Well I cried again after reading the below articles - and they made me think again about how much these Sisters have taken and given in order to be champions of the sport.
I love them and will continue to protect them as if they were truly part of my own family.
Great Newsday article Gumbycat.
"BOO - HOO - HOO - BOO - HOO - HOO" "LUV U 2"
Exclusive Club Now Includes
Both Venus and Serena
After she was beaten by her kid sister in the Wimbledon final, Venus Williams leaned over to Serena to tell her what to expect from the ceremony, to remember to curtsy. "You don't know unless somebody tells you," Venus explained.
Then Serena and Venus walked out from the sideline yesterday to accept their trophies from Princess Alexandra, and you couldn't help but spot what the two sisters must have noticed, too.
There wasn't another black face on the court. Not one. There were 22 umpires and officials, 50 photographers, 32 ballboys, 10 stewards and security guards. There were a handful of royals, too, with chins up and upper lips stiffened.
Among all these journalists, aristocrats and volunteers more than 100, in all not a single one looked anything like the two women who had just put on such an extraordinary exhibition of tennis. To find any African-Americans in the audience, you had to look up to the players' box, to the outrageously funky, orange wig of Oracene and to the supportive group of family members and friends.
The Williams sisters, after all these years, were still strangers in the strange land of English lawn tennis. And if you needed further proof of their remarkable achievement, then here it was, laid out in front of everybody on the worn, green grass. They had navigated a world so completely alien to Compton, Calif., so far away from where they'd started on the cracked, concrete courts, that they stood out here like a cloudless day.
They were still trying to figure it all out, too. Venus told Serena to curtsy to the duchess, not knowing she had been replaced this year by a princess. Venus wasn't sure what to do with the Prince, whether to curtsy, so she performed a little bow, a compromise.
Who knows these things in Compton?
"Here we were, 10, 15 years later, it's really amazing when you think about it," Serena said after she beat Venus, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
"I'm part of the club," Serena said. "I wanted to become a member. So much history. So much prestige. I'm waiting for the pin."
She was talking about the All England Lawn Tennis and Cricket Club, which admits all champions as members. It is the only way that a black man or woman figures to become a member of such a club, if only because the money and opportunity just isn't there.
The Williamses continue to change that landscape, though they can only do so much. A lot of the fans yesterday were complaining before the match, during interviews on BBC and all over the grounds, that they would have preferred a match not involving sisters. They feared collusion, the spectators said, though they probably were more afraid of exclusion.
It isn't easy being a spectator at these matches, just like it isn't easy being a sister. For the fan, there is a sense of intrusion. If you cheer against one of the Williamses, there is a sense that the other sister would probably take you to task for it.
Everytime they play each other, near the start of the match, a wise-guy fan inevitably screams out, "Go, Williams." It happened again yesterday. But in a way, he has it right. To get where they have gone, they have looked out for each other along the way. They are not going to start arguing about a line call now, not when they are playing each other.
"It's our responsibility to take care of each other, more than anything," Venus said. "We're role models for each other. The only thing I won't do is criticize here."
That doesn't mean these matches are choreographed. The final yesterday should have dispelled such nonsensical rumors forever. The two women played superb tennis during the tight first set, before Venus' sore shoulder got the best of her serve.
Venus wouldn't use the shoulder as an excuse, though she let everyone know it was a problem. Of the two sisters, it is undoubtedly the elder who finds this whole sibling rivalry more unsettling. That's not unusual. Chris Evert said she could never even look at her sister Jeannie on the changeovers. It hurt too much. Venus is the protector, like Chris. Serena is the feisty rebel.
When the match ended, though, Serena knew who was the boss, the one to ask the important questions about etiquette and ritual. Big sister told her when to curtsy to the royals.
"As far as black people watching the match, well, maybe more will come out next time, I hope," Venus said. "I love this court. I like the way it plays."
Then the Williamses went out and won another doubles match. They are welcome here. They'll just never be indigenous to the All England Club.
