The Williams Sisters Have Influenced more young Black Girls in Playing Tennis.
Williams sisters father, Richard is arguably one of the greatest tennis coaches ever. Even with his humble financial beginning, he has impacted so much on Venus and Serena. A tennis match Richard saw a very long time ago convinced him his daughters must play tennis. A man without any knowledge or training about the complex game of tennis decided to teach himself about it. Richard Williams then wrote a 78-page plan about the game and decided to teach his two daughters at a very tender age. Richard didn’t allow his two daughters to follow the conventional path of playing junior tournaments. His reason was simple, for them to do away with the steady, pusher style tennis that dominates when you put young children on big courts.
Richard through his lessons with Venus and Serena revolutionised tennis. He taught his daughters how to serve big and hit hard on every shot anywhere on the court. He is the inventor of what Mary Carillo (U.S. Sportscaster and former professional tennis player) calls “Big Babe” tennis. Top players around the world play tennis through this style brought up by Richard. He didn’t only coach his daughters, he supported and taught them to be independent young women. We can today talk about the achievements the Williams sisters have had as a result of Richard’s effort. It will be fair for Richard Williams to claim a remarkable legacy for what he has done – he came from the most unlikely and not easy circumstances to raise two tennis legends that dominated and reinvented the game of tennis.
African-American sisters, Venus and Serena have contributed nobly to the great game of tennis. Their impacts on breaking racial or gender barriers can’t be overlooked. Serena and Venus through their incredible tennis and values added to the Sport, they stand out among the likes of Ora Washington (known as the Queen of Tennis), Althea Gibson (the first woman of colour to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open) and Zina Garrison (the second African-American woman to play a Grand Slam final after Althea Gibson) in the top5 African-American female tennis players from early 20th century till date. The duo has been dominating tennis world on and off the court for two decades now. Venus has 49 career titles in Women’s Singles while Serena has won 72. Both legends have a combined 30 Grand Slam titles in-between them. Both players that grew up playing beside and against each other have always become a force to reckon with in Women’s Doubles. They have won 14 Grand Slam titles and 3 Olympic Gold medal together in Women’s Doubles.
Since the Williams sisters started as professional tennis players, they have breathed more life to the game, impacted and inspired young blacks growing up in the game.
Venus, when she was only 16 (about 23 years ago) was asked in an interview after her loss to Lindsay Davenport about the impact she has already had on young black women in tennis. She said: “I think that I’ve had a good effect. Generally, you don’t see too many black people playing tennis, not on tour, not anywhere you go really. It’s mostly because tennis is kind of an expensive sport at times… I think I’ve really helped bring it. If they see me on TV [they say]: ‘who’s this? This is Venus? She plays tennis? I’ve never seen a [black] girl play tennis.’”
Also, Serena and Venus were asked about their legacy in 2013 when they went for an exhibition in Argentina. Serena at the press conference, said: “We changed tennis. We brought passion and fashion wearing extravagant clothes. And also style, power as a new skin colour as we are African-Americans. We improved tennis. I think that totally changed the dynamic of