Serena and Venus Williams Australian Open 2017

‘We changed the sport!’ – Serena Williams shares how she changed the perception of tennis players

Serena Williams believes she and her sister Venus drastically changed the way tennis operated and changed the expectations and the perception of modern athletes.

Over the past two decades, both Serena and her sister Venus have cemented their places amongst tennis’ all-time greats after such a dominant period in both the singles and doubles.

Serena won a monumental 23 Grand Slam singles titles and is still chasing an elusive 24th that would equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24. Whilst Venus won seven singles Slams. The sisters also joined forces to win a total of 14 Major doubles titles.

Williams has also been extremely active in her off-court activities, namely involving herself in various business ventures and start-ups.

In an interview with American news network CNN, Serena said “we changed it from being two great black champions to being the best ever, period.

“And that’s what we did. We took out colour and we just became the best. Records are proof and that’s what it is.

“We changed the sport, we changed the fashion, we changed how people think, we changed how people think in business,” Serena Williams claimed.

“Before we played tennis, we wanted to do something different [and] it was frowned upon and now I have two amazing companies. One we came to talk about Serena Ventures and all because of what we did to change the sport.

“And now [for] every athlete, it’s almost weird if you’re not doing something else now. It’s like ‘well, why don’t you have a plan B or C?’

“We never looked at it as a colour thing. We knew that we were entering an all-white sport, but for us, it was like we were entering tennis and we are here to win.

“And yeah, we had to play harder, we had to be better, but it made us better and at the end of the day, every time we faced a challenge and every time we overcame that challenge, it created Venus and Serena,” she concluded.

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.