From The Vault: 16 years ago, I saw this Williams sisters thing (good and bad) coming
So Serena meets Anastasija Sevastova tonight in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., during the semifinals of the US Open, which means the younger Williams sister is two victories away from a 24th championship in a major tennis tournament.
Serena would tie Margaret Court's all-time record.
Oh, and Venus is pretty great, too. The primary reason she didn't make it this far is because the older Williams sister lost earlier in the tournament to . . .
This isn't surprising. Not to me. In fact, 16 years ago, when Venus was more dominating than Serena, I predicted the Williams sisters would do -- let's see, um -- well, exactly what they're doing now.
Williamses are tennis' future
June 30, 2002
By Terence Moore
For those who really can't stand the Williams sisters, all because of a lot of this and much more of that, here is some friendly advice to keep your sanity: Get over it. They are here to stay, along with their dominance of anybody in women's tennis who doesn't have their wonderful skills and carry the blood of Richard Williams.
They are great. They are young. Mostly, they are invincible. They showed that they have the finesse to complement their power by conquering the slow clay of the French Open earlier this year to meet in the finals. They've also flirted with blowing away their competition on the legendary grass of Wimbledon for a Williams vs. Williams finale before the bluebloods at Centre Court.
Venus and Serena can lose, but only as a result of injury, sickness or indifference. They can be beaten, but only by each other. Thus, part of the reason for the growing number of those exposing the ugliness in their hearts by alternating between whining and fuming over the Williams sisters.
Another part of the reason is that the Williams sisters are significantly darker than the white attire players must wear during Wimbledon. Another part is resentment over the Williams sisters rising to the elite of their sport on rocky ghetto streets instead of the perfect surfaces of country clubs. Another part is that the Williams sisters have talents and interests away from serving and volleying.
Here's the biggest part: All of the above. That, and the fact that the Williams sisters and their father with the blunt tongue actually couldn't care less about what others think. The latter just makes the attacks on the Williams family come more furiously and viciously from everywhere.
Good. What this means is that the Williams sisters are sprinting toward becoming the greatest women's tennis players ever. The more dominant you are at anything, the larger the bull's eye grows on your back. Just ask Tiger Woods, the Williams sisters of golf. Better yet, just listen to the silliness that has chased the Williams sisters from their youth in Compton, Calif., to their current standing as the world's No. 1 and No. 2 players.
After Martina Hingis huffed and puffed when she discovered her years as the women's best tennis player were over, she screamed to anybody who'd listen that the Williams sisters only get endorsements because they're black.
Once, when Venus and Irina Spirlea bumped into each other at the U.S. Open while changing sides, critics said that the Williams sisters were bringing a thuggish element to the sport. The critics howled more when Richard Williams called Spirlea "a big, tall white turkey."
Speaking of Richard Williams, he remains in the middle of conspiracy theories about the Williams sisters maneuvering in the shadows to keep from facing each other in tournaments.
Opponents even complained that the beads that the Williams sisters wore in their hair made too much noise during matches.
Now Gabriela Sabatini is saying that the Williams sisters hit too hard.
You may laugh. You may do so again after hearing the rest of what Sabatini told a British paper during an interview: "Unless other players are motivated to fight [the Williams sisters], the game could start to be boring. Before the Williams girls arrived, it was probably a more enjoyable game to watch. You could see artistry, not just athleticism. You saw players doing different things, coming to the net, varying the pace of the game."
With apologies to Sabatini, you also see the Williams sisters doing those things. Well, you only see them if you don't have jealousy, hatred or ignorance in your eyes.