Serena (Venus) timeline and interesting facts... -
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2004, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Serena (Venus) timeline and interesting facts...

With Serena gone I gotta find other ways to keep myself busy so while searching around on the net I found this great timeline. I know all the basics as well as most of the stories we've all heard over and over again, but I still found out some interesting things about them that I had no idea about. It was a fun read so I thought I'd share (this is an old article so it may have already been posted a while ago, in which case- sorry):

June 11, 1978 Virginia Ruzici wins the French Open women's singles championship and receives a check for 100,000 francs (almost $22,000). Entrepreneur Richard Williams, father of Yetunde, Isha, and Lyndrea, watches the scene on television. He vows that any future children he may have with wife Oracene, a nurse, will play tennis.

June 17, 1980 Venus Ebone Starr Williams is born in Lynwood, Calif.

September 26, 1981 Serena Williams is born in Saginaw, Mich.

1984 Richard loads four-year-old Venus, six rackets and seven milk crates full of tennis balls into his Volkswagen van and travels to the public courts in Watts and Compton, where he gives his daughter lessons. "It's a radical neighborhood," Richard says of the area around East Compton Park. "A lot of dope is sold. We play on two courts -- that's all there is --and they look like trash, they're so slippery."

1985 Serena joins Richard and Venus in their tennis sessions.

1988 John McEnroe and Pete Sampras watch Venus as she hits with teaching pro Paul Cohen at a private court in Brentwood. Later, the two pros hit with Venus. Richard tells Venus that McEnroe took it easy on her, but she doesn't believe him. "She told me she thought she could have beaten him," Richard says. Meanwhile, Richard grows so disgusted with the maniacal parents in the junior tennis circuit he tries to make Venus quit the game, without success.

1989 Despite showing promise on the track, Venus decides to focus on tennis. She had gone undefeated in 19 meets, both as a sprinter and as a middle-distance runner, having clocked a 5:29 mile the year before.

July 3, 1990 The New York Times features Venus in a piece headlined: "Status: Undefeated. Future: Rosy. Age: 10." Nine months later, she appears in a front-page Times story, in which the 10-year-old prodigy named after the second planet from the sun is said to want to be an astronaut.

May 1991 Don King shows up in Compton and takes the Williams family to lunch at a Los Angeles soul-food restaurant. In July, the sisters wear white polo shirts with the King Productions logo embroidered on their sleeves while competing in the Southern California Tennis Association sectional championships. But they do not sign with the big-haired promoter.

September 1991 Richard pulls Venus, who is ranked No. 1 among Southern California girls 12-and-under, and Serena, ranked No. 1 in the 10-and-under division, off the state's junior tennis circuit, moves the family to Florida and enrolls his daughters in Rick Macci's Delray Beach, Fla., tennis academy. Macci would coach the sisters until July 1995. "Six hours a day, six days a week for four years," says Macci of their practice schedule under his tutelage.

April 5, 1992 Venus and Serena play against each other in an exhibition doubles match at the Family Circle Magazine Cup in Hilton Head, S.C. Serena teams with Billie Jean King to defeat Venus and Rosie Casals, 6-2. King says the girls possess aggressiveness and a volleying aptitude beyond their years. "The important thing is that they go slowly and do the right thing," she says. "That's what makes champions."

January 1, 1994 In the year of her 14th birthday, Venus becomes eligible to play in professional tournaments. October 31, 1994 Venus wins her first pro match, defeating Shaun Stafford at the Bank of the West Classic in Oakland. It is the first time she has played non-exhibition tennis in public in three years. Venus participates in the event to avoid a rule that will take effect the following year limiting girls under 18 who turn pro to a handful of tour events. Venus faces Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, the No. 2 player in the world, in her next match. Venus races out to a 6-3, 3-1 lead but then folds as Sanchez Vicario wins 11 consecutive games. In an interview after the match, Venus is asked how the loss compares with previous defeats. She answers bemusedly that she has never before lost a match.

May 22, 1995 Reebok announces it has signed Venus to a five-year, $12 million deal. Thus far, Venus has played in one pro tournament.

March 1997 After Martina Hingis defeats Venus in straight sets in the third round of the Lipton Championships in Key Biscayne, Fla., a tennis official hands Hingis one of the beads that had fallen from Williams's braids. Hingis flings the bead into the crowd at her press conference and says with a giggle, "I have a present for you. One of Venus's pearls." Venus wears 1,800 "pearls" in her hair, which take 10 hours to put in. She will stop playing with in beads three years later.

