The release of the biographical film 'King Richard' has provided Serena and Venus Williams with plenty of opportunity to reminisce and reflect on their long and illustrious careers.
Told from the perspective of Richard Williams, Serena and Venus' father, the film focuses on the legendary duo's formative years. It also includes a few significant on-court moments that seemingly shaped both Serena and Venus' personalities.
In a recent interview with USA Today, Venus Williams recalled a match she played against Arantxa Sanchez Vicario at the age of 14. Making her debut at the Bank of the West Classic tournament, Venus led the then-World No. 2 by a set and a break. However, the Spaniard took a bathroom break while trailing 1-3 in the second set, following which Venus "fell apart".
"[I didn't know] twhat I was doing," Williams recalled. "I mean, I had a huge lead. She took a bathroom break and I fell apart.”
"I was young," she continued. "Take a break on me now, it's like, 'Great! You can keep going.' But at the time, would I have won that match without the break? You can't ever say. But probably."
Venus Williams lost 11 straight games and ended up falling to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 defeat. The American said she remembers being devastated after the match, which, according to her, she should have won.
Venus was, however, quick to add that she took away some important lessons from the loss. She said the match gave her the motivation to keep on improving and also taught her not to be too hard on herself.
"I just remember distinctly thinking, ‘Gosh, I should have won that match. I shouldn't be going home'," she said. "And I knew I had to improve myself. I think that's what I took out of it. It wasn't anything I ever said to anyone, but inside, I knew that I should have won. So I guess I was hard on myself at the time."
"I [was] pleased with her performance, but also happy that she lost" - Father Richard on Venus Williams' loss
Richard Williams, who introduced his daughters to the sport of tennis, had a slightly different impression of Venus Williams' loss to Sanchez Vicario.
Richard said while he was "pleased" with his daughter's performance, he was also "glad" that she lost. He reasoned that the encounter allowed the then-14-year-old Venus Williams to take some extra time off tennis and enjoy being a teenager.
"I’m pleased with her performance, but I’m also happy that she lost,” Richard Williams said after the match. “It gives us a chance to go home and let her be a 14-year-old for the rest of the year."
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Venus Williams and Father Richard recall one match that 7-time Grand Slam champion "should have won"