Williams sisters

Williams sisters

Venus and Serena
Venus Serena
Highest singles 
No. 1
(February 25, 2002)
No. 1
(July 8, 2002)
Highest doubles 
No. 1
(June 7, 2010)
No. 1
(June 7, 2010)
Women's Singles titles: 46 67
Women's Doubles titles: 21 22
Grand Slam
Women's Singles titles:
(Wimbledon 2000/01/05/07/08,
US Open 2000/01)
(Aus Open 2003/05/07/09/10/15,
French Open 2002/13/15,
Wimbledon 2002/03/09/10/12/15,
US Open 1999/2002/08/12/13/14)
Grand Slam
Women's Doubles titles:
(Aus Open 2001/03/09/10,
French Open 1999/2010,
Wimbledon 2000/02/08/09/12,
US Open 1999/2009)
(Aus Open 2001/03/09/10,
French Open 1999/2010,
Wimbledon 2000/02/08/09/12,
US Open 1999/2009)
Grand Slam Mixed
Doubles titles:
(Aus Open 1998,
French Open 1998)
(Wimbledon 1998,
US Open 1998)
Summer Olympics
Singles titles:
Gold (Sydney 2000) Gold (London 2012)
Summer Olympics
Doubles titles:
Gold (Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012) Gold (Sydney 2000, Beijing 2008, London 2012)
Fed Cup
Plays: Right-handed
(two-handed backhand)
(two-handed backhand)

The Williams sisters are two professional American tennis players: Venus Williams (b. 1980), a seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams (b. 1981), twenty-one-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. There is a noted professional rivalry between them – between the 2001 US Open and the 2009 Wimbledon tournaments, they have met in eight Grand Slam singles finals. They remain very close, often watching each other's matches in support, even after one of them has been knocked out of a tournament.

Both sisters have been ranked by the Women's Tennis Association at the World No. 1 position. In 2002, after the French Open, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. During the 2010 French Open, they became the co-world no.1 players in women's doubles, in addition to holding the top two positions in singles tennis.

Both players have won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics Games, one each in singles and three in doubles - all won together - the most of any tennis players. As a duo, they have also completed the Career Golden Slam in doubles.


  • Doubles: 22 (21 titles, 1 runner-up) 1
  • Team competition finals: 1 (1 titles) 2
  • Performance timelines 3
    • Women's doubles 3.1
  • Boycott of the Indian Wells Masters 4
    • Effects and criticism 4.1
  • Best result in Grand Slam singles (combined) 5
  • Year-end WTA ranking 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9

Doubles: 22 (21 titles, 1 runner-up)

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (13–0)
Olympic Gold (3)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Premier Mandatory & Premier 5 (2–0)
Premier (2–1)
International (1–0)
Finals by Surface
Hard (10–1)
Grass (6–0)
Clay (3–0)
Carpet (2–0)
Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. February 23, 1998 Oklahoma City, United States (1) Hard Cătălina Cristea
Kristine Kunce
7–5, 6–2
Winner 2. October 12, 1998 Zürich, Switzerland (1) Carpet Mariaan de Swardt
Elena Tatarkova
5–7, 6–1, 6–3
Winner 3. February 15, 1999 Hannover, Germany (1) Carpet Alexandra Fusai
Nathalie Tauziat
5–7, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 4. May 24, 1999 French Open, Paris, France (1) Clay Martina Hingis
Anna Kournikova
6–3, 6–7(2–7), 8–6
Runner-up 1. August 8, 1999 San Diego, U.S. (1) Hard Lindsay Davenport
Corina Morariu
6–4, 6–1
Winner 5. August 30, 1999 US Open, New York City, U.S. (1) Hard Chanda Rubin
Sandrine Testud
4–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 6. June 26, 2000 Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom (1) Grass Julie Halard-Decugis
Ai Sugiyama
6–3, 6–2
Winner 7. September 18, 2000 Summer Olympic Games, Sydney, Australia (1) Hard Kristie Boogert
Miriam Oremans
6–1, 6–1
Winner 8. January 15, 2001 Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (1) Hard Lindsay Davenport
Corina Morariu
6–2, 4–6, 6–4
Winner 9. June 24, 2002 Wimbledon, London, U.K. (2) Grass Virginia Ruano Pascual
Paola Suárez
6–2, 7–5
Winner 10. January 13, 2003 Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (2) Hard Virginia Ruano Pascual
Paola Suárez
4–6, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 11. July 5, 2008 Wimbledon, London, U.K. (3) Grass Lisa Raymond
Samantha Stosur
6–2, 6–2
Winner 12. August 17, 2008 Summer Olympic Games, Beijing, China (2) Hard Anabel Medina Garrigues
Virginia Ruano Pascual
6–2, 6–0
Winner 13. January 30, 2009 Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (3) Hard Ai Sugiyama
Daniela Hantuchová
6–3, 6–3
Winner 14. July 4, 2009 Wimbledon, London, U.K. (4) Grass Samantha Stosur
Rennae Stubbs
7–6(7–4), 6–4
Winner 15. August 2, 2009 Stanford, U.S. (1) Hard Chan Yung-jan
Monica Niculescu
6–4, 6–1
Winner 16. September 14, 2009 US Open, New York City, U.S. (2) Hard Cara Black
Liezel Huber
6–2, 6–2
Winner 17. January 29, 2010 Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia (4) Hard Cara Black
Liezel Huber
6–4, 6–3
Winner 18. May 15, 2010 Madrid, Spain (1) Clay Gisela Dulko
Flavia Pennetta
6–2, 7–5
Winner 19. June 3, 2010 French Open, Paris, France (2) Clay Květa Peschke
Katarina Srebotnik
6–2, 6–3
Winner 20. July 7, 2012 Wimbledon, London, U.K. Grass Andrea Hlaváčková
Lucie Hradecká
7–5, 6–4
Winner 21. August 5, 2012 Summer Olympic Games, London, U.K. (3) Grass Andrea Hlaváčková
Lucie Hradecká
6–4, 6–4

