Venus - Serena, the Greatest Sibling Duo in Sports History

Venus - Serena, the Greatest Sibling Duo in Sports History

For two decades, Venus and Serena Williams have woven a true fairy tale in the modern era, a journey where the two sisters have held hands and guided each other to countless glories. In the annals of human sports history, the Williams sisters stand as the most successful and iconic sibling duo, leaving an indelible mark on the minds of spectators.

While there are numerous stories of sibling pairs achieving fame in sports, behind these tales lie lessons about history, perseverance, and profound sacrifice. Yet, in the contemporary stream, Venus and Serena Williams are unique, defying conventional norms for whatever reasons that may be.

Born into the era of mass media, excelling in a sport second only to football in popularity, the Williams sisters offered an entirely different perspective on approaching sports, reshaping the public's views of people of color dominating a game historically associated with aristocracy. Roger Federer once said that the presence of Venus and Serena ensures the success of any tournament. Audiences were curious, and the public had become accustomed to the standards the sisters set for the tennis world over the past two decades.

Venus and Serena collectively share 30 Grand Slam singles titles, equivalent to 37% of the total Grand Slam victories since 1997 when they began conquering and challenging the highest peaks of the sport. If combined in doubles, their record comprises 14 Grand Slam titles, achieved in only 19 appearances together. Their total prize money has reached $130 million USD, and this figure won't halt as both, still under 40, continue to diligently train and push their limits.

Simply put, Venus and Serena have shattered every barrier, disrupting the norms set over decades in the realm of tennis. Before them, the last instance of a woman of color winning a Grand Slam occurred half a century ago in 1958 when Althea Gibson triumphed at the US Open.

The tale of the Williams sisters began on public tennis courts, spaces opened by the government for outdoor activities within communities. Naturally, these weren't ideal playing grounds for pursuing a professional athletic career. Serena vividly remembers the sensation of hitting a tennis ball while "inhaling" the scent of marijuana drifting from bushes on either side of the court. To be precise, places "for the masses" like parks and courts were more fitting for delinquency than for athletes. Without any support tools, even the net was handwoven by their mother. Venus and Serena had only their father as motivation and support. Simultaneously, just a 10-minute drive away, Nick Bollettieri was charging millions of dollars annually from affluent students willing to test their skills at the world's most prestigious tennis academy.

However, Venus and Serena were not Cinderellas; they did not carry the message of a fairy tale overcoming adversity. When interviewed by CNN in 2004, Venus stated that upon earning their first money, she and her sister thought about reinvesting, elevating the scientific aspects of their game to develop a long-lasting career. They cared about details, no matter how minute, such as the tension of the racket strings or the wrapping of wristbands. "Once you're a professional tennis player, everyone is equal, everyone is the same," Serena told The Washington Post in 2013.

Embarking on their tennis careers during the transition from the chaotic era and continuing to survive through the enduring endurance when the game shifted to a series of resilient rallies challenging players' patience, Venus and Serena embody eternal values, defying time. With 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena has surpassed Steffi Graf's record, and notably, she conquered 10 of the 23 titles after turning 30. As for Venus, who entered her 41st year three months ago, she declares, "I want to play until I'm 45."

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