June 28, 1997 In an inauspicious debut at Wimbledon, Venus loses to No. 91 Magdalena Grzybowska of Poland in the first round. Venus falls apart after leading 6-4, 2-0, repeatedly hitting to Grzybowska's laser backhand. Headlines the next day read, VENUS OUT OF ORBIT! and VENUS HAS TUMBLED BACK TO EARTH. Williams, nonplussed, says, "It's my first Wimbledon. There will be many more."

September 7, 1997 Venus, the first unseeded U.S. Open women's finalist in the open era, loses the championship to Martina Hingis, 6-0, 6-4. On the way there, Venus finds herself in the center of controversy. During her semifinal match, opponent Irina Spirlea intentionally bumps her during a changeover. Afterward, Richard fires back, calling the Romanian "a big, ugly, tall, white turkey" and claiming Spirlea had used a racial epithet.

October 24, 1997 Venus departs for a 10-day trip to Russia to play in the Ladies Kremlin Cup, and during her stay she keeps an online diary for the WTA's Web site. Venus is an avowed Russo-phile; she speaks Russian and enjoys studying Russian history. A sample entry: "I have seen a lot of Russia. The place is replete with history that is very interesting. The art here is wonderful also, and the people are very talented. It is great that they are finally being given the chance to live a more free life, with the fall of Communism."

October 28, 1997 Serena makes her pro debut at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, losing in the first round to Kimberly Po, 6-3, 7-6.

November 1997 In her second WTA main-draw event, the Ameritech Cup in Chicago, No. 304 Serena upsets No. 7 Mary Pierce and No. 4 Monica Seles on her way to the semifinals. She is the lowest ranked player ever to defeat two top 10 players in the same tournament. Later this month, Serena skips school to ride her red skateboard and wipes out on the sidewalk. She breaks the fall with her left wrist, jamming it in the process. The resulting pain leads Serena to run around her two-handed backhand and develop an imposing forehand.

January 1998 Venus graduates from The Driftwood Academy, an accredited 30-student private high school in Lake Park, Fla. Serena will graduate from Driftwood the following August; both maintain a 3.0-plus GPA.

January 1998 In the second round of the Australian Open, the sisters play against each other for the first time as pros. Venus wins in straight sets. After the loss, Serena announces she will play German Karsten Braasch in the next few days. Braasch is 30, ranked No. 226 in the world, and a man. Serena says she's "going to take him out." She loses, 6-1. Venus is eliminated in the quarterfinals by Lindsay Davenport, after being penalized a game point for twice shedding a handful of her hair beads on the court. "I'm not causing a disturbance here!" she screams to the chair umpire.

January 1998 Serena signs a five-year deal with Puma that comes with a high risk and a large upside: it will be worth $12 million if she cracks the top 10. She does so 15 months later.

March 1, 1998 Venus wins her first pro title at the IGA Tennis Classic in Oklahoma City. She also teams with Serena to win the pair's first women's doubles title.

June 1998 Serena cracks the top 20 eight months after her pro debut by reaching the quarterfinals of the Direct Line Insurance Championships in Lastbourne. No player has ever risen so far so fast on the WTA Tour. Lastbourne also marks the first time Serena advances further than Venus in a tournament.

June-July 1998 In a tough Wimbledon for the sisters, Serena retires with an injury while trailing 7-5, 4-1 in a third-round match against Virginia Ruano-Pascal. She then plays mixed doubles the next day, going on to win the title with partner Max Mirnyi. Meanwhile, Venus is one point away from going up 5-2 in the first set of her quarterfinal match against eventual champion Jana Novotna when she falters and loses in straight sets.

July 1998 At the Italian Open in Palermo, the sisters play each other for the second time, and again Venus wins in straight sets. The tournament is Serena's first as a pro on clay, yet she dispatches three of the world's top 25 players on her way to the quarterfinal showdown with Venus.

December 1998 The sisters ship off 30 copies of the inaugural issue of The Tennis Monthly Recap, a newsletter they have written, edited and designed. They distribute it at the Australian Open the following month. The four-page edition includes an interview request with the sisters' hero, Pete Sampras, as well as the following Open preview, authored by Venus: "With a powerful forehand, formidable serve, bottomless heart and a barrel of fight ... Serena is the most dangerous unseeded player to ever compete in any draw."

