Childhood is the most fanciful period in a lifespan. Even for successful individuals, it remains a time like no other. Recently, one of the greatest American tennis players, Venus Williams, relayed the memories of her childhood.
Her athleticism and sheer determination are said to have influenced many women on and off the tennis court. However, the 40-year-old American had a conventional childhood that included, “School, the ice cream truck, and church three times a week.” Calling it a ‘very, very sheltered’ time of her life, Williams went on to conquer seven Grand Slam titles.
“There was always someone to laugh with”: Venus Williams
Former World No. 1 has battled unfavorable odds to go down in history as a great warrior. But before tennis, the American’s life surrounded her sisters and she wouldn’t want it any different.
Williams said, “Growing up, my parents said, ‘Your best friends are your sisters.’ I have four; one younger and three older, and honestly, that’s all I knew. It was the best experience. I was super happy, super naïve, and super oblivious. There was always someone to laugh with, to turn to. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
Moving from Crompton to Florida at the age of 11, she and Serena Williams joined the tennis academy of Rick Macci. Venus expressed that the change is the reason she couldn’t understand or be more aware of her community then. Today, the Williams sisters have 4 Olympic Gold medals–three as a doubles team and one as singles each.
“Ton of work that went behind it”: Williams
According to Venus, their father Richard Williams had a plan in place for her and Serena. The success did not come in a day as they both relentlessly worked to become the best. Combined, the Williams sisters have 30 Grand Slam titles – 23 of them belong to the younger sister Serena.
“I remember he was telling my aunt, his sister, ‘My girls are great. They’re going to be champions’,” Venus said. Their father’s dream cannot become truer than it is. She added, “I believed what he told me; when you’re five years old, you believe your parents. There was a ton of work that went behind it.”
The Williams sisters might appear as a doubles team in the opening Grand Slam of 2021. They both have won the Australian Open on four occasions – 2001, 2003, 2009, and 2016. Their latest major title came at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.