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Venus Williams Biography

Compton Childhood, Attends Ric Macci's Academy, Makes Her Debut At French Open, Turns Tables On HingisCONTACT INFORMATION

1980-

American tennis player

Venus Williams' route to superstardom in professional tennis was quite unlike that of most of her fellow players, the majority of whom learned the game from pros at country clubs or expensive tennis academies. Venus and younger sister Serena Williams practiced their tennis basics in a city torn by gang warfare, Compton, California, playing the game on municipal courts. Coached by their father, Richard, the girls showed a natural aptitude for the game and quickly advanced to amateur competition. When Venus made her professional debut in October 1994, Robin Flinn of the New York Times called her "the most unorthodox tennis prodigy her sport has ever seen." Venus, older than sister Serena by about 15 months, was the first to soar to the top of the world women's rankings, and she has stayed firmly entrenched at the top of the game ever since. In the opening years of the new millennium, the sisters were trading the number one ranking back and forth. It became almost a given that the sisters would face off against each other in the finals of the major tournaments on the women's tour. Surprisingly, despite the increased competition between the sisters, Venus and Serena remained as close as ever, the winner comforting her losing sibling after every major tournament in which they played against each other. A striking figure, standing more than 6 feet tall, Venus remains in firm control of her game. Despite a flurry of rumors that she was considering pulling out of the game, she continues to play and play well, handily defeating most comers, except little sister Serena, who has been on the winning side more often than Venus.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Address: c/o Women's Tennis Association, 133 First St. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

Sketch by Don Amerman

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsTennis