Brought up in a tough neighborhood, 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 USA
Serena was born on 26 September 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan US
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. Still in their early 20’s, speculation abounds as to which of the sisters will ultimately prove to be the most successful player in the long-term.
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.