‘I wouldn’t be here without them’ explains ATP star on Venus and Serena
Venus and Serena Williams have inspired people the world over, including this ATP talent who cites their influence on him.
ATP number 38 Frances Tiafoe asserts that without what Venus and Serena Williams have achieved in their careers he would not be a professional tennis player.
The 23-year-old American no doubt watched both sisters claim many of their combined 30 Slam singles titles and Olympic gold medals.
“The name of the Williams [sisters] is so important, even more so in the African-American community,” Frances Tiafoe told L’Equipe.
“Without what they have achieved, I would never have entered the world of tennis.
“Earlier, apart from them, there were no other [black] players. What they have also succeeded in bringing, in their wake, are the Sloane Stephens, the Coco Gauffs.”
With her rise to world number one, Venus became the first black women to top the WTA rankings since they began in 1975.
Serena followed soon after, and has since registered 319 weeks in the top spot, third all-time on the WTA behind Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf.
Sloane Stephens won the US Open in 2017, defeating another player of African-American heritage in Madison Keys in the final.
Coco Gauff burst into the tennis mainstream by defeating none other than Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon 2019 as a 15-year-old when Venus was 39.
She now sits at 22nd in the WTA rankings while still only being 17 years old, recording her career best Slam result this season by reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros.
Currently recovering from injury, Serena is looking to return to court at the Australian Open in January.
It would be her 21st appearance in Melbourne and 80th singles Slam appearance overall.
Meanwhile, now ranked 314th in the world, 41-year-old Venus would need to rely on a wildcard to play the event.
That would be her 22nd Melbourne appearance and 91st singles Slam appearance overall.
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