I am sure the tennis elite laughed at Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, when he put together his masterplan years ago to make his two little girls tennis champions back in Compton.
And, you can bet those in the tennis elite were saying Richard Williams was a damn fool. Sure, his kids were good athletes, but they could never be great tennis players, especially with him trying to teach them the game.
Richard Williams really didn’t even know how to play himself. He learned tennis from some guy named ‘Old Whiskey’. One of his drills for Venus and Serena was to take boxing lessons. Boxing lesson, for tennis?
Richard Williams must have been crazy.
Well, who is laughing now? And whose family is crazy rich? Richard Williams’ masterplan to build two tennis champions is a masterpiece.
The boxing lessons, which gave the sisters great hand eye coordination, and all the other lessons of tennis techniques, and mental toughness, paid off.
Venus and Serena Williams have dominated the world of tennis for nearly 20 years. Venus has 49 victories, seven majors, and 14 major doubles titles. Serena has 70 victories, 22 majors, and 14 doubles titles. They also have three Olympic Gold medals, and their net worth is more than $200 million.
Their most recent triumph was Saturday at Wimbledon, when Serena won her seventh Wimbledon title. Then, later that same day, Serena teamed with Venus, to win the Wimbledon Doubles title for the sixth time.
I mean, this dynamic duo are simply ridiculous. Serena is arguably the greatest player ever, and Venus is a top 10 all-time player, and a future hall of famer.
At Wimbledon, where British aristocracy, majesty and grandeur reign, these two young ladies from the city of Compton, ruled.
At the trophy presentation after their victory in the Doubles finals, it would have been appropriate, if NWA’s searing, ‘Straight Out Of Compton’ soundtrack was blasting in the background.
It would only be fitting, especially since 16-years ago Richard Williams yelled “Straight out of Compton!” when Venus captured her first major in 2000.
Richard Williams, 74, was born in 1942 in Shreveport, La., grew up in poverty. He was abandoned by his father, and loved by his mother. It was a difficult life. He had to fight, steal, and deal with the Jim Crow laws and the Klansmen. He learned to be tough, and determined, and he trained his daughters to be that way. And you see those qualities in their competitive fight on the court.
The beautiful thing about the Williams sisters is they are unapologetically black. That is certainly the influence of both their parents, Richard and Oracene. Their blackness comes through in their style, be it their cornrow braids, beads, afros. They are not afraid to be the people their parents raised them to be.
And, they are not afraid to address issues of the black community, and take a stand.
When Richard was the target of racial epithets at the 2001 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA., Serena boycotted the event for 14 years, before returning last year. Venus boycotted the event for 15 years, returning earlier this year. Venus and Serena Williams have been equally successful in the world of business, as well.
The two sisters are forging a model future professional athletes can learn from.
It’s all just a part of Richard Williams’ masterplan.