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Williams Women Made a Difference

Between the two of them, they hold eight Olympic medals. In 2002, Venus, the older of the two, became the first African-American female player to win the number one title in the WTA rankings. Fifteen years later, Serena is currently at number one and many consider her the greatest female tennis player of all time

It is very seldom that people who share the same last name get involved in the same sport or activity, so whenever they do and later on become famous, their notoriety is even larger. Take the Olsen twins, for instance, or the Kardashians or even the Jackson 5, for that matter. Venus and Serena Williams can be included in that group too. The Williams women are the one pair that we believe has made an important difference, paving the way for women and black people in a sport with little diversity.


Considering that there are barely any non-white players in the top charts of tennis rankings, the fact that Serena and Venus have been among the top ten in the Women’s Tennis Association ranking for quite some time now is something that cannot be overlooked. Both of them have spoken out about the many obstacles that they have had to face while climbing up in their careers, in a misogynist and many times racist context. This alone makes them heroines, as they have been able to stand out in a highly competitive world and in a male-dominated sport, being the only two African-Americans to rise among the world’s best tennis players. As a matter of fact, they have risen so high that on two occasions the women actually had to play against each other in the final match of a grand slam. The first one was in 1998 in Australia where Venus was victorious. In January 2017, Venus and Serena played against each other at the same tournament and this time it was Serena who took home the trophy, also winning her 23rd slam title. We might expect to see Venus at the upcoming U.S. Open in New York, but Serena, who is currently out on leave, will probably not be in attendance.

U.S. Open in New YorkBetween the two of them, they hold eight Olympic medals. In 2002, Venus, the older of the two, became the first African-American female player to win the number one title in the WTA rankings. Fifteen years later, Serena is currently at number one and many consider her the greatest female tennis player of all time. Both Venus and Serena have had to face criticism, sometimes even from fellow players like the Swiss star Martina Hingis. But despite all of this, both women follow the idea that they don’t just play for themselves. Like Serena once said, “represent something much greater than me,” which has helped them both to persevere, opening a door that was once closed to other female and non-white players.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Serena Williams (L) and Venus Williams of the USA celebrate with their winners trophies after their Ladies’ Doubles final match against Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

In many ways, they are responsible for having brought a lot of attention to women’s tennis, raising the stakes and projecting the image of a strong female player ready to overcome setbacks and fight the double standards of the world we live in. In this sense, their triumphs have an immeasurable value, especially in a time in which role models like them are needed to motivate the younger generations and help them believe that they too can reach their goals. Hopefully, we will continue to enjoy them both play on the court for many years to come, but when they retire, there will surely be other great African-American female tennis players to look up to, as the Williams women have established a much-needed spot for up-and-coming diverse players in this formerly exclusive sport.

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Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.
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Black Westchester - News With The Black Point Of View is an online news magazine for people of color for Westchester and the Tri- State area of New York at every economic level. Our mission is to promote the concept of “community” through media.

1 Comment on Williams Women Made a Difference

  1. Carlton Beckford Dozier // May 16, 2017 at 10:50 AM // Reply

    Venus & Serena Williams are the best & most accomplished sibling athletes of all-time. In a sport that only had a couple of African American women before them, starting with the great Althea Gibson,the first black woman to win a Grand Slam event, The William sister’s have dominated a lily white sports for over two decades & counting. From their beginning days under the tutelage of their father Richard on the public courts of Compton, CA to the Grand Slam stages of Sydney, Paris, London, & New York. Richard Williams predicted his daughters will dominate the game of tennis, & the sports media thought he was crazy. Venus & Serena are global icons of their sport, on & off of the courts. Business women & fashion icons also.The Williams sister’s are in a class by themselves.

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