“Wouldn’t Allow Himself or His Family to Be Broken”: Serena Williams Reveals How Her Father Broke the Barriers

Published 09/28/2021, 6:00 AM EDT
372178 06: FILE PHOTO: Richard Williams, center, with his daughters Venus, left, and Serena 1991 in Compton, CA. Serena and Venus Williams will be playing against each other for the first time July 6, 2000 in the tennis semifinals at Wimbledon. (Photo by Paul Harris/Online USA)


Venus Williams and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis athletes in the world. But the iconic sisters credit a large part of their success to their father, Richard Williams. The now 79-year-old man once single-handedly stood up against all odds and chased his dream ferociously. What followed was that he became an inspiration for the world to learn from.

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According to the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, Richard “was and still is way before his time.” And being different comes with its own set of obstacles. However, her father took on that challenge and did everything to keep his family from breaking down.

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Serena Williams on her father, Richard Williams

Richard Williams dreamt of both her daughters as tennis greats even before they were born. Moreover, he stuck to his plan and denied the traditional path to reach the top. On their journey together, many people became hindrances but the determined father was already ready for all of it.

“You see, when someone is different—when they don’t act or look how a person assumed they would—the first reaction is often fear. They think, How do we break them? My dad anticipated that, but he would not allow himself or his family to be broken,” Serena said.

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)

Even today, Richard goes to every practice with the seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams. Indeed, he is a living example of driving your children to becoming their best possible selves. 

Warner Bros. decided to bring his story to the big screen, under the title, ‘King Richard.’ American actor Will Smith will play the role of Richard, the father of the legendary Williams sisters.

Watch this story: Alexander Zverev, John McEnroe, and Other Top Tennis Stars Fun Moments at Laver Cup 2021

Venus and Serena defied all odds in tennis like their father

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From a very young age, both Williams sisters did wonders with tennis racquets. It didn’t take much time before they became international sensations.

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)

Together, Venus and Serena have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and three Olympic gold medals. But that wasn’t it. What’s most interesting is that the two continue to pursue their dreams on a tennis court at 41 and 40 years old, respectively.

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Fans never want to see a day when Venus and Serena are no longer on the WTA Tour. Hopefully, they will keep playing and bringing joy to millions of fans around the world for as long as possible.

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Purav Joshi

1250 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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