6 Greatest Venus & Serena Williams Moments, Because It's Always Match Point For This Sisterly Love & Rivalry
The U.S. Open has officially started, and while all eyes may be on the younger Williams sister, let's not forget some of the greatest Venus and Serena Williams moments that remind us that two of the greatest female athletes alive are also related. There's a lot of buzz about Serena, 33, and whether or not she will go on to dominate the U.S. Open. She currently has 21 Grand Slam wins under her belt, and if she wins another, she'll tie with Steffi Graf's 1988 record for the most Grand Slam wins in the Open era. If she pockets three more Grand Slams and hits 24 wins, she'll take the all-time record away from Margaret Court.
Although there's a lot of pressure on Serena, if things go well for older sister Venus, the two could very well pair off against each other at some point. It wouldn't be the first time — they met on the court in July, when the Serena thoroughly defeated her older sister. If they do meet, Venus could very well derail her younger sister's chance at the record books.
But while the two have always been each other's rivals, they've also been each other's biggest fans and best friends. So instead of focusing on what may happen between the two, let's focus on some of their best moments — as players and as sisters.
1. When They Brought Women's Tennis To A Whole New Level
In 2001, CBS chose to air the women's final match of the U.S. Open during prime-time TV, largely thanks to the Williams sisters. According to ESPN, the match had previously been shown as a half-time event, but because the sisters were due to face off against each other, CBS saw the opportunity for a massive ratings hike. The match cemented the sisters' place in tennis history and helped bring even more attention to the sport.
2. When They Were Nos. 1 And 2
For 11 glorious weeks in 2002, Venus was ranked as the No. 1 player in tennis, and Serena was sitting at No. 2. They ended up swapping places shortly after that, when Serena won Wimbledon, and Venus took second seat.
3. When They Showed That Family Comes First
In 2008, Venus defeated her sister and went on to win Wimbledon, but even as she was celebrating, she told reporters, "My first job is big sister and I take that very seriously!" In this case we can assume that "being a big sister" meant thoroughly whooping your little sister's butt.
4. When They Rallied Together To Dominate The Olympics
Never underestimate the Williams sisters — especially when they pair up. During the 2000, 2008, and 2012 Summer Olympics, the sisters brought home gold medals after pairing together in women's doubles. In 2012, Serena also became the first to win a gold medal in women's doubles and women's singles since Venus had accomplished it in 2000.
5. When Venus Defended Serena
After winning Wimbledon in 2015, Serena faced body shaming and cyberbullying, and her big sister was having none of it. "From the very beginning she has inspired me — this was a long time ago, before she won the majors — her heart on the court and her ability to perform under the most pressure. … Nothing has changed," Venus told People magazine.
6. When Serena Made History... Again
After winning the Qatar Open in 2013, a then-31-year-old Serena became the oldest woman to ever be ranked No. 1 in the world. Venus is a year older than her, and though she currently is not close to her younger sister's ranking (Venus currently sits at No. 23 in singles), it's still a momentous achievement for the both of them. Now in their mid-thirties, the Williams sisters have been playing professionally for more than 20 years, and despite injuries and illnesses, neither plans on stopping.
These two women have done incredible things, not only for tennis, but for sports in general. They've talked about body positivity and believing in dreams, they've broken through into a mostly white dominated sport, and served as role models for countless women. No matter what happens in this summer's U.S. Open, one thing is sure: the Williams sisters will make an impact, as always.