Williams, Venus Ebone Starr
Venus turned pro at 14, reached the finals of the U.S. Open in 1997, and won her first Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles championship in 1998. She captured her first Grand Slam events in 2000, winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, as well as the Olympic gold medal in women's singles. In 2001, Venus successfully defended her Wimbledon and U.S. titles. In the U.S. Open she defeated Serena in the first sisters' championship since 1884; it was the first time that two African-Americans competed for the title. Venus won Wimbledon again in 2005, 2007, and 2008, when she again faced her sister in the final. In 2016 she won Olympic silver in the mixed doubles (with Rajeev Ram).
Serena turned pro in 1995, and four years later she won her first WTA singles title. The same year she captured her first Grand Slam event, winning the U.S. Open. During the next two years Venus was in the ascendancy, but in 2002 Serena bested her older sister three times to win the French and U.S. opens and Wimbledon. In 2003, Serena defeated Venus to win her first Australian Open and second Wimbledon titles. Serena won the Australian Open again in 2005, 2007, 2009?10, 2015, and 2017 (defeating Venus in the final), the U.S. Open in 2008 and 2012?14, Wimbledon in 2009 (defeating Venus in the final), 2010, 2012, and 2015?16, and the French Open in 2013 and 2015. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, surpassing Steffi Graf's Open-era record. Also, in 2012, Serena won Olympic gold in women's singles.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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