Earlier her sister Serena Williams announced her return this year to the tournament formerly known as “Indian Wells”; as for elder sister Venus, Tennis X.com reports that while in Dubai she stated that she won’t be participating in the 2015 event.
“I made my schedule up,” Venus said last week in Dubai. “I think I’m entered in Miami, and that’s pretty much what it is.“I haven’t really given a lot of thought to (playing Indian Wells). I have just been focusing on this year.”
In regards to her younger sister’s decision, when queried about how much they discussed the tennis tournament which saw the Williams’ family viciously taunted by fans in 2001, including racist taunts, Venus reportedly said :
“She just said, I might be playing there. I said, Oh, okay. That’s pretty much the conversation,” Venus said. ” I just respect every decision she makes, pretty much. It’s nothing complicated about it.
MORE ABOUT INDIAN WELLS…Visit Blog post: “That Day in History when Fans at Indian Wells Disgraced America: Tennis Establishment never publicly Apologizes to the Williams Sisters→http://wp.me/p1O3xi-QL
How does little sister feel about big Sis?
submitted by guest Blogger @BlackPearlMoi (twitter account)
REPRINT of Women of Power article dated April, 18th, 2011:
“Tennis Star Venus Williams is our “Confidence” Role Model, but it’s her other entrepreneurial ventures that makes her our Renaissance Champion“
HOLDING COURT WITH VENUS WILLIAMS
BY CAROLYN LAWRENCE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM SANDLER
Legendary tennis star Venus Williams will always be known as the first African American player to be ranked number one in the world.
(For pros, it’s apparently all about Grand Slams; as winner of seven, including five Wimbledon titles, she has that base covered.) Add to that an incredible 41 WTA tour titles, three Olympic gold medals and career prize winnings totalling in excess of $27 million, and her place in tennis history is – like the woman who earned it – well assured.
Combining focus, fierce determination and heroic physical prowess, she spent her teenage years clawing her way to the top-ranked position, winning numerous championships and breaking records. To date her universally feared 129 mph serve is the fastest ever recorded in women’s tennis.
But that’s just the tennis. She currently has nine global sponsors behind her. Off the court Venus is a successful author, creative designer, entrepreneur and fashion icon as well as being the founding ambassador for the WTA UNESCO Gender Equality Program and has fought for equal pay for female athletes. [READ: Venus Williams’ Other Career as Equal Pay Activist : Revisiting ESPN Film’s Documentary ‘Venus Vs.’→http://wp.me/p1O3xi-z6]
The young entrepreneur is also a uniquely creative designer, decorator and owner of V Starr Interiors, a successful interior design firm based in Palm Beach Gardens,Florida. In 2007, Venus launched her clothing line “EleVen,” the largest clothing ever launched by a female athlete. And prior to that worked with Reebok on her collaboration with famed designer Diane Von Furstenberg for her line of tennis clothes (the largest endorsement ever awarded to a woman athlete, at $40 million for five years). [See also “VENUS WILLIAMS ENTREPRENEUR: One of Business Insider’s Eight Athletes Winning On A Different Turf”→http://wp.me/p1O3xi-10D]
We tracked Venus down during her crazy training season to see just what it takes to build an unshakeable confidence on and off the court.
My story really starts with my parents. They gave us all the skills, not only me, but I have 3 older sisters and one younger sister and they gave us all the skills to do what we do today.
Our parents were a huge influence on all of us, family was huge for us, it still is. It’s been our base, we were told that our sisters are our best friends. So it was a family of women, 6 against 1. So we had the majority vote most of the time, I don’t know how he did it, but my dad really had a philosophy about things. He really gave us this entrepreneurial kind of mind and really did a lot.
My mom was a lot about balance, she’s extremely determined, a super nice person. My mom gave us that spiritual balance and just really a wonderful role model as a woman for all of us sisters. And together I think they really balance each other out. When one of them was being too hard, the other one was, you know kind of taking up the slack.
At what age did you first pick up a tennis racket?
I was about 3 years old when I first started playing. My dad had a vision that we would be great tennis players, and he read books about the game and taught himself. He then starting teaching us, and I loved it and was good from a young age.
What do you love about being on court?
The competition and knowing that when I play well I will win. And I want to be ahead of the curve.
We believe confidence is a critical element to women’s success and you certainly show it on and off the court, is this something you’ve always had, or have you earned it?
Confidence comes with preparation and meeting your goals. It also comes through the journey of success.