Team competition finals: 1 (1 titles)

Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Partners Opponent Score
Winner 1. September 18–19, 1999 Fed Cup, Stanford, US Hard Lindsay Davenport
Monica Seles
Elena Makarova
Elena Likhovtseva
Elena Dementieva

Performance timelines

Women's doubles

Performance key
W winner #R lost in the early rounds Z# Davis Cup Zonal Group (number) B semifinalist, won bronze medal
F runner-up RR lost at round robin stage PO Davis Cup play-off NH not held
SF semifinalist Q# lost in qualification round G won Olympic gold medal NMS Not a Masters Series event
QF quarterfinalist A absent S runner-up, won silver medal NPM Not a Premier Mandatory or 5 event
Update either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the event has ended.

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament or the player's participation in the tournament has concluded.

Tournament 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Career W/L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A 3R SF A W A W Absent QF W W Absent QF Absent 36–4
French Open Absent W Absent 3R W Absent 13–1
Wimbledon A 1R A W 3R W 3R Absent 2R W W QF A W A 2R A 39–5
US Open 1R A W SF 3R Absent W Absent 3R SF QF A 25–6
Win-Loss 0–1 2–1 16–1 10–0 10–1 6–0 8–1 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–0 9–1 20–1 14–1 0–0 8–1 7-2 4-2 0-0 115–12
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics Not Held W Not Held A Not Held W Not Held W Not Held 15–0
Year-End Championships
WTA Tour Championships Did Not Qualify SF Did Not Qualify 0–1
  • Neither withdrawals nor walkovers are included in wins and losses.

Note: Serena Williams did not play at the 2004 Olympics because of injury. Venus partnered with American Chanda Rubin and lost in the first-round to eventual gold-medalists Sun Tiantian and Li Ting.

Boycott of the Indian Wells Masters

During the 2001 Indian Wells Masters tournament in Indian Wells, California, controversy erupted when Venus Williams withdrew four minutes prior to her semifinal match with her sister Serena.[1] Serena was subsequently booed during the championship match against Kim Clijsters and during the trophy presentation.

The following day, Serena played Clijsters in the final. Venus and her father, (and coach to her and Serena) Richard Williams were booed as they made their way to their seats.[1] Serena was booed intermittently during the final, in which she defeated Clijsters, 4–6, 6–4, 6–2.[1]

Richard accused the crowds at Indian Wells of overt racism, saying, "The white people at Indian Wells, what they've been wanting to say all along to us finally came out: 'Nigger, stay away from here, we don't want you here.' " However, no other reports of verbal racism were reported to tournament officials, although Venus has stated without elaboration, "I heard what he heard."[1][2] Oracene Price (mother and coach of Venus and Serena) accused the crowd of "taking off their hoods."[3]

Effects and criticism

After the initial controversy, neither Williams sister played the tournament in Indian Wells for 14 years. The Women's Tennis Association currently classifies the Indian Wells tournament as a Premier Mandatory event for all eligible players.[1] Exceptions are made when players engage in tournament promotions, but Venus and Serena both declined to promote the tournament; WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott agreed he would not, promotionally, "put them in a position that is going to be awkward," and tournament director Charlie Pasarell has stated he would accept the WTA tour's ruling.[1]

