Family Circle Cup 1992 articles:
SIDELINES: DOUBLE-BARRELED DEBUTS
Williams Sisters Join the Family Circle
By ROBERT McG. THOMAS Jr.
April 6, 1992
New York Times
The Family Circle Magazine Cup at Hilton Head, S.C., has made a habit of serving as a coming-out party for the tennis stars of the future: the 1991 and 1992 champion, Gabriela Sabatini, made her debut as a 14-year-old runner-up, Steffi Graf won her first tournament here, and a teen-age Chris Evert commenced a tear that delivered a record eight Family Circle titles.
But this year, Jack Jones, a co-founder, didn't just rob one cradle to make a splash, he robbed two. In an exhibition doubles match anchored by legends Billie Jean King and Rosie Casals, winner of the 1973 first Family Circle Cup, he introduced a pair of legends-before-their-time, 10-year-old Serena Williams and 11-year-old Venus Williams.
The Williams girls, already courted by agents and showered with equipment by outfitters eager to gain a foothold while they're still in the training wheel stage, moved last September from Compton, Calif., to the Rick Macci International Tennis Academy near Orlando, Fla. These prodigies don't waste any time at Disney World: They're either on the court or in the classroom 10 hours a day.
King, who offered numerous tips to both girls during Saturday's dress rehearsal for yesterday's exhibition, said they possess aggressiveness and a volleying aptitude beyond their age.
"I don't think I even knew what tennis was at that age," said King, who won the exhibition match, 6-2, with Serena, "but the important thing is that they go slowly and do the right thing. That's what makes champions."