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View Full Version : A British pair of Williams girls: There is hope for British tennis!


Laikade
Dec 19th, 2005, 06:18 AM
Zaynab & Maryam Williams (age 8 and 6) are training hard to follow the steps of Venus and Serena ...

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,5205-1939008,00.html

"AS THE girls clamber from the back of their father’s car, ringlets bounding, tennis rackets at the ready, preparing to sprint to the courts, the thought crosses your mind, but is dismissed as the consequence of one tot too many of the previous night’s cherry brandy. Could never happen. A zillion to one chance.
Watch them strike the ball, all bounding relish, running down every ball, the doublefisted backhands and wide-eyed joy and there is an immediate infusion of wonder.


“So,” Alan Jones, running a delighted eye over the latest addition to his academy’s sporting intake, says: “what do you make of my Williams sisters?”

What one makes of them is that the happiest of coincidences might, in ten years’ time, lead to one of the most remarkable of stories, that we may have a tale to tell of British Williams sisters that is every bit as incredible as that which has brought wealth and acclaim to the Americans who have borne that name on to court and catwalk with equal distinction.

At this first sight of Zainab, 8, and Maryam, 6, I was reminded of the recollection of Dave Rineberg, a coach from Florida, when he was first called to be a hitting partner for Venus, then 12, and Serena, 9.

“In one rally, Venus crossed the entire court with two panther-like bounds and ripped a two-handed backhand down the line for a winner. The talent was raw, but it was pure. I could see how everyone who had seen them marvelled in their abilities,” Rineberg, who went on to spend seven years as part of the Williams coterie, said.

Walle Williams was told the minute he put a racket in his daughters’ hands by many of those who saw them play that his girls had something. This was in Stratford, East London, where they once lived. Williams is from Waco, Texas (do not fret, he married Deborah from Britain and the girls were born in London), speaks in a whisper and is unlikely to put it about that he is in negotiation to purchase the Rockefeller Centre in New York or owns air space over India, as Richard Williams has been wont to claim.

Richard pushed his daughters to play. With Walle it is the other way around. “If they didn’t want to play tennis I wouldn’t make them,” he said, “but they get me up in the mornings to come here (to the Hazelwood Academy in North London). It’s ‘OK Dad, let’s go’ and we’re out of the door.”

It is more than an hour from Basildon, Essex, to Winchmore Hill, which means setting off before 6am, a routine that the Williamses have become well accustomed to. For Walle, it means he has to plan his shift work as a machine operator for a milk company, around his daughters’ needs. And like any other parent whose children want to play tennis as often as they can, there are insatiable demands on time and wallet. “Oh yes, they are after the newest line in rackets all the time,” he said.

As for now, Jones and his academy crew are coaching the sisters for the love of it, just watching them move, restless with desire like the other young athletes on a chill morning, is reward enough. There is also a thought nagging at the back of Jones’s mind — and this is a man who has coached 28 players who have appeared in singles at Wimbledon — that the sisters have a magic more than in simply their surname. As for now, that, and a desire to do all he can to bring them on, will have to do.

The Lawn Tennis Association is aware of the sisters, as a result of them performing at one of the LTA roadshows at Bisham Abbey this year. The invitation has already gone out for a second visit. And which of the grand-slam winning Williams sisters do the British aspire to become? Well, neither actually. The favourite of both is Maria Sharapova."

By Neil Harman (The Times)

Blonde_Ambition7
Dec 19th, 2005, 06:20 AM
Really interesting story, wonder how they'll do in the future.

But this story was posted already.

Laikade
Dec 19th, 2005, 06:31 AM
Really interesting story, wonder how they'll do in the future.

But this story was posted already.
Oh sorry for the guy/girl who posted it first, I didn't see it :tape:

KimC&MariaSNo1's
Dec 19th, 2005, 08:48 AM
yeh it was posted awhile back but still its good to kepp updated on them

auntie janie
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:25 PM
Thanks for the article; I didn't see it the first time. :cool:

Interesting, these sisters have Muslim names. It would be great to see more minorities playing tennis in Britain.

hingis-seles
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:50 PM
Thanks for the article; I didn't see it the first time. :cool:

Interesting, these sisters have Muslim names. It would be great to see more minorities playing tennis in Britain.

I missed it the first time as well.

Janie, that's one of the first things I noticed as well, about the girls having Muslim names. It's great to see diversity in tennis in Britain.

Maryamator
Dec 19th, 2005, 12:55 PM
thanx:D i dont remember the first one i think ive read along time ago this girl has my name i realized all maryam's are great tennis players:p

Dawn Marie
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:09 PM
I never saw the first article either. This is great news for British tennis. Yeah I noticed that they have Muslim names as well. I wonder if they also have a Muslim background?

MLF
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:37 PM
Here's a pic :

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2005/11/zainabST141105_300x450.jpg

The original thread with a bit more detail is here :http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=204876

jamatthews
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:42 PM
I wonder if they'll be as good as the Ren sisters...there could end up being a few very interesting years in British tennis...

Dawn Marie
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:43 PM
Awe cute kids.:)

auntie janie
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:48 PM
omg, they are SO CUTE!!!! :hearts:

I like their Dad's attitude, too. :kiss:

tennisrox
Dec 19th, 2005, 02:53 PM
This has already been posted.Good to hear about them anyway. :yeah:

charmedRic
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:10 PM
best of luck.

guyinsf
Dec 19th, 2005, 03:52 PM
There's hope for any country in the future of tennis. To say there's "still" hope implies some sort of deadline.

Laikade
Dec 19th, 2005, 04:07 PM
There's hope for any country in the future of tennis. To say there's "still" hope implies some sort of deadline.
Voilà !

Monica_Rules
Dec 19th, 2005, 04:15 PM
well we will have to wait and see. Although british tennis is pretty crap at the moment on the womens side we have quite a few decent prospects who are 14 and younger.

Bankhead Bounce
Dec 19th, 2005, 04:25 PM
Thanks for the article; I didn't see it the first time. :cool:

Interesting, these sisters have Muslim names. It would be great to see more minorities playing tennis in Britain.

:rocker2: