“Makes Me Calm and Confident”: Serena Williams Opens Up on Sister Venus’ Support at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/14/2021, 4:30 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Loren Elliott


Slam Queen Serena Williams has opened up about how she draws inspiration from elder sister Venus Williams’ presence in the stands when she is battling it out on the court.

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The elder Williams was spotted willing her younger sibling on as she fought off a determined challenge from World Number 7 Aryna Sabalenka on Sunday.

Williams received support from sister Venus Williams from the stands at the Australian Open on Sunday

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After losing the opening set in the highly anticipated pre-quarters clash, the Belarussian stormed back into contention after breezing through the second.

However, bringing all her experience to the fore, the 23-time Grand Slam champion recovered to take the final set and the match 64, 2-6, 6-4.

Speaking to reporters after sealing a berth in the final eight, Serena revealed that the presence of her sister brings a calming influence to her game and gives her the belief to come out of tight corners in a contest.

The 39-year-old added that Venus’ voice is, perhaps, the only ones she actually hears in play and it has the power to help through difficult phases in a match.

Serena Williams says Venus Williams’ voice is one of the only ones she hears in play

“I know when I hear her voice, it makes me calm and confident,” Serena said, adding, “There’s just something about it that makes me feel really good.”

A year older than Serena, at 40, Venus fell to a straight-set defeat to Sara Errani in the second round after recording an impressive 7-5 6-2 win over Kirsten Flipkens in her opening tie.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. in action during her fourth round match against Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

However, putting aside the disappointment of her exit in a tournament she has never won in numerous attempts, Venus put her lung power to good use from her stands as she willed her sister on during the tricky clash against Sabalenka.

The elder Williams came close to lifting the title in 2017 but ran into her in-form sibling who beat her hands down to win her 7th Australian Open title and her career’s 23rd, going past Steffi Graf’s haul of 22.

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Serena is gunning to end her 3-year wait to add to her Grand Slam tally, which would get her level with the legendary Margaret Court’s career Grand Slam haul of 24, the highest across the men’s and women’s fields.

The 39-year-old has looked unstoppable, so far, and even when she was pushed to a corner as happened during the Sabalenka clash on Sunday, she summoned her inner strength to come out on the winning side.

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“Hadn’t Reached My Peak”: Serena Williams Reflects on Her Tough Win Over Aryna Sabalenka at Australian Open 2021

3 months ago

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

845 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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