Serene Williams, Venus Williams, African American Athlete, Black Athlete, Richard Williams, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Serena and Venus may be tennis excellence personified, but don’t forget Richard – The Undefeated The sisters are the most accomplished sports siblings in history thanks in large part to the courage and fire of their father


Serena Williams was gathering her things to walk off the court after her 6-2 6-3 victory over Johanna Konta on Jan. 25 when Rennae Stubbs, who conducted the postmatch interview, said something to the crowd that just didn’t sound right.

“Ladies and gentlemen, world No. 2, Serena Williams.”

“It’s about saying, ‘I am American just as you are,’” Ahmed told the Guardian after returning to New York from Washington, where she took part in Saturday’s huge protest march. “I am American and I am Muslim, and I am very proud of both.”

Serene Williams, Venus Williams, African American Athlete, Black Athlete, Richard Williams, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Serene Williams, Venus Williams, African American Athlete, Black Athlete, Richard Williams, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images

Serene Williams, Venus Williams, African American Athlete, Black Athlete, Richard Williams, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Caryn Levy for Sports Illustrated

Serene Williams, Venus Williams, African American Athlete, Black Athlete, Richard Williams, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

Serene Williams, Venus Williams, African American Athlete, Black Athlete, Richard Williams, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | AP Photo/Mic Smith, File



Richard Williams (born February 16, 1942) is an American tennis coach, and father of Venus and Serena Williams.

Williams was one of six children and the only son of Julia Mae Williams of Shreveport, Louisiana.

Richard graduated from high school, moved to Chicago, and eventually to California, where he met Betty Johnson, whom he married in 1965. They had three daughters and three sons before divorcing in 1973. In 1979 Williams met Oracene Price, who had three daughters by her late husband. They married in 1980 after Venus was born, and lived for a time in Saginaw, Michigan, but eventually moved to Compton.

He took tennis lessons from a man known as “Old Whiskey” and decided his future daughters would be tennis professionals when he saw Virginia Ruzici playing on television. Williams says that he wrote up a 78-page plan, and started giving lessons to Venus and Serena when they were four and a half, and began taking them to the public tennis courts. (He now says he feels like he took them too early, and six is a better age.) Soon he got them into Shreveport tennis tournaments. In 1995, Williams pulled them out of a tennis academy, and coached them himself.

Serena won the US Open in 1999; Venus beat Lindsay Davenport to win the 2000 Wimbledon title. After that victory, Richard shouted “Straight Outta Compton!” (in reference to a song by N.W.A based on that area in Los Angeles) and jumped over the NBC broadcasting booth, catching Chris Evert by surprise and performing a triumphant dance. Evert said that the broadcasters “thought the roof was coming down”. (Wikipedia).