Allegations had been made before Venus's withdrawal that Richard Williams decided who won the matches between his daughters.[4] Those allegations continued and increased as a result of her withdrawal.[1]

Richard has said that racial epithets were used against him and Venus as they sat in the stands during the final, but no official complaints were recorded by the tournament. Venus and Serena have been criticized for refusing to discuss the controversy, as some believe that their silence perpetuates racism.[5]

Serena discusses what happened in her view at Indian Wells in detail in an entire chapter titled "The Fiery Darts of Indian Wells" in her 2009 autobiography, On the Line. She says that on the morning of the semifinal, Venus told the tour trainer that she had injured her knee and didn't think she could play and tried for hours to get approval from the trainer to withdraw, but the tournament officials kept stalling.

"What got me most of all was that it wasn't just a scattered bunch of boos. It wasn't coming from just one section. It was like the whole crowd got together and decided to boo all at once. The ugliness was just raining down on me, hard. I didn't know what to do. Nothing like this had ever happened to me. What was most surprising about this uproar was the fact that tennis fans are typically a well-mannered bunch. They're respectful. They sit still. And in Palm Springs, especially, they tended to be pretty well-heeled, too. But I looked up and all I could see was a sea of rich people—mostly older, mostly white—standing and booing lustily, like some kind of genteel lynch mob. I don't mean to use such inflammatory language to describe the scene, but that's really how it seemed from where I was down on the court. Like these people were gonna come looking for me after the match. ... There was no mistaking that all of this was meant for me. I heard the word nigger a couple times, and I knew. I couldn't believe it. That's just not something you hear in polite society on that stadium court. ... Just before the start of play, my dad and Venus started walking down the aisle to the players' box by the side of the court, and everybody turned and started to point and boo at them. ... It was mostly just a chorus of boos, but I could still hear shouts of 'Nigger!' here and there. I even heard one angry voice telling us to go back to Compton. It was unbelievable. ... We refused to return to Indian Wells. Even now, all these years later, we continue to boycott the event. It's become a mandatory tournament on the tour, meaning that the WTA can fine a player if she doesn't attend. But I don't care if they fine me a million dollars, I will not play there again."

However, on February 3, 2015, Serena Williams wrote an exclusive column for TIME magazine stating her intentions to return to Indian Wells for a tournament on March 9, 2015. She did indeed return and won her opening match.[6] Williams withdrew before her semi-final match with Simona Halep because of a knee injury.[7]

Best result in Grand Slam singles (combined)

Tournament 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 SR
Australian Open A QF QF 4R SF QF WS 3R WS 3R WS QF WS WS 3R 4R QF 4R WS 6 / 18
French Open 2R QF 4R QF QF WS SF QF 3R QF QF 3R QF QF A 2R WS 2R WS 3 / 18
Wimbledon 1R QF QF WV WV WS WS F WV 3R WV WV WS WS 4R WS 4R 3R WS 11 / 19

Year-end WTA ranking

Player 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Venus 205 216 22 5 3 3 3 2 11 9 10 46 8 6 6 5 102 24 49 18
Serena 99 20 4 6 6 1 3 7 11 95 7 2 1 4 12 3 1 1

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g What Happened at Indian Wells?
  2. ^ Off-court distractions
  3. ^ A fortnight of firsts at the French
  4. ^ Woolsey, Garth (2009-03-22). "Williams sisters at Indian Wells? Forget it".  
  5. ^ Edmondson, p.91
  6. ^ http://www.wtatennis.com/SEWTATour-Archive/posting/2015/609/MDS.pdf
  7. ^ "Serena Williams WDs at Indian Wells". ESPN. 2015-03-21. Retrieved 2015-03-21. 

Further reading

  • Edmondson, Jacqueline (2005). Venus and Serena Williams: A Biography. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-33165-0
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Liezel Huber
World No. 1 (doubles)
June 7, 2010 – August 1, 2010
Succeeded by
Liezel Huber
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Martina Hingis & Anna Kournikova
Cara Black & Liezel Huber
WTA Doubles Team of the Year
Succeeded by
Lisa Raymond & Rennae Stubbs
Gisela Dulko & Flavia Pennetta
Preceded by
Cara Black & Liezel Huber
ITF Women's Doubles World Champion
Succeeded by
Gisela Dulko &
Flavia Pennetta
Preceded by
First Award
Maria Kirilenko & Victoria Azarenka
WTA Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year
Succeeded by
Maria Kirilenko & Victoria Azarenka