The Williams sisters: The cream returns to the strawberries

Venus Williams: “I think Serena just showed that once you’re a champion, you’re always a champion, as long as you’re always willing to believe in yourself.”

June 26, 2011 06:25
2 minute read.
SERENA WILLIAMS easily handled Shahar Pe’er yester

Serena Williams smashing tennis ball 311. (photo credit: Michel Spingler/AP)

LONDON – It’s hard to think of two players who polarize the tennis-loving public more than the Williams sisters.

You can’t remain indifferent towards Serena and Venus – you either love them or you hate them.

However, even those who cannot stand the brashness and often outrageousness of the Americans must be grateful to have the two back fit at Wimbledon.

Women’s tennis without the Williams sisters is a little like the strawberries without the cream.

Good, depending on the season, but not quite tantalizingly delicious.

After a year spent battling a serious foot injury and then suffering life-threatening blood clots, the usually stoic Serena broke into tears following her first round win over Aravane Rezai, admitting that she was overjoyed to be back winning on Centre Court at Wimbledon after being sidelined for 49 weeks.

Like her younger sister, Venus also made her return at Eastbourne two weeks ago, playing in her first tournament in more than four months, while Serena was in action for the first time since last year’s Wimbledon final.

Neither really impressed in the tune-up event, but both are slowly working their way into match fitness at the All England Club, and after securing their place in the second week of Wimbledon by reaching the fourth round, a fifth all-Williams final at SW19 is looking more and more like a strong possibility.

“Throughout the last 12 months, I’ve been through a lot of things that’s not normal,” said Serena, a 13-time Grand Slam winner who is the defending champion at Wimbledon.

“So it’s just been a long, arduous road. To stand up still is pretty awesome.

“If you believe in yourself, you just continue to fight and never give up. I always preach, you know, never give up, never give up. I finally was in a position that I could have gave up, I couldn’t have came here, I could have sat home and said, I’ve had a fabulous career I don’t have to work extra, extra hard now.

“But it just really goes to show if you don’t give up, you still have a chance.”

Love them or hate them, you can’t help but be thankful that the Williams sisters are back.

We may not still feel this way if the two produce yet another dreary final or alienate even more fans by seemingly showing more care for what they wear than how they play, but for the time being it is nice to have the cream back with the strawberries.

“I think Serena just showed that once you’re a champion, you’re always a champion, as long as you’re always willing to believe in yourself,” Venus said of her sister, but essentially also spoke of herself. “Regardless of what happened to her off the court, whatever it was, she still believes in herself. I think that’s a good role model for anyone, regardless of what they’re trying to achieve.”

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