documentary ‘Venus Vs.’ ] She is following in the footsteps of her mentor Billie Jean King, a legend whom Venus often quotes. Below is an exchange of tweets between the two during the Australian Open:
@BillieJeanKing thanks BJK! You have inspired me too, pressure is a privilige 🙂
10:54 AM – 24 Jan 2015
Venus Builds Career Outside Tennis
One of the greatest tennis players of all time: winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles and Olympic gold, this woman who changed the face of modern tennis is also an accomplished business woman.
Along with her thriving clothing line
Venus’ interior design firm V Starr Interiors continues to grow. For more than a decade, she has quietly run an interior design firm in her adopted home of Florida. Two years ago V Starr decorated a $6.5 million luxury model condo for a Boca Raton development. Her latest project: developer Jorge Perez’s new apartment community in Delray Beach.
…still with her epic rise back to just outside the top 10, it’s more than obvious that her passion for Tennis has not diminished.
Venus Reveals Her Winning Mindset:
How fortunate for us that Venus sat with Robin Roberts and reveals a mental approach for bouncing back that has served her well throughout her career, and … shares who her dream match would be against.
Glad you’re back Venus Williams, the Game was Simply Not the Same Without You!
Source: ONE News
After the first annual Serena Williams South Beach Ultimate Run, the sisters take time out for a selfie.
submitted by guestBlogger @BlackPearlMoi (twitter account)
“I’m going to take a couple of days off — not too many — and see how I feel,” Serena said in a statement. “I’m still hopeful of playing the Australian Open.”
Serena in her first trip Down Under since winning the 2010 australian Open title advanced to the Brisbane quarterfinals when she suffered an ankle injury. Serving for the match with a 6-2, 5-3 lead against Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia on Wednesday when she twisted her left ankle and crashed heavily to the court.
The 13-time Grand Slam winner lay near the baseline for several minutes while getting medical attention. She was helped to a courtside chair and had the ankle re-taped before resuming the second-round match.
Wincing in pain after at least two points Serena went on to secure a 6-2, 6-4 win.
She withdrew from the Brisbane tournament later Wednesday after having medical scans which confirmed a sprained ankle. Serena responded to the press that the injury is something “that I probably shouldn’t play on.”
What a loss for the women’s tennis game if the ankle prevents Serena from further play in 2012! She’s looking as fit as ever and continues to be the greatest player today, whatever the rankings. GodSpeed Serena!
“We feel like we’ve contributed to our country in a huge way,” Serena joyfully shared in speaking about their two doubles Olympic Gold Medals (2000 and 2008).
“We’re the defending champion and we want to defend our title and I don’t see why we wouldn’t,” Serena said of the London Games. “This (December 3 Exhibition in Milan) is a good preview to the Olympics, we both want to play. So this is a great, great time for us, so exciting.”
Tennis fans we are totally aware of the Williams Sister’s FAMILY TRADITION of playing together as a doubles team that goes for and WINS OLYMPIC GOLD. After excelling with two amazing victories at the 2000 Sydney and 2008 Beijing Gamesh. Serena and Venus are eager to go for their third Olympic gold together. The pair didn’t enter the doubles competition in Athens four years ago because Serena was injured at the time.
HISTORY IN OLYMPIC COMPETITION
Serena will be making her third Olympic appearance having won a gold medal in women’s doubles at the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games with sister, Venus, becoming the first set of siblings to win Olympic gold.
This is also the third Olympic appearance for Venus Williams. She won the singles Olympic Gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. When Venus won two Gold Medals in doubles competition at the 2000 and 2008 Olympics, where she teamed with her sister. Joining Helen Wills in 1924 as the only player to sweep both titles at the same Olympiad by having won a gold medal in both women’s singles and women’s doubles at the 2000 Olympic Games.
Serena and sister Venus are eager to go for their third Olympic gold together.
“To share this kind of moment with your sister,” Venus said, “it never grows old.”
“I don’t know anyone out there who would get tired of playing with Venus Williams,” said the Serena.
SPECIAL MOMENT FROM THE 2008 OLYMPICS When the red carpet was rolled out on center court, the sisters climbed the medal podium together holding hands. A beaming Venus bobbed her head to the beat as “The Star-Spangled Banner” was played. That’s really what it’s all about. America’s best – no doubt – The Williams Sister Rock!
For starters, let me just say the Twitter photo is awesome! It reveals the true ‘Diva’ that lives in the heart of this Tennis Champion! The swimsuit and pose harken back to the glamour days of Old Hollywood! Being a fan of classic movies and the TCM Channel, the fashion and sensuality of the female stars are channeled by Serena in this pose. Think Lana Turner, Dorothy Dandridge, Ava Gardner and company. Love it !
As to the subject of this blog page…what sport might Serena have pursued and conquered other than tennis? Someone tweeted Serena asking what other professional sport would have interested her, had not tennis been her pursuit since childhood. The holder of 13 Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold responds : Continue reading →
This is the love between siblings. When you love, protect, care for, and have a deep bond that only brothers or sisters can. The actual translation is “Hand and Foot” but it is said the relationship between sisters is like that of hands and feet. They belong together, and complete the body.
The sisters got up on stage afterwards to entertain the after race crowd with a bit of Karaoke.
Source: New York Times
They were blessed from above, to be a sanctuary in and for one another – that sweet ‘honey on the rock’ kind of love exists between these two tennis siblings!
They have championship records in professional tennis, millions of dollars in the bank, private business entrepreneurs, but the most valuable asset they have is one another!
Their bond has sustained them from the beginning of their careers as teenagers who bursts into the winners circle of the traditional lily-white bastion tennis world!
The bond served as protective armour during and after the torrent of racists venom spewed upon the sisters and their Dad at Indian Wells ! And continues to be their refuge from the ever-vigilant media just looking for controversy-type-news where there isn’t news nor controversy, because headlines including the Williams sisters sell newspapers like no other.
A Sister’s Love by Lezetta Clayton
There is a lot of love in the world,
But there’s nothing like a sister’s love.
The love you and your sister share is so deep.
It’s so deep that nobody can take it away.
A sister is a friend…
Who listen to your deepest secrets.
And understand what you went and going through now.
A sister is there holding your hand…
When life seems hopeless.
A sister loves you for who you are…
Not what you do.
No matter where you are,
You will always have your sister’s love.
How popular is Serena – the icon, the outstanding professional women’s tennis Champion? Make that a Champ with a Career Grand Slam and a total of 13 Grand Slam titles. Try this on for size…as of October 14th a total of 787,472 folk visited her Facebook page and bothered to click the ‘Like’ option!
As her profile states on Facebook, Serena embodies style, power, beauty and courage. Like numerous A-list
celebrities, Serena is recognized by the mere mention of her first name. Her remarkable tennis skills have skyrocketed her to fame, but only her unique charm and drive could explain her successful endeavors outside of tennis in film, television,
fashion and philanthropy. Below is info from Serena’s Facebook page about one of Serena’s latest the business venture!
Mission is Athlete Engineered Skincare to help you prepare, perform,
protect and recover in whatever sport you do. We pride ourselves in products
that are loaded with Vitamins and Antioxidants and are paraben free,
animal-cruelty free, manufactured in the USA.