Rolling Out

Venus and Serena face off again, perhaps for the last time

Photo by Derrel Johnson for Steed Media Service

Venus Ebony Starr Williams won her first US Open championship in 2000, repeating the feat in 2001, after making her tournament debut in 1997. Serena Jameka Williams made her debut the year after her older sister Venus, and won her first title a year earlier in 1999.

Venus and Serena have combined for eight US Open Championships, with Venus winning two and Serena six, which is the most of any other player. When Venus won in 2001, who was her opponent in the final? Serena, who won the 2002 US Open. Her opponent? Venus. The sisters met again at the 2005 US Open, but in the fourth round, and in the quarterfinals in 2008, a feat they will repeat today.

The two sisters have played each other 26 times as professionals, with Serena holding a 15-11 edge over Venus. The world’s top player, Serena talked about her opponent Venus, Tuesday. “She’s beaten me so many times. I’ve taken a lot of losses off of her, more than anybody. Yeah, she’s a player that knows how to win, knows how to beat me, and knows my weaknesses better than anyone,” she said.

The two sisters reminisced about past matches against one another, but not with the lights and cameras on them and the world watching, but as two sisters playing tennis matches as kids. “First match was probably in 1990, so it’s been a minute,” Venus said with a smile. “We played many informal matches against each other, especially when we were younger, so this is something we have done our whole life,” she continued. What did Venus remember most about those matches? “I used to always win in the early days,” she said while laughing. “I was a giant, though. I was always so tall and she was really small at the time. So it wasn’t a fair match, really,” Venus recalled.

The competitive Serena remembered it the same way. “She always won. Like always. I don’t remember much. I just remember I never was able to beat her, and I don’t think I liked playing her,” she said. As the two have gotten older, they certainly love playing each other more.

A combined 28 Grand Slam singles titles later, Venus Ebony Starr, with 7 Grand Slam singles titles and Serena Jameka, with 21 Grand Slam singles titles, will face each other at the 2015 US Open with a trip to the semifinals on the line. Enjoy it, because with Serena with turning 34 later this month, and Venus 35, we don’t know how many more of these matchups we will see, especially at a Grand Slam, particularly the US Open. But it isn’t about missing the two playing each other; it is about seeing it Tuesday, perhaps for the last time.

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