I believe to gain confidence, sports are instrumental, I encourage all young people to play sports. Of course it benefits everyone, of every age, but when you’re young it really teaches you these lessons of how you can push yourself, setting goals, achieving them, when you have a setback, really evaluating why and then making those changes to be successful. Those are lessons in life that are so invaluable. At the time when you’re a young person you don’t really realize, per se, you’re learning those lessons, but it’s really set in this pattern in life of hard work and dedication and learning and getting up when you fall down.
My family is my champion. They are my coaches to this day, they are still working with us. My dad was usually on the court, but my mom would come out too. And if you know anything about my dad, you know that he can be this outspoken guy at times. He’s kind of calmed down a lot in the last few years. And my mom is this person on in the background smiling and you always see her clapping when there’s a good point even when the opponent won and sometimes you see her falling asleep in the stands (Laughter).
First and foremost: Always believe in yourself! But there are a number of great lessons I’ve learned over the years.
CREATIVITY: There are always people who change the game. Steffi Graf and Monica Seles blew everyone off the court in their time. And the next wave, Serena and I were privileged enough to bring a new kind of power game… And really they say Serena and I changed the game, but it was actually my dad behind the scenes who changed the game with new footwork. It’s amazing what can be done when you approach the same thing but with a new solution.
HARD WORK, my parents taught us by example. My dad taught us a lot of hard work and most of all, is not to be afraid of hard work. You can’t be afraid to get in there and get your elbow wet. And you got to enjoy the challenge, just enjoy the battle.
DETERMINATION is extremely important. One of my mottos is, there’s always a way. There’s no such thing as not a way. I’m going to find a way and in my life I have never not found a way. So one of my mottos which I would like to share with you and then you can make a part of your life also is find a way.
One of the most important things is to LOVE WHAT YOU DO. There’s nothing better than getting up in the morning and knowing that you love what you do that day and you’re ready for that challenge and you’re going to embrace it and you’re going to enjoy that battle.
VISUALIZATION was a huge part of what we did. And I use those techniques off of the court too and maybe its not necessarily complete visualization, but a lot of it would be writing down my goals. Really be preparing for what the next step might be.
“I remember the first time I won Wimbledon, my dad told me to go out there to the stadium court and just visualize. No crowds were in there, I just walked out there on the court, sit down and its really a serine moment because you’re in the Wimbledon Stadium. You walk out on the court and there’s no one there, it’s just you and the birds. And I sat there and I thought about what it would take for me to win this tournament and (closes her eyes) visualize myself on that match point, how would I handle that pressure. Visualize myself down break point and how would I come back from that and different things like that. Just all by myself, so he really taught us how to prepare. PREPARATION IS KEY.”
My latest thing now is know the play. One of my strengths as a player on the court is I know the play. Even though I seems like this really tall, big, dominating bully on the court that I’m just over powering people in the back of my head I am taking in all these different things that are happening on the court at that moment. So if one person hits the ball on me and ok great shot, but I am kind of watching to see if they will do that again and if they do it a second time, then that’s the play. I know the play. I know what they’re doing. I know who my opponents are before they one on the court. I know what I’m up against and I’ve prepared 110% before I get out there. And if I have something that’s kind of going against me like an injury per say, how do I combat that, how can I be prepared to be ready for that kind of thing.
What has been your biggest obstacle?
Injuries have always been my biggest obstacle.
What is balance to you?
We had a really good balance growing up. My dad he was very… he was really interesting, there’s so many stories. If you read my book Come to Win there’s a lot of them in there about how my dad would teach us. But what I recall the most is my very first job was at 3 years old (Laughter) I know it’s not child labour (Laughter) but he had us delivering phonebooks, as a family we all had to deliver phonebooks. From the very beginning he had us working and instilling these values of hard work and really knowing that you have to do something for yourself and you start right from the very beginning.
Today, I can say that I absolutely love what I do, I love tennis, I love design, so that makes it easy for me to be motivated.
My parents taught me to be really well-rounded and to be more than just an athlete. In my late teens, I realized that I love design and it was something that I wanted to pursue. So life after tennis I will be furthering my clothing and interior design companies, EleVen and Vstarr Interiors.
Stay true to yourself, and always believe in yourself and what you’re doing, no matter what others might say.
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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
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.
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.”
To read Venus Williams’ 11 Steps to Regain Your Confidence – CLICK HERE→http://www.mythrivemag.com/eleven-ways-i-gain-my-confidence-back-by-venus-williams/
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.
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.