Original Publication Date: 7/7/02
Sorry, sister, but move over
By By Barker Davis
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
WIMBLEDON, England Advantage Serena. Top Stories
In an all-Williams Wimbledon final that sparkled at times with the best of the Sisters Slam, Serena dethroned older sibling Venus on Centre Court yesterday, claiming her second straight Grand Slam singles title and first at the All England Club.
"I'm part of the club," said Serena, who among other things earned a lifetime membership at the game's turf temple for pounding past her sister 7-6 (4), 6-3. "I wanted to become a member of so much prestige, so much history. I want to be a part of history."
Tennis history certainly will record that 20-year-old Serena won the first truly memorable Slam showdown between the two titans. Unlike their finales at last year's U.S. Open and last month's French Open, which devolved into error-ridden debacles, yesterday's performance on Centre Court featured some staggering exchanges of power and athleticism at least during an unforgettable first set.
"It was a good match to watch," said Serena, who won her third consecutive match and fourth in nine tries against her 22-year-old sister. "We were really serving and returning. Venus was running down balls. I was running down balls. It was fun."
The first-set tiebreaker, which included six mini-breaks and eight outright winners, might have been the most staggering combination of court coverage and strength the women's game has ever witnessed. Both players had the strings singing, the chalk flying and the ball shrieking with their groundstrokes. This was a baseline bonanza, because neither player could get to the net without risking ventilation. Seriously, the net was a Kevlar-only zone in this firefight. And it was almost a shock, given the high caliber of tennis, when the sisters swapped errors to leave Serena serving at 6-4.
Serena scalded an apparent ace at set point, and the 14,000 spectators stuffed into Centre Court erupted in appreciation of the performance, nobody hearing chair umpire Jane Harvey's call of let. Whether the sisters heard the call and chose to ignore it likely will never be known. But after such a fitting finish to the brilliant first act, Harvey wasn't about to order a second take.
The closing set was somewhat less impressive, almost had to be, as Venus began struggling with fatigue in her right arm, and her serve paid the price. Averaging only 80 mph on her second serve, nearly 15 mph below her tournament average, Venus was playing from behind on virtually every second-set point.
Serena earned break points on all but one of Venus' second-set service games, and finally took penultimate control of the match when Venus double-faulted at 3-4 on break point after a lousy toss. That particular serve, her worst of the match, crawled across the net at only 67 mph and fell limply wide of the T.
"Yeah, I did have some double-faults on break points," said Venus, who refused to use her sore shoulder as an excuse after her two-year reign at Wimbledon came to an end. "But I think I played well today, to be honest. She was just pressing and hitting a lot of forceful shots. Really, she was just tremendous today."
Serena, who served out the match at love, now trails Venus by just one Slam victory (3-4). And if yesterday's play, particularly the first set, is any indication, father/coach Richard might well have been correct when he asserted that Serena would be better when both achieved their full potential. Serena won three of the four double-digit rallies the pair played yesterday, her bolder strokes paying dividends.
"We're so close right now," said Serena, who had six more winners (20) and committed three fewer errors (22). "I really think if I had missed a shot in that match, things could have swung the other way."
Venus sounded determined to see that things do swing the other way in the future. During the week she lost her No.1 ranking and her Wimbledon crown to her little sister. And if the two meet again in the U.S. Open final which seems a very safe bet after two straight Slam finals expect a relentless response from the game's current Avis.
"I've got to get down in there and fight," said Venus, when asked how she planned to take back the top spot from her sister. "That's what I'm here for, to be on top. I'm not trying to linger around at No.2. It's not fun losing, no matter who you lose to. It's not something that I'm going to get used to or try to adjust to, because I'm not one for losing often."
Those are fighting words, rivalry words, words that should have the tennis world in a tizzy by the time the girls reach Flushing. If that kind of anticipation isn't good for tennis, then neither was the invention of the racket. Somewhere, Richard Williams is undoubtedly grinning.
"When I first walked out there on Centre Court, I was thinking about winning, but I was also thinking that my dad always said one day we'll be playing in the finals of Wimbledon, in the finals of the U.S. Open, just the big ones," said Serena. "And here we [are] 10, 15 years later. It's hard to get one champion, but now he has two. It's really amazing if you think about it."