February 28, 1999 Venus wins a title in Oklahoma City on the same day Serena wins a tournament in Rome, marking the first time two sisters have won professional titles in the same week. Between matches, the sisters spend most of their downtime communicating with each other online.

March 13, 1999 Serena wins the Evert Cup at Indian Wells, defeating Steffi Graf in the finals 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. "I'm tired of losing to people I should beat," Serena says. "Whatever my potential is, I want to reach it -- now. And if I do, I see Venus as my biggest competition."

March 28, 1999 In the first matchup of sisters in a pro women's tennis final since 1884, Venus beats Serena 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 at the Lipton Championships, ending Serena's 16-match winning streak. "The way we're both playing, it was inevitable we'd meet in a final," Venus says. "And it's inevitable we'll meet again."

April 5, 1999 Serena breaks into the top 10 for the first time, coming in at No. 9.

June 6, 1999 Serena and Venus defeat Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova at the French Open, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6, becoming the first sisters to pair up and win a doubles title in the 20th century.

August 1999 Venus skips the du Maurier Open in Toronto because Serena is scheduled to play (Serena later drops out with a shoulder injury). The sisters had decided at the beginning of the year to avoid entering the draw in the same events, and as a result Serena has played singles at only four WTA tournaments since March. This scheduling puts a kink in their plan to eventually be the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world.

September 12, 1999 In the U.S. Open finals, Serena outthinks and outmuscles No. 1 Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-6 to win her first -- and the family's first -- Grand Slam singles title. Serena's previous best finish in a Slam came at Roland Garros in 1998, when she reached the fourth round. "It was almost like a death, that loss for Venus," Oracene says of Hingis's defeat of Venus in the semifinals. "She thinks since she's the oldest, she should've been the first."

October 3, 1999 Serena defeats her sister for the first time, winning the Grand Slam Cup final in Munich, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

November 1999 The sisters tape 10 episodes of the Hollywood Squares, which air from Nov. 22 to Dec. 5. They handle questions on sports mascots, but have some trouble with history queries. "I was born in 1980," Venus grumbles. "They asked which movie did Molly Ringwald star in with a lot of teenagers. I don't know. Who was the fourth president of the United States? I don't know!"

January 24, 2000 Serena loses to Elena Likhovtseva in the fourth round at the Australian Open. Serena, who has not played a match in more than three months, shows up two days before the tournament starts and burns up in her new flaming red-and-black dress. Meanwhile, Venus misses the tournament with tendinitis in both wrists.

March 2000 While Venus skips the Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, rumors swirl about her impending retirement. Venus has not played in almost four months. "I would like to see her retire now," says Richard. "I would love to see her do that." Serena, getting in on the act, jokes, "I'm going to announce my retirement at Wimbledon."

May 2000 Venus returns from her five-month hiatus at the Betty Barclay Cup, a French Open warmup. She loses in the quarterfinals to Amanda Coetzer.

July 8, 2000 Venus wins her first Grand Slam singles title, dispatching defending champ Lindsay Davenport at Wimbledon in straight sets. Venus reaches the finals by defeating a visibly nervous Serena, leading some to speculate that Serena had deliberately eased up for her big sister's benefit. "That's a goddamn shame that people come up with that bull----," Richard says. The night after winning the singles title, Venus stays up until 2 a.m. partying with Serena. The dynamic duo win the women's doubles title the next day.

July 31, 2000 Venus and Serena are named to represent the U.S. in Sydney at the Summer Olympic Games.

Aug. 27, 2000 Venus and Serena appear at famed Manhattan toy store FAO Schwarz to introduce their 11 1/2" doll likenesses, which sell for $19.99 apiece or $34.99 as a set.

Sept. 9, 2000 Venus follows up her breakthrough at Wimbledon by blitzing the field at the U.S. Open. The sisters are on opposite ends of the draw and seem destined to collide in the final, but Serena loses to Lindsay Davenport in the quarterfinals. After rebounding for a classic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 semifinal win over rival Martina Hingis, Venus dispatches Davenport in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, for her second Grand Slam title. She also extends her winning streak to 26 consecutive matches.

Sept. 20, 2000 Venus, seeded second, extends her winning streak to 32 matches when she overpowers Russian teenager Elena Dementieva 6-2, 6-4 in the women's singles final at Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia, and adds a gold medal to her growing list of triumphs. She becomes only the second player to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics in the same year. (Steffi Graf did it in 1988.) Venus laughs off the suggestion that she has nothing left to achieve in tennis, saying, "I've never been world No. 1."

