The injuries and intrigue, passion for fashion, disdain for the tennis grind and insistence on go-for-broke strokes—all in the context of a friendly sibling rivalry—make even Mom reluctant to predict what the Williams sisters might do next.
They’d love to win Wimbledon, and Venus and Serena Williams will be among the favorites when the tournament begins Monday. But both have been erratic this year, raising anew questions about their devotion to a sport they once dominated.
“They have a lot of things going on with their life,” said their mother and coach, Oracene Price. “Sometimes you never know what’s going on in their head, especially girls.”
The sisters are coming off a rare double defeat at the French Open, where they were eliminated in the third round. It was only the second time they lost on the same day at a Grand Slam event, which should stoke their desire for a strong showing at Wimbledon.
“We always learn and get more determined after a loss,” Venus said.
Venus and Serena are in opposite halves of the draw, which means they could meet in the final, and grass often puts extra spring in their step. They’ve combined to win six of the past eight Wimbledon titles, and a return to the All England Club rejuvenated Venus’ game last year, when she won the trophy for the fourth time and became the tournament’s lowest-ranked women’s champion at No. 31.
On the surface, it’s easy to explain the sisters’ success at Wimbledon: Lawn tennis suits their big serves, slam-bang groundstrokes and willingness to charge the net.
In addition, they find inspiration in the tradition that accompanies the tournament.
“Wimbledon, I think, has been around for hundreds of years,” Serena said. “It doesn’t get better than that.”
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