From Racket-Wielding Warrior Princesses to Designing Women Premieres: May 23, 9 p.m. Encores: May 24, 12 a.m.; May 27, 8 p.m.
No, they're not twins, but tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams have doubled up on success and drama anyway. Born a mere 15 months apart, they make quite a matched set, as sisters, as doubles partners and as fierce opponents.
As tennis royalty, they've faced adversity and made it to the top of their game. However, their intense journey was not without its difficulties, as you'll find out in the riveting THS episode The Williams Sisters: E! True Hollywood Story, premiering May 23 at 9 p.m.
The sister act all began in the rough L.A. suburb of Compton, where their outspoken dad, Richard Williams, began coaching the young girls in the art of serving up star power. Practicing tennis up to six hours a day, they developed their signature talents of speed, strength and grace--skills which would later make Venus and Serana famous on courts all around the world.
Eventually, the family moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, so the girls could better pursue their sport. Controversially forgoing the traditional junior tennis circuit, Venus turned pro at age 14 in 1994. She didn't earn her first Grand Slam title until July 8, 2000, when she won Wimbledon. In 2002, Venus finally reached the top spot in the World Tennis Association rankings, becoming the first African-American woman to reach number one in almost half a century.
Serena's tennis career is nearly a mirror image of her sister's. Turning pro in 1995, she didn't claim her first WTA tour singles victory until early 1999, leading to a smashing season. At the 1999 U.S. Open, Serena became the first African-American woman to claim a Grand Slam singles title in almost five decades.
Along with their history-making athletic prowess and the inevitable big endorsement deals, these glamour girls have also tackled interior design, fashion and acting. And, since last fall, they have also been grieving the death of their murdered half-sister.