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.
submitted by guestBlogger @BlackPearlMoi (twitter account)
Watching ESPN just now, coverage of the Australian Open, and the verbiage is all about age – “Serena is the oldest player to reach an Aussie final.” Falderal! Serena Williams is on a history-making journey to surpass her compatriots, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova , in the elite 18 Grand Slam club. And she is only one win away from doing just that.
Why then has this part of her competing in the 2015 grand slam down under been on mute? Simply unbelievable to me. Seems the greater Serena’s achievements the harder the media, specifically the US tennis media, attempts to devalue her greatness. They remain stuck on the power narrative when it comes to her. Will they ever acknowledge what they see when watching Serena play? She is a most intelligent player, which enables her to strategize and win? Overlooking Serena’s continuing dominance in her sport is plain out perplexing.
While in America the chat is all about “the changing of the guard”. It only took the World #1 two straight sets[7-6 (5), 6-2] in her match against fellow American Madison Keys to restore order and shut down that talking point.(Avenging her sister’s loss to Keys at the same time!) ShoutOut to Serena for her encouraging words to Madison after the match. [WATCH VIDEO]
Now I am thrilled for the rising young and obviously talented Keys who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal. That she is projected to make her top 20 debut is fantastic. Under new coach Lindsay Davenport I only expect continuing progress in her development.
Here me well now, I don’t begrudge her media attention, but it should not overshadow what winning this final means for Serena and history! And at same time it should not make Serena’s elder sister Venus an after thought as she will move up the rankings after this Grand Slam to maybe as high as top 10.
Truth is the Williams sisters, top two American women in the game, are not products of the USTA. Father Richard Williams chose, wisely as time has proven, not to put his child prodigies Venus and Serena under their tutelage. Could that fact possibly be at work here in what appears to be an eagerness to see a “Changing of the Guard?”
ESPN and the USTA are contractually bound at the hip and therefore responsible parties in what I see as disrespectful treatment of the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because the USTA is so desperate for legitimacy; with its failure in producing top tennis players that it experienced under the many years of Patrick McEnroe’s leadership? (Must have been one hellova contract that still keeps him in the booth at ESPN Tennis as a talking head!)
Venus and Serena remain perfect examples of positivity; no matter what swirls in the media. Most endearing to me is their close bond, it’s as if they understood that it would always indeed be them against the world!
And in the case of Serena it is astonishing to watch her transform her steadfast belief that she is the greatest – in match after match –where she mentally constructs a strategy, then physically delivers play, resulting in the defeat of whomever is on the other side of the net!
In her December interview with Chris Evert, Serena said she was hard at work fine tuning movement and improving her serve; and when asked about Graf’s record of #22 grand slams, she said she was going to go for the gusto this year.
Click Here for Interview→http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=12190332]
And aren’t we the lucky ones, Serena does the hard work of fending off those attempting to dethrone her…and all we have to do is watch!
Now the Australian Open gets the sexy championship final match it was probably hoping for with Maria Sharapova versus Serena. Now Sharapova has lost every encounter with Serena since the 2004 Wimbledon. And again I fear the lead story will be all about the fighter coming for Serena and not Serena going for her 19th Grand Slam!
Let’s talk a bit more about history-making and grand slams; Serena has only lost four times in finals. This has her currently tied with Martina Navratilova (18-14) and Chris Evert (18-16) at fourth all-time. Beating Sharapova would place her alongside Helen Wills Moody (19-3), and behind only Margaret Smith Court (24-5) and Steffi Graf (22-9). That Williams continues her climb up the record accomplishments in women’s tennis at the age of 33 is beyond amazing, and frankly, my dear, I’m out of superlatives…OK.
Meanwhile as the tennis season continues I’ll be watching another game that’s being played – the Dodge-Ball game the tennis media is playing as Serena Williams continues her pursuit of Grand Slam #19 and beyond. Go get #19 Serena and let all the other damn games continue, then…LOL! ‘-)
submitted by guest blogger @BlackPearlMoi
Not through yet making history in women’s tennis – both Williams sisters made comebacks in their third round matches to move into the quarters at the 2015 Australian Open. First up was Venus who beat Camila Giorgi 4-6, 7-6, 6-1. Then little sister Serena came from a set down to beat Elina Svitolina 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. While both possess the most powerful/lethal serves ever seen in the game, their close bond continues to ‘serve‘ them best as they inspire one another to reach to the highest level of their ability!
