‘A Shield for His Daughters’- Will Smith on How ‘King’ Richard Acted as a Safety Valve for Venus and Serena Williams

Published 04/24/2022, 1:00 PM EDT
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)

Venus and Serena Williams have been the torchbearers of women’s tennis. The sisters have remained an inspiration for millions of people around the world. The legendary sisters ruled the WTA tour for decades and also won multiple grand slam titles. This would not have been possible had it not been for their father Richard Williams and his resilience towards training his daughters to become the best.

16 Jan 1998: Teenage tennis sisters from America, Venus (left) and Serena Williams take time off a practise session to pose together during the Adidas International event at White City in Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Clive Brunskill/Allsport

Ethics of Richard Williams

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Will Smith, the starring actor in ‘King Richard’, talked about Richard’s message for his girls before they went into the court. The actor played the role of Richard Williams in the movie and talked about it in a pre-Oscars interview.

“We will go out here and we will compete. But, we won’t be humble or we not going to do it. I thought that that was a really powerful idea coz I think, when you think of Richard Williams, you don’t think of humility. The idea that the importance of humility is like, we can’t be out here being arrogant and for ourselves”.

The same humbleness is something that is still evident in the two players even now. Whenever either of them steps onto the court, their poise and dignity thrills the heart of everyone in the crowd.

LONDON – JULY 02: Richard Williams, father and coach of Serena Williams, show his emotion during her Women’s Singles fourth round match between Serena Williams of USA and Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 2, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The legendary actor realized that it had a deeper meaning apart from only making Venus and Serena better human beings.

“And that gave me an insight into, he was actually doing it as a shield for his daughters. Right, he was going out and taking the brunt to shield his daughters. Of course, there was a part of him that enjoyed it a little bit. But, the idea of ‘we’re going to be humble or we not going to do it’ I just thought that was a very very powerful concept to send these girls out into the world with.”

DIVE DEEPER: ‘We’re Constantly in Touch’ – Lewis Hamilton Dishes Out Details About His Mega Partnership With Serena Williams

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Venus and Serena Williams on-court

The movie depicts the role of Mr. Richard in shaping up the career of his daughters. He contributed to their initial training phase and helped them realize their potential and follow their dreams.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 07: Serena Williams (R) of the USA celebrates with her father Richard 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 Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Coming to tennis, Serena has been taking a break from tennis after her unfortunate fall during the first-round match at Wimbledon last year. The American dropped hints of being a part of the Wimbledon Championships this year. She will most likely be joined by Venus and if all goes well, the iconic sister duo might just play doubles together.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Endearing moments of Serena Williams with daughter Olympia

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Shivali Sharma

236 articles

Shivali Sharma is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. She has pursued her Master's in history from Himachal University, but her love for the game has driven her to write about tennis. Shivali is a huge fan of Naomi Osaka and admires Osaka not only for her on-court performances, but also for her off-court actions.

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