Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Venus and Serena Williams. Combined the sisters share 30 Grand Slam Singles titles, with Serena holding 23 of them. To say they are inspirational and elites of their sport is a fairly large understatement.
I played tennis in high school, and I still watch it today. Serena Williams was like, The Goal for me. I wanted to serve like her, dominate the court like her and have success like her. I wasn’t the only one who felt like this either. Young aspiring athletes all over courts in the world idolize her.
In fact, the three young, main stars of today, Naomi Osaka, Coco Gauff and Bianca Andreescu, pull inspiration from Serena Williams. For Osaka and Gauff, she represents a successful black woman who has made it in a white dominated sport. For all three girls, she represents a young girl who continued her domination for years, something they desire.
Although Gauff and Williams still have yet to face off in tournament play, Gauff did play Venus Williams during Wimbledon and beat her. Talk about a good day: beating one of your idols in one of the most famous tennis tournaments in the world. Incredible. However, Osaka and Andreescu both played Serena Williams in the final of the U.S. Open (2018, Osaka; 2019, Andreescu) and beat her. Three girls under 22 beat an elite in their sport on some of tennis’ biggest stages. That’s completely unheard of in any other sport.
Both Serena and Venus WIlliams pioneered an era of tennis that will last for decades. Their success is pushing younger athletes to strive to be the best they can be and play in Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) tournaments as early as they can. When the Williams sisters went pro, girls under 18 playing in WTA tournaments was unheard of. In fact, Serena wasn’t allowed to play in the Bank of the West Classic due to WTA’s age-eligibility rules. (I won’t bore you with those, so here’s a link if you want to read about them 2019 Official Rules (PDF)).
So to summarize everything I just said, the Williams sisters are not only an inspiration to millions of girls around the world, they’re pioneers and champions. Both advocate for equal pay between men and women athletes, civil rights and both are business owners. On and off the court, these are two strong, ambitious and unstoppable bad b*tches.