The Williams sisters Serena and Venus are two American professional tennis players: Venus Williams born in 1980, winner of seven singles Grand Slam tournaments, and Serena Williams born in 1981, winner of 23 singles Grand Slam tournaments.
In more than twenty years, they have won 121 singles tournaments, 4 mixed doubles tournaments and occupied a total of more than 300 weeks at number one singles and eight weeks in the doubles leaderboard. After the 2002 French Open, Venus and Serena were number one and two in the singles rankings respectively. Both are part of the small group of tennis players who have won more than 50 titles.
Pairing up in women’s doubles tournaments, the Williams sisters won 14 Grand Slam events and on one occasion they won 4 in a row (from Wimbledon 2009 to Paris 2010), but not in the same year. The results are not lacking even at the Olympics: they have won a total of four gold medals each, three of which together in the women’s doubles and one each in singles.
The girls cut their teeth on the fields around Compton. And to this day, the Williams sisters are a source of pride in the city. Janna Zurita, a Compton councilor, said: “To be able to say they are from the town you grew up in – who wouldn’t be inspired by them? A lot of the kids here in the community admire them and think they are great. I mean, they are two beautiful women. that changed the entire life of tennis. And they come straight from Compton.”
Their dad, Richard Williams, was their coach at the time. Some of the places they practiced were in tough neighborhoods, such as East Rancho Dominguez Park, formerly known as East Compton Park. Today the courts have been repaved and there is a new recreation center, but it is no longer the same.
Andree Barbee, a young that at the time played tennis, said: “Every other day, I would rest my rackets. My shoes, once a week. A hole right in the foot of my shoe. Used to record them. I love them like my little sisters. And Richard Williams, I loved it like. A father. He was like a dad, you know? I miss training with them. I didn’t have a high school diploma at the time. And Richard said to me: Promise me you’ll get a high school diploma. Richard? I kept my promise! I have a high school diploma.”
In a world that was difficult at the time, thanks to the hardness and infinite pressure of their father, Serena and Venus were forged in the fire, training and difficulties of the moment, managing to become the champions that everyone loves today.