6. The Williams sisters’ religious tradition
Serena is a Jehovah Witness and from time to time she publicly proclaims her thanks to Jehovah God—as she did at the 2015 Australian Open. “I have to thank Jehovah God for this,” Serena Williams told the crowd after receiving the trophy at the Australian Open in January, her sixth win there.
“I was down and out and he helped me today and I just said prayers, not to win but to be strong and to be healthy and in the end I was able to come through so I have to give the glory to him first and foremost.”In the movie “Venus and Serena” Venus says “We never went to birthday parties or did things most kids did. We spent our time on the tennis court. I didn’t mind.” Jehovah Witnesses do not celebrate birthday parties. Who knew this religious observance could serve as an advantage to their athletic development.
In 2003, Serena’s half sister, Yetunde Price, a registered nurse who owned a beauty salon, was a killed in a drive-by shooting in Compton. Yetunde, the eldest of Oracene Price's five daughters was also a personal assistant to Venus and Serena. This tragedy got some media attention, but it has been the first of many for both Williams sisters. A wise, avid sports fan once told me that most athletes do not bounce back from major tragedies in their life. The mental game is just too demanding and exhausting. Personal grief takes it toll and affects everything. The fact that Serena was able points to her greatness.
8. Serena's impact on history extends far beyond sports history
Marcus Thompson writes a great reflection on Williams' impact in "Serena Williams, an Ali for a new generation." He writes, No, Serena didn't protest a war, like Ali. But she has raged against the machine. Her fight is against glass ceilings and long-held standards of beauty. Every time she takes the court with shimmering nails, every photo shoot in which she is flexing, every event for which she dolls up into a glamorous princess, is an ace for acceptance and diversity. Maria Sharapova's dominance over Serena in endorsement dollars, despite Serena's dominance over Sharapova on the court, is proof racism, body shaming and sexism exist. The article is a good one; I agree.
Some have pointed to the truth that were it not for her sister, Serena would already have the record for the most Grand Slam titles of all time (24 by Margaret Smith Court). The Williams sisters have played each other in Grand Slam finals 2 times. Venus won 1 of those matches, but the also played in quarterfinal rounds, etc.
In the documentary "Venus and Serena," Serena talks about being Venus’ younger sister. She says, "I did everything she did. Her favorite color was my favorite color. Her favorite animal was my favorite animal. I was one big copycat." Richard Williams ran both of his daughters through his plan. Fortunately, both girls loved the game…and their father. They always had not only a hitting partner, but a partner in crime. A confidant. One who could truly understand the burdens and blessings of an unconventional childhood and life.
They are partners in life: they live together in Miami, they are both partial owners of an NFL team—the Miami Dolphins and they play an incredible game of doubles’ tennis together. I almost enjoy watching them play doubles more as I get to see two women who love the game and one another in action. When you look at Serena, look in her box. You will see all that has made her who she is. And that is to be the next posting….
10. Create your own point of interest about Serena, and post it here. You won’t have to work hard to create one. Enjoy!