Venus & Serena Williams booking
Brought up in a tough neighbourhood, the sporty siblings saw tennis as their way to the top. But
allegations about their father and the murder of their sister have rocked the duo. Venus was born on
17 June 1980 in Lynwood, California, and Serena on 26 September 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan.
Ranked in the top five in the world for the past two years, the prodigal Williams sisters have stunned
the world. The key to their game is fast serves and strong returns that exhaust their opponents on the
court. The sisters’ path into professional tennis was plotted before their birth. Their father, Richard,
loved to watch tennis on TV, and dreamed he would one day watch his yet-to-be-born children play on
screen. His first three daughters were not destined to be tennis stars, but Venus and Serena took to
the game immediately. For six hours a day they would play with tatty rackets and dud balls against a
wall or on a pot-holed court, while their father shouted instructions from a tennis manual. The pair both
began to compete before they were five. They had not yet hit puberty when invitations to national
training camps were dropping through their post box in Compton, LA.
As young teenagers, Richard Williams withdrew his daughters from the junior circuit and turned them
both professional; he justified his actions to critics by saying the girls should concentrate on school
where they were both A grade students. Too young to compete in World Tennis Association events,
the teenagers played in private events and their games improved dramatically. Of age, Venus was the
first to reach a major final, but lost the US Open to Martina Hingis. Serena then won the US Open in
1999. The following year she won Wimbledon. For the moment, Serena remains the more successful
player. Both sisters had a tough start to the millennium as they both had injuries, with Venus even
stating she was considering retiring from professional tennis. However, she came back and won
Wimbledon in 2000 after beating her sister Serena in the semi-final. They both went on to take the
doubles title at the tournament. They also represented the US in the Sydney Olympics, with Venus
becoming the first woman since Helen Wilis Moody to win a gold medal in both the singles and
Serena had an up and down season in 2001 but triumphantly made her way to the final of the US
Open, where she met her sister. This was the first time since 1884 that two sisters had faced each
other in a grand slam final. Venus’s maturity won out and she took the title. In 2002 and 2003, the
sisters met in four consecutive grand slam finals with Serena winning each time. She has won a grand
total of 13 single grand slams and 12 doubles, ranking her the sixth best player in history. Serena has
also been ranked the women’s world number one five times, with the most recent being 2 November
2009. She lost this title in 2010 after standing on a piece of broken glass for which she received 18
stitches in her foot, which prevented her from finishing the season. This turned out to be a serious
injury requiring surgery as it led to a blood clot. She finished 2010 ranked fourth in the world, before
making her return to the tennis world in 2011.
Venus on the other hand has won seven single grand slams and 12 in doubles and has been ranked
the world number one on three separate occasions. In 2011, she was diagnosed with Sjorgen’s
Syndrome, an autoimmune disease, which has affected her tennis ability. She is planning to make a
return to the circuit in 2012.
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