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Venus Williams

Serena Dominates In 2002

In 2002, it was Serena's turn to shine. Although she had to skip the singles competition at the Australian Open because of a sprained ankle, Serena won the other three Grand Slam tournaments—the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open—that year. Venus also did well, but all her wins came at second-tier tournaments, including the Gold Coast, Paris Indoors, Antwerp, Amelia Island, Stanford, San Diego, and New Haven. The sisters teamed up to win the doubles title at the 2002 Australian Open, a feat they duplicated again in January 2003, marking the sixth Grand Slam doubles win by the Williams sisters. In the Australian Open's singles final, Venus faced off against Serena, but once again Serena triumphed, taking the last four of the Grand Slam tournaments to complete what fans were calling the "Serena Slam."


1980 Born in Lynwood, California, on June 17
1991 Moves with family to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
1991 Begins training in tennis at Ric Macci's academy in Delray Beach, Florida
1994 Makes professional debut in October at Oakland, California
1999 Enrolls at Art Institute of Florida to study interior design

Related Biography: Coach Ric Macci

One of the most influential forces in shaping the careers of Venus and Serena Williams, apart from their father, has been Ric Macci, who runs a world-famous tennis academy in Florida. Since 1980 Macci has been coaching some of the most promising young tennis players from around the world including Jennifer Capriati and Any Roddick.

In the summer of 1991, Richard Williams contacted Macci and asked him to come to Compton to meet Venus and assess her potential as a tennis player. In an interview with David Higdon of Tennis magazine, Macci recalled Williams' request and his subsequent trip to California. "I hear it all the time: 'I've got the next Jennifer [Capriati].' Richard said he'd like to meet me but the only thing he could promise me was that I wouldn't get shot. All I could think of was: 'Who is this guy?'" Upon his arrival in Compton, Macci was driven by Williams to the local municipal park where Venus and sister Serena practiced tennis under their father's guidance. "There must have been 30 guys there already playing basketball and another 20 lying on the grass passed out."

After playing a few games with Venus, Macci remained unimpressed. But then, as he told Higdon, Venus asked "to go to the bathroom and as she walks out the gate, she walks at least 10 yards on her hands. Then she went into these backward cartwheels for another 10 yards. I'm watching this and the first thing I thought was: 'I've got a female Michael Jordan on my hands.'" Soon thereafter Venus and Serena, who had moved with their family to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, began training at Macci's academy in Delray Beach. The academy has since been relocated to nearby Pompano Beach.

Away from the tennis court, Venus studies interior design at the Art Institute of Florida. She's already opened her own interior design company—V Starr Interiors—with branches in both Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida. When not playing tennis or tending to her business, Williams likes to visit art galleries, particularly

Venus Williams

enjoying the work of young, emerging artists. In addition to her interior design business, Venus designs a line of women's leather apparel, called the Venus Williams Collection, for Wilson's Leather. She shares her Florida home with a pet dog named Bobby. When she leaves tennis, Venus hopes to continue her careers in interior design and fashion design and also try her hand at choreography.

A tennis phenom since she was a pre-teen, Venus Williams continues to thrill tennis fans around the world. She and sister Serena have each held the number one ranking back and forth between themselves, clearly dominating the women's tennis scene. Asked about her personal formula for success, Venus told Sports Illustrated: "I think you have to believe in yourself and never give up and one day you'll make it."

Awards and Accomplishments

1997 Ranking climbs from 211 to 64 by year's end
1998 Wins first singles title at IGA Tennis Classic
1998 Defeats Patty Schnyder to win Grand Slam Cup
1999 Teams with sister Serena to win doubles title at French Open
1999 Ranked among top 10 in women's tennis, along with sister Serena
2000 Wins gold in singles and doubles at Sydney Olympics
2000 Wins first Grand Slam at Wimbledon by defeating Lindsay Davenport
2001 Successfully defends Wimbledon title by defeating Justine Henin in final
2002 Beats Henin in three finals: Gold Coast, Antwerp, Amelia Island
2002 Wins final at Open Gaz de France by beating Jelena Dokic

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTennisVenus Williams Biography - Compton Childhood, Attends Ric Macci's Academy, Makes Her Debut At French Open, Turns Tables On Hingis - CONTACT INFORMATION