Serena and Venus Williams gave rise to intense rivalry. In fact, they clashed 30 times, 9 of which in a Grand Slam final. Both Williams sisters have been ranked World No. 1: Venus for a total of 11 weeks, beginning in February 2002; Serena for a total of 316 weeks, beginning in July 2002.
The Williams sisters are the only two women during the open era to play each other in four consecutive Grand Slam finals: from the 2002 French Open to the 2003 Australian Open. Serena won all four of these finals. Venus has won 49 singles titles over the course of her career, and Serena has won 72.
The two sisters remain personally very close. They have won 22 titles when playing doubles together, including 14 Grand Slam titles and 3 Olympic gold medals. The Williams legacy can also arguably be seen in the increased representation of African Americans among tennis professionals and new players, though their representation among professionals still remains small.
A third of all new players at the grass-roots level are either African American or Hispanic, a fact to which the USTA’s president Jane Brown Grimes says, “I can’t help but think that Venus and Serena are drivers behind that”
The 23-time Grand Slam champion had a half-sister named Yetunde Price. She was very close to her and sadly in 2003, Yetunde was murdered by members of a gang. “It was a real dark time for me. I went through depression. I never even talked about it to my mom. Nobody knew that I was in therapy but I was. I was so close to my sister” – the former World number 1 said.