Who is Venus Williams?
Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player. She is regarded as one of the all-time greats in the field of tennis and is credited, along with her sister Serena, with bringing in a new era in women’s tennis. She also a firm believer in equal prize money for male and female players. In 2007, her hard work resulted in the French Open and Wimbeldon awarding their winners equal prize money regardless of gender.
Where did she grow up?
Venus Williams was born on 17th June 1980 in Lynwood, California to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. She is the 4th of 5 daughters born to Oracene and her younger sister Serena is also a world champion. When the sisters moved from Lynwood to West palm Beach in order to continue their tennis training at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy, the coach saw the talent in both sisters and nurtured their game. However due to disagreements with the girls’ father, he stopped coaching them. Venus’ father took over all the coaching from then on.
Venus has a legacy outside of tennis as well. Following the footsteps of former professional tennis star Billie Jean King, Venus is a big proponent of equal prize money for men and women. Before 2007 Wimbledon and The French Open awarded women athletes less prize money than their male equivalents. It was only after Venus Williams published a letter to the times arguing why women and men should be awarded the same amount of prize money, Wimbledon and The French open finally gave way in 2007. It was Venus herself who took the prize home that year- the same amount as her male equal Roger Federer.
What are some of her achievements?
- Has won 4 Olympic gold medals (1 in singles and 3 in doubles)
- Has won an Olympic silver medals in mixed doubles.
- Has won 7 Grand Slam titles.
- 49 singles titles under her belt.
The efforts Billie Jean King were largely left unnoticed after Venus succeeded in getting Wimbledon and The French Open to treat men and women equally. Can you find out more about this 16-time Grand Slam champion?
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