When Serena Williams and Venus Williams Lost to a Male Tennis Player at Australian Open

Published 01/19/2021, 7:43 AM EST
Serena Williams of The United States is congratulated by her sister and opponant Venus Williams of The United States following their ladies singles third round match on Day Five of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Tennis greats, Serena Williams and Venus Williams have taken women’s tennis to great heights. Over the years, they’ve battered their opponents and still continue to do so. The pair has won 30 Grand Slam titles (Serena’s 23 and Venus’ 7) apart from 14 doubles Majors. 

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Over their long and illustrious careers, there have been a few peculiar incidents and instances. Once, both sisters lost to a particular player on the same day.

During the 1998 Australian Open, a German tennis player, Karsten Braasch beat both sisters during their matches played in a light moment. Karsten was ranked around the 200-mark in the world. 

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Serena Williams (R) of the USA celebrates with her father Richard Williams and sister Venus Williams after her Ladies’ Singles final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2012, in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Serena Williams and Venus Williams Were Convinced They Could Beat a Male Player

Braasch recently spoke about the event and recalled how it came to be.

“It was 1998 Australian Open and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, had seen some of the male players practicing. On the basis of what they saw, they were convinced that they could beat a man ranked around 200 in the world and wanted to set up a game. I didn’t take much persuading, it seemed like a fun thing to do.”

The German player reflected on the match he played against Serena and stated, “My first game of the afternoon, just a one-set match, was against Serena. We were out on one of the backcourts at Melbourne Park, No 17 I think it was. I felt so relaxed that I didn’t even warm up properly. We started playing and I raced into a 5-0 lead.”

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“It Never Happened!”

“At this point, Venus turned up to watch. She had just finished a press conference after a quarter-final loss against Lindsey Davenport. In the end, I won my game against Serena 6-1 but by the time we were at the net shaking hands, Venus was on the court, ready to have a go against me as well. The game against Venus was very similar. I ended up winning 6-2.”

Although Karsten won the match, it was played with a light intent. Nonetheless, he remembered meeting Venus again later in the future. He recollected that moment and stated, “I saw Venus a few months later at the French Open she came up to me with a big smile on her face and said, ‘You know that thing in Australia – it never happened!”

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It’s been over 20 years since this episode took place. As of today, both sisters are preparing themselves for the Australian Open 2021.

DIVE DEEPER

Serena Williams and Venus Williams Start Training in Adelaide Ahead of Australian Open 2021

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Rohan Kollare

1193 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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