Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has opened up on her experience of playing alongside and rivaling younger sister Serena for the better part of her tennis career.
Speaking on a podcast with Hollywood actor Gwyneth Paltrow, Venus said she couldn’t have imagined a professional tennis career for herself if it wasn’t for her sister. The 41-year-old American added that unlike many athletes, who have to build their careers on their own, she had her sister for support every step of the way.
Venus Williams says it’s amazing to have walked the same road with sister Serena Williams
Arguably the best women’s doubles pair in history, Venus and Serena lifted 14 Grand Slam titles together. That, apart from the 30 individual Grand Slam championship trophies that they have between themselves.
The siblings also have five Olympic golds to their credit — one each in singles and three in doubles.
Saying that she owes a lot of success to having her sister around for support, Venus said, “I can’t imagine doing it (going through her professional tennis career) without her. Because that’s all I know. Then I look at a different perspective than every other athlete… they do it on their own but I have never had to do this alone.”
Serena Williams of The United States is congratulated by her sister and opponant Venus Williams of The United States following their ladies singles third round match on Day Five of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
The five-time Wimbledon champion added that the support and encouragement from Serena assume significance, especially when seen in the context that she is part of an individual sport, which requires an athlete to mostly do it alone.
“In an individual sport, you are alone. You walk out there and that’s it. You can’t have anyone sitting on the bench for a second. So it is amazing to be able to have walked the same road with her,” Venus said of her sister.
However, the sibling bonding over the years took nothing away from their cut-throat rivalry on the Tour.
Venus trails Serena 12-19 in 31 career head-to-head meetings
The Williams sisters have been involved in 31 career head-to-head meetings to date, with Serena holding a 19-12 lead over her elder sibling.
On how it feels to win or lose against one’s own sister, Venus said, “No matter what happens on the court, Serena is my sister. So the match is just a match.”
The elder Williams progressed to the second round at Wimbledon this year but bowed out in the second after losing to Tunisian Ons Jabeur.
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