||This article possibly contains original research. (April 2011)|
The Williams sisters are two professional American tennis players: Venus Williams (b. 1980), a seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams (b. 1981), nineteen-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. There is a noted professional rivalry between them – between the 2001 US Open and the 2009 Wimbledon tournaments, they have met in eight Grand Slam singles finals. They remain very close, often watching each other's matches in support, even after one of them has been knocked out of a tournament.
Both sisters have had the honor of being ranked by the Women's Tennis Association at the World No. 1 position. In 2002, after the French Open, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. During the 2010 French Open, they became the co-world no.1 players in women's doubles, in addition to holding the top two positions in singles tennis as well.
Both players have won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics Games, one each in singles and three in doubles – which all they won together, the most of any tennis players. As a duo, they have also completed the Career Golden Slam in doubles.
Doubles: 22 (21 titles, 1 runner-up)
|Winner||1.||February 23, 1998||Oklahoma City, United States (1)||Hard|| Cătălina Cristea
|Winner||2.||October 12, 1998||Zürich, Switzerland (1)||Carpet|| Mariaan de Swardt
|5–7, 6–1, 6–3|
|Winner||3.||February 15, 1999||Hannover, Germany (1)||Carpet|| Alexandra Fusai
|5–7, 6–2, 6–2|
|Winner||4.||May 24, 1999||French Open, Paris, France (1)||Clay|| Martina Hingis
|6–3, 6–7(2–7), 8–6|
|Runner-up||1.||August 8, 1999||San Diego, U.S. (1)||Hard|| Lindsay Davenport
|Winner||5.||August 30, 1999||US Open, New York City, U.S. (1)||Hard|| Chanda Rubin
|4–6, 6–1, 6–4|
|Winner||6.||June 26, 2000||Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom (1)||Grass|| Julie Halard-Decugis
|Winner||7.||September 18, 2000||Summer Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia (1)||Hard|| Kristie Boogert
|Winner||8.||January 15, 2001||Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (1)||Hard|| Lindsay Davenport
|6–2, 4–6, 6–4|
|Winner||9.||June 24, 2002||Wimbledon, London, U.K. (2)||Grass|| Virginia Ruano Pascual
|Winner||10.||January 13, 2003||Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (2)||Hard|| Virginia Ruano Pascual
|4–6, 6–4, 6–3|
|Winner||11.||July 5, 2008||Wimbledon, London, U.K. (3)||Grass|| Lisa Raymond
|Winner||12.||August 17, 2008||Summer Olympic Games, Beijing, China (2)||Hard|| Anabel Medina Garrigues
Virginia Ruano Pascual
|Winner||13.||January 30, 2009||Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (3)||Hard|| Ai Sugiyama
|Winner||14.||July 4, 2009||Wimbledon, London, U.K. (4)||Grass|| Samantha Stosur
|Winner||15.||August 2, 2009||Stanford, U.S. (1)||Hard|| Chan Yung-jan
|Winner||16.||September 14, 2009||US Open, New York City, U.S. (2)||Hard|| Cara Black
|Winner||17.||January 29, 2010||Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (4)||Hard|| Cara Black
|Winner||18.||May 15, 2010||Madrid, Spain (1)||Clay|| Gisela Dulko
|Winner||19.||June 3, 2010||French Open, Paris, France (2)||Clay|| Květa Peschke
|Winner||20.||July 7, 2012||Wimbledon, London, U.K.||Grass|| Andrea Hlaváčková
|Winner||21.||August 5, 2012||Summer Olympic Games, London, U.K. (3)||Grass|| Andrea Hlaváčková
Team competition finals: 1 (1 titles)
|Winner||1.||September 18–19, 1999||Fed Cup, Stanford, US||Hard|| Lindsay Davenport
| Elena Makarova
|W||winner||#R||lost in the early rounds||Z#||Davis Cup Zonal Group (number)||B||semifinalist, won bronze medal|
|F||runner-up||RR||lost at round robin stage||PO||Davis Cup play-off||NH||not held|
|SF||semifinalist||Q#||lost in qualification round||G||won Olympic gold medal||NMS||Not a Masters Series event|
|QF||quarterfinalist||A||absent||S||runner-up, won silver medal||NPM||Not a Premier Mandatory or 5 event|
|Update either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the event has ended.|
To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded.
|Grand Slam Tournaments|
|Summer Olympics||Not Held||W||Not Held||A||Not Held||W||Not Held||W||15–0|
|WTA Tour Championships||Absent||SF||Absent||0–1|
- Neither withdrawals nor walkovers are included in wins and losses.
Boycott of the Indian Wells Masters
During the 2001 Tennis Masters Series tournament in Indian Wells, California, controversy erupted when Venus Williams withdrew four minutes prior to her semifinal match with her sister Serena. Serena was subsequently booed during the championship match against Kim Clijsters and during the trophy presentation. Neither Williams sister has played this tournament since, in what has been described as the most famous boycott in modern tennis.
