20 years ago, things were very different. To name the changes in society would take up another post. But one thing has remained fairly consistent: the dominance of the Williams sisters in tennis. And tonight, the rivalry and influence between Venus and Serena will be on full display during the Australian Open finals.
They have played each other in recent years, so why is this one special? Here’s five reasons to catch you up:
It’s Their First Finals Face Off Since 2009
In recent years there have been showdowns between the sisters in the bigger tournaments. But they haven’t played each other in a major championship since 2009. That was when they met in the finals at Wimbledon, which had happened the year before. But in 2008 Venus emerged victorious, while 2009 belonged to Serena. This rare occurrence is not something that should be passed up.
Both Of Them Have Faced Personal Challenges To Get Here
Venus in recent years has struggled with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that often causes fatigue. Because of that she sometimes struggles during matches, and had to change her health regimen to counter the disease. Serena, while snatching up championships in recent years, also faced a health scare in 2010 when she cut her foot on glass and later had to be hospitalized for a blood clot in her lung.
It’ll Be A Throwback To Their Past
At 35 and 36, Serena and Venus have dominated the sport for nearly 20 years. Venus made her championship debut in 1997, and first faced Serena on a professional level in the 1998 Australian Open. Not only does their latest showdown occur on the stage where their rivalry began, it’s bound to bring out the best in them. Don’t be surprised if they play like it’s 1999.
They Both Have Personal Reasons For Wanting To Win
Venus has not won a championship since 2008, and has never been successful at the Australian Open. Not only has her drought lasted nearly a decade, but at 36 some wonder if she can continue to compete for much longer. As for Serena, she is currently tied with Steffi Graf for the Open era record of 22 major championships. A win here would put her ahead of Graf, but some want her to chase the unofficial Margaret Court record of 24 and go for 25.
But They Will Be Rooting For Each Other
As Serena stated in her semifinal court interview, “A Williams is going to win” the Australian Open. While each have their own reasons for wanting to win, both of them have already succeeded. Not just at that tournament, but in tennis. And in being a support system for each other. Their sisterhood comes before anything, even the sport they love.
The Williams sisters are scheduled to play against each other in the Australian Open tomorrow morning at 3:30 AM.