Venus and Serena Speak of INSPIRATION
“…feels fantastic especially when things happen in your life that are not in your control,” Williams said in reference to her struggles with Sjogren’s syndrome, an incurable auto-immune disease that can cause joint pain and fatigue. “But I don’t want to stop now, I want to keep it going,” Venus added.
“She’s been through so much with her illness, with everything that she’s had to do,” Serena said. “Gosh, if she can do it, I’m perfectly healthy, I’m fine. I should be able to do it, too. It just got me so motivated.”
“I’ve been motivated by Serena though since day one, since ’97. She’s always been I think someone that anyone can learn from. The way she faces her life, the way she is fearless on the court,” Venus Williams said.
“I probably take it a lot more to heart because she’s my sister and we’ve had the fortunate relationship to be able to motivate each other and grow from each other. I don’t think I could have done the things I’ve done without her.”
GODSPEED VENUS AND SERENA…YOUR LIVES ARE AN INSPIRATION!
When you and your sister are globetrotting around the world as two of the best women’s professional tennis players, finding quality time to spend together is a challenge. Especially for Venus and Serena Williams who juggle many business endeavors such as: running design, fashion and clothing lines; managing charitable foundations; fulfilling endorsement and speakers obligations and other business endeavors.
Hamptons Magazine gave the tennis stars a grand opportunity to combine work with the joy of one another’s company. The interview in the magazine’s feature is still fresh and a fun, insightful read even though it occurred several years ago. Below is an Art Gallery with pictures from the magazine, to read the article click here→http://hamptons-magazine.com/home-page/articles/sisters-act-serena-and-venus-williams?page=1
Serena Williams holds five Australian Open Championship titles. History reflects that twice she couldn’t defend her title due to an unbeatable foe…medical injury!
THE FIRST TIME
2004 was the first time when a left knee injury kept the younger Williams sister from defending her title. Serena won the 2003 Australian Open final besting sister Venus. The duo won the Doubles Title that year: the first time in 2001; also in 2009 and 2010 .
SECOND TIME – MOST MEMORABLE
Serena stopped the comeback of Justine Henin at the 2010 Australian Open – beating Henin to win her Fifth Australian Open Title. However, Serena suffered a foot injury (stepped on a broken glass in Munich) in July 2010, which kept her from defending her Australian Open Title in 2011.
I say ‘more memorable’ because no one has ever rocked an injury boot like
World #1 Serena Williams!!!
Now in their 30s the Williams Sisters – Venus and Serena – are still defying time, place, and circumstance…even history! For far too long – even in non-tennis circles – 30 was a daunting line of demarcation. The Williams Sisters are proof: three decades is no longer a death sentence to one’s tennis career. They continue to inspire young and not-so-young; while gifting the tennis world with continuing play by two of it’s for sure greats!
I begin discussion of the Australian Open with a personal aside…quite perplexing is the decision by the Australian Open to have the World #1 with five Australian Open Titles play on Margaret Court.
Serena Williams arrives in Melbourne with the Tennis Media swirling in speculation that her lackluster performances in Exhibition Play is a precursor of less than stellar play in this year’s Australian Open. However at her first day of practice – Serena was on Rod Laver Arena looking relaxed and obviously enjoying doing what she does best.
Serena admits she “feels a bit off” going into the Australian Open 2015 at the Pre-Tournament press conference; at the same time, there is a sense that she will pull it all together for an emphatic win. Watch Interview below:
Like the motto she uses to promote her clothing line ElevbyVenus:
Venus Williams is looking good & playing well at the start of this season.
She comes into the 2015 Australian Open having won her first title of the year at the Auckland Classic.
She defeated the top seed Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in seven minutes short of two hours to show that her ranking in the top 20 is no fluke – the former world number one is still a force to be reconned with.
She joined an ‘Elite List’ with this win. She was 34 years, 6 months and 23 days old the day she beat Wozniacki in the final. Which put her fourth on the list of oldest players to win a WTA title in the Open Era!
Seeded #18 in this year’s Australian Open – Jon Wertheim, the executive editor and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, said it best of Venus: “There are not 17 players with more superior chances of winning.”
Focused on their preparation for the Australian Open with their teams in place: the Sisters did make time to enjoy themselves.
The first Grand Slam of the tennis season is underway and how wonderful for the tennis world that two of the greatest champions the sport has ever witnessed, and who happen to be sisters, are still in the game – Powerful, Inspiring and Ready to Play!
l’ll let a tweet by @WilliamsSistahs say what I feel deeply…
humbly submitted by admitted fan of the Williams Sisters…guestBlogger @BlackPearlMoi ‘-)