The following day, Serena played Kim Clijsters in the final. Venus and her father, (and coach to her and Serena) Richard Williams were booed as they made their way to their seats. Serena was booed intermittently during the final, in which she defeated Clijsters, 4–6, 6–4, 6–2.
Richard accused the crowds at Indian Wells of overt racism, saying, "The white people at Indian Wells, what they've been wanting to say all along to us finally came out: 'Nigger, stay away from here, we don't want you here.' " However, no other reports of verbal racism were reported to tournament officials, although Venus has stated without elaboration, "I heard what he heard." Oracene Price (mother and coach of Venus and Serena) accused the crowd of "taking off their hoods."
Effects and criticism
Since the initial controversy, neither Williams sister has played the tournament in Indian Wells. The Women's Tennis Association currently classifies the Indian Wells tournament as a Premier Mandatory event for all eligible players. Exceptions are made when players engage in tournament promotions, but Venus and Serena have both declined to promote the tournament; WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott agreed he would not, promotionally, "put them in a position that is going to be awkward," and tournament director Charlie Pasarell has stated he would accept the WTA tour's ruling.
Allegations had been made before Venus's withdrawal that Richard Williams decided who won the matches between his daughters. Those allegations continued and increased as a result of her withdrawal.
Richard has said that racial epithets were used against him and Venus as they sat in the stands during the final, but no official complaints were recorded by the tournament. Venus and Serena have been criticized for refusing to discuss the controversy, as some believe that their silence perpetuates racism.
Serena discusses what happened in her view at Indian Wells in detail in an entire chapter titled "The Fiery Darts of Indian Wells" in her 2009 autobiography, On the Line. She says that on the morning of the semifinal, Venus told the tour trainer that she had injured her knee and didn't think she could play and tried for hours to get approval from the trainer to withdraw, but the tournament officials kept stalling.
"What got me most of all was that it wasn't just a scattered bunch of boos. It wasn't coming from just one section. It was like the whole crowd got together and decided to boo all at once. The ugliness was just raining down on me, hard. I didn't know what to do. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. What was most surprising about this uproar was the fact that tennis fans are typically a well-mannered bunch. They're respectful. They sit still. And in Palm Springs, especially, they tended to be pretty well-heeled, too. But I looked up and all I could see was a sea of rich people—mostly older, mostly white—standing and booing lustily, like some kind of genteel lynch mob. I don't mean to use such inflammatory language to describe the scene, but that's really how it seemed from where I was down on the court. Like these people were gonna come looking for me after the match. ... There was no mistaking that all of this was meant for me. I heard the word nigger a couple times, and I knew. I couldn't believe it. That's just not something you hear in polite society on that stadium court. ... Just before the start of play, my dad and Venus started walking down the aisle to the players' box by the side of the court, and everybody turned and started to point and boo at them. ... It was mostly just a chorus of boos, but I could still hear shouts of 'Nigger!' here and there. I even heard one angry voice telling us to go back to Compton. It was unbelievable. ... We refused to return to Indian Wells. Even now, all these years later, we continue to boycott the event. It's become a mandatory tournament on the tour, meaning that the WTA can fine a player if she doesn't attend. But I don't care if they fine me a million dollars, I will not play there again."
However, on February 3, 2015, Serena Williams wrote an exclusive column for TIME magazine stating her intentions to return to Indian Wells for a tournament on March 9, 2015
Best result in Grand Slam singles (combined)
|Australian Open||A||QF||QF||4R||SF||QF||W||3R||W||3R||W||QF||W||W||3R||4R||QF||4R||W||6 / 18|
|French Open||2R||QF||4R||QF||QF||W||SF||QF||3R||QF||QF||3R||QF||QF||A||2R||W||2R||2 / 17|
|Wimbledon||1R||QF||QF||W||W||W||W||F||W||3R||W||W||W||W||4R||W||4R||3R||10 / 18|
|US Open||F||SF||W||W||W||W||A||QF||QF||4R||SF||W||SF||SF||F||W||W||W||8 / 17|
Year-end WTA ranking
- Edmondson, Jacqueline (2005). Venus and Serena Williams: A Biography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33165-0
|World No. 1 (doubles)
June 7, 2010 – August 1, 2010
|Awards and achievements|
Martina Hingis & Anna Kournikova
Cara Black & Liezel Huber
|WTA Doubles Team of the Year
Lisa Raymond & Rennae Stubbs
Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta
Cara Black & Liezel Huber
|ITF Women's Doubles World Champion
Gisela Dulko &
Maria Kirilenko & Victoria Azarenka
|WTA Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year
Maria Kirilenko & Victoria Azarenka