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Story of the Williams sisters growing up, including their childhood interviews

As a form of tribute to the Williams sisters' return to tennis, I decided to share this beautiful old story of the Williams family and update Women's Tennis Blog's section dedicated to players when they were kids.

The short film shows the beginnings of Venus' and Serena's careers, the LA ghetto neighborhood they grew up in, their father Richard's clear vision, and even a "respected author" who said "demographically tennis is still perceived as a white upper-class sport, I don't think there are people out there dying to give millions of dollars to a ten-year-old black girl". You also get to see a 13-year-old Venus and a year younger Serena talking, laughing and playing tennis.

More childhood photos of Serena and Venus are available here, while here you can see little Venus with her enthusiastic father on the tennis court.

Comeback news: Regarding the sisters' actual return, Venus' was quite positive. The older Williams sister won the first match she played in five months, and it was against the very same opponent against whom she retired at the Australian Open in January – in the first round of the grass-court AEGON International, Venus defeated German world No.11 Andrea Petkovic 7-5 5-7 6-3.

As for Serena, today she will play her first match since winning the Wimbledon crown last year, and it will be against Bulgarian world No. 34 Tsvetana Pironkova. I love Serena's attitude on whether she is having high expectation for the upcoming Wimbledon:

I'm not preparing for today or Wimbledon. I'm preparing for the rest of my career.

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5 thoughts on “Story of the Williams sisters growing up, including their childhood interviews

  1. Helen

    This vid provide a nice trip down memory lane to remind the public just how long the Williams sisters have been at this game (from childhood) and how hard they worked for their success.

    It's interesting that Serena won her first singles major at age 17 in 1999 which was in another decade ago – should she somehow win another major then the timespan will cover singles majors in three diffent decades. Venus has also done quite well the last decade.

    According to UPI's 2010 highest paid female athletes, female tennis stars dominate the top 10:
    1. Maria Sharapova – $24.2 million
    2. Serena Williams – $20.2 Million
    3. Venus Williams – $15.4 million
    4. Ana Ivanovic – $7.2 million
    5. Jelena Jankovic – $5.3 million

    It's obvious that these enormous sums didn't come from just playing tennis, sponsorship deals etc is responsible for the majority. Without a doubt Caro will be on the list (whether she wins a slam or not) when 2011 results are released. The personable youngster has an impressive lineup of endorsements/appearance fees/tournament winnings etc and her agent predicts upwards of $12 million.

  2. Georgie

    The Williamses story, is a beautiful inspring one that should be looked up to and aspired by young players. Its amazing how far the have come from zero to such inspreatinol women.

    Helen, I believe on the WTA offical reccord Serena already has slams in three decades (2010 marking the new decade) the only other player to do so is Martina Navratilova.

    Marija thankyou for taking the wonderful trip down memory lane :)

  3. Marija Post author

    I'm glad you like it, guys. I especially admire Richard's determination and belief in his goal.

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