Williams Beats Williams

Venus Williams beat her kid sister Serena for her fifth Wimbledon trophy Saturday and it was awesome. They both played with heart and skill, but Venus, the best player on grass of her generation, was able to rise to the occasion and get herself a bittersweet victory against Serena. The duo also won their umpteeth doubles title, winning seven grand slam doubles.

While I thrilled in their victory, as I’m sure many hardcore Williams sister fans did, it always irritates me how the Williams sisters aren’t talked about as American tennis stars. Routinely I hear commentators and sports journalists lament the lack of quality American tennis players completely over looking the history making familial duo.

The Williams sisters are treated as women without a country. This despite them being among the best American players, male and female. Andy Roddick and James Blake often fall short, but the Williams sisters, fading in and out of the sport for school and fashion, remain the preeminent athletes of American tennis. They are Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe. They are as influential as Billie Jean King. They are, combined, one Pete Sampras and are doubly more thrilling that he ever was. Venus has as many Wimbledon trophies as legendary Swede Bjorn Borg. And more than Americans John McEnroe and Jimmy Conners.

If they’d played more perhaps they would have towered over the sport for a decade, trading places as one and two and as much as I would have enjoyed that, their careers and their lives were/are of their choosing. At the end of the day they can still beat any woman in their field. They can’t be counted out no matter where they rank or what shape they are in. No one can make assumptions because often to reach the prize you don’t have to get through just one Williams. You have to beat two.

I’m not shocked that Americans would be reluctant to embrace the tough and talented Williamses with their unconventional father and colorful personalities. They are so brilliant and so authentically black Americans that their attitude could be interpreted as smug. They are unconventional and do not do the expected. Yet in spite of this they represent with pride and are looking forward to the Olympic games where they hope to represent their country.

John McEnroe could be a flaming asshole and still be loved by the USA. But for being unique, the Williamses are greeted with criticism and shrugs. To be honest, if American tennis can’t celebrate them, they don’t deserve them. Thank goodness for their fans, black and white, sports lovers or not, who thrill at the feats despite the naysayers who reject a pair of black women who have the audacity to be themselves. A pair of women who do not water it down for the consumption of a jaded and jaundiced tennis watching white populace.

As much as both sisters want to win any time they play each other in a final is a win for every black person every where and it’s a win for America, whether the Americans want to acknowledge it or not.

Others can ignore their greatness. But there’s no denying who they are and where their from. You can take the girls out of Compton, USA but you can’t take Compton out of the girls.

Go westside.

13 thoughts on “Williams Beats Williams

  1. They’re both amazing women and amazing athletes!! :)I sooo can’t wait until the US Open gets started. After YEARS of saying “next time, next time” I finally cracked and grabbed tickets with a friend. August is just around the corner. Should be a good time, indeed.Great blog, by the way!! 🙂

  2. The Williams sisters are great and have it their way in spite of the critics and they still win. Now that’s what I call living.Good for them!

  3. I was just discussing with my husband how under the radar the successes of the Williams sisters have been. I suspect its because they’re unapologetically black women. Our country has a lot of growing up to do. Because there is just too much good news when it comes to African Americans who are doing the damn thing. We are simply feeling ourselves just a little too damn much.Empowerment in action threatens the status quo.

  4. Pulling out cans of whup ass and giving the culture of power the business. They may have the resources thanks to a 400 year head start; but we’ve got spiritual fortitude to make anything happen.

  5. I was just discussing with my husband how under the radar the successes of the Williams sisters have been. I suspect its because they’re unapologetically black women.I agree with this. I’m a Williams Sisters fan. Period.

  6. I love the Williams sisters. On a completely different note, I am wondering why I have never seen TJ Holmes on CNN. I need to find out when he is hosting — might make me tolerate CNN a bit more. Wow!!

  7. I know people are going to get very upset with this, but the main reason why the Williams sisters still get a lack of respect from the media is because…THEY’RE NOT HOT! Let’s be honest here, if they looked like Kerry Washington or Naomi Campbell (or real light skinned like Rihanna) they would be on the cover of every magazine in the world. Look at Ebony. Just after all these years they finally put Serena on the cover of the magazine last month, and the magazine is NOTORIOUS for not having dark skinned people on the cover. (I know for a fact from insiders that at editorial meetings certain celebrities have been rejected because they’re considered too dark skinned for the cover of the magazine)Also they have a rough, “mannish”, unfeminine quality about them. Yeah, that’s unfair but that’s the way of the world

  8. It has nothing to do with looks, Venus and Serena are act like normal black women, they are not stereotypes. They are not the mammie or the sappyhire so the media doesn’t know what to do with them. Kerry Washington is not on the cover of a lot of magazines and doesn’t get a lot of starring roles for the same reason and Naomi is a model her job is to be on the cover of magazines so you can’t compare her w/ someone who is not in the modeling industry. Rihanna gets a lot of attention b/c of her looks but has no respect in her profession of singing. How does someone who had multiple #1’s and tons of exposure only sell 1 million records. She is known more for a hair cut then her music, not to mention she dresses like a dominatrix now.

  9. If it was Venus and Serena’s looks that prevent them from getting the attention they deserve, how do you explain all the love and attention that the tennis world keeps heaping on two of the Plainest Jane Americans – Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati?

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