Why are the Williams sisters important?

Serena Williams (1981–) and sister Venus Ebony Starr Williams (1980–) became the first black women’s team to succeed at the U.S. Open in 1999. That same year Serena became the first black woman to win the U.S. Open since 1958, when Althea Gibson won. In 2001 Venus won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She also achieved the top spot at the Women’s Tennis Association’s world ranking in 2002, becoming the first black player with a number-one rating since 1975, when Arthur Ashe held that honor. Together and singularly, the Williams sisters continued to win champions and achieve fame. In 2012 Serena became a four-time winner of the U.S. Open and won gold in women’s singles at the London Olympics. She recaptured the world’s number-one ranking in women’s tennis in February 2013, and became a five-time winner of the U.S. Open in September of that year.


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