Sept. 21, 2000 Venus earns her second gold medal, teaming with Serena to overpower the Dutch duo of Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert 6-1, 6-1 in just 50 minutes -- the most one-sided final in Olympic tennis history. The triumph comes as an early birthday present for Serena, who would turn 19 the following week. The sisters have now won three Grand Slam doubles titles together, but Serena says the Olympic gold "tops the lot."

Nov. 2, 2000 Venus is named Sports Illustrated for Women's Sportswoman of the Year.

Dec. 11, 2000 Williams is honored as the Sports Illustrated for Women Sportswoman of the Year, and also wins the award for outstanding achievement in tennis at the Sportsman of the Year TV show.

July 8, 2001 Centre Court belongs to Venus once again as the 21-year-old defeats Justine Henin of Belgium 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 for her second consecutive Wimbledon championship. Williams, who won her first Grand Slam title at the All-England Club in 2000, is the first back-to-back women's Wimbledon champ since Steffi Graf in 1995-96. "I love Wimbledon," Venus said following the victory. "It's going to be a great place for me for years to come.

September 8, 2001 A memorable and landmark U.S. Open for both the Williams'. In the first Grand Slam final between siblings in 117 years and the first women's final televised in prime time, Venus wins her second consecutive Open, defeating Serena, 6-2, 6-4. "I'm disappointed but only a little, because Venus won," Serena said.

July 6, 2002 Serena wins the third all-Williams Grand Slam final in 10 months, defeating Venus 7-6 (4), 6-3 to capture her first Wimbledon championship. It is the third major title for Serena, who has now won three straight matches against her older sister. "I wanted to win so bad," Serena says. "I kept thinking to myself, 'OK, Serena just stay calm.' She already has two Wimbledons. Try to fight.' "

September 7, 2002 The argument about which Williams sister is the better player becomes even more one-sided as Serena easily handles Venus in the Finals of the U.S. Open, 6-4, 6-3. It is the third straight Grand Slam title for Serena -- defeating her sibling each time. It's also Serena's fourth straight win against Venus -- all in straight sets.

January 25, 2003 Serena wins her fourth-straight major championship, defeating sister Venus at the Australian Open, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4. This marks only the sixth time a woman has held all four of tennis' major championship titles at the same time, and the first since Steffi Graf in 1994.

The Commander In Chief: Steffi Graf
General: Serena Williams
Admiral: Kim Clijsters
Lieutenant General: Elena Dementieva
Major General: Myskina

nominees for Brigadier General:
Venus, Golovin, Lindsay, Petrova, and Pierce
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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i've read it before...but it's always a pleasure to recap on their success

thanks a lot
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2004, 11:58 AM
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there are some thing in there that I didn't knew. ex. venus' past as a sprinter and midle-distance runner (I feel such a lousy fan now ).
Their story is truely amazing. This will never happen again in ANY sport, IMHO. To me, not so much the fact that they 'climed out' of the ghetto and stuff is the most admirable/surprising, BUT the fact that R. Williams allhad it planned and that 2 SISTERS reached nr1 in tennis. The fact they're both +/- equally talented, ... . It's amazing.

J u s t i n e x p l i c a b l e

Justine: feb. 5, 2007:

"I hung on to tennis. I have done so for the past 20 years. It is something that is in me, it is me."
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2004, 12:09 PM
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This is the type of thread worth reading again and again and......

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Consent

- Eleanor Roosevelt

Until the philosophy which holds one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war...

- Bob Marley/Haile Selassie
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2004, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pigam
Greatreading! There are some thing in there that I didn't knew. ex. venus' past as a sprinter and midle-distance runner (I feel such a lousy fan now )......
Yeah I didn't know that either as well as few other little fun facts in there. In the thread where we we speculate what other sports they may have went into if they didn't play tennis, I did guess track & field for Venus though....

The Commander In Chief: Steffi Graf
General: Serena Williams
Admiral: Kim Clijsters
Lieutenant General: Elena Dementieva
Major General: Myskina

nominees for Brigadier General:
Venus, Golovin, Lindsay, Petrova, and Pierce
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Feb 18th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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Yeah....amazing. Two sisters, both SOOOOO good and equally talented. Don´t think we´ll ever gonna see something like this again.

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The truth:
Serena Williams: Greatest African-American tennisplayer in history
22 majors:6376

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