"We knew they were going to be successful from when they were 9 or 10"- Sister Isha Price on Venus and Serena Williams

Venus/Serena at the 1999 US Open
Venus/Serena at the 1999 US Open
Gauri Awasthi

Isha Price, the older sister of Venus and Serena Williams, recently spoke to The Telegraph about her family's belief in the sisters' talent and their dedication to tennis despite growing up in an unfavorable neighborhood in Compton.

During the interview, Isha recalled that she, alongside her sisters Lyndrea and Yetunde Price, knew from early on that Venus and Serena were going to be successful, since the two "really enjoyed" playing the sport as children.

"Us older girls knew that Venus and Serena were going to be successful from when they were nine or 10, because they really enjoyed it so much," Isha Price said. "We just believed it would happen, even though tennis wasn’t a part of the community we grew up in."

The 46-year-old lawyer further talked about how the neighborhood she and her family grew up in was far from ideal. The Californian city of Compton was often subjected to shooting and gun violence back in the day.

Price revealed that her father would often encourage Venus and Serena Williams to focus on tennis and not let the violence distract them.

"There were times [in Compton] when people would drive by and we would hear shooting and just hit the ground," Isha Price continued. "But my dad said that if you can play tennis with gunshots going on in the background, it won’t matter if someone shouts out in the crowd. To him, everything was a lesson. ‘Just tune it all out,’ he would say.”

My mom and dad wanted Serena Williams and I to be champions in life: Venus Williams

Serena Williams and Venus Williams with mother Oracene in 1999
Serena Williams and Venus Williams with mother Oracene in 1999

Venus and Serena Williams recently appeared on 'Red Table Talk', a talk-show hosted by actor Will Smith. The sisters spoke about their parents' teachings and how it helped them forge successful careers.

Venus Williams began by saying that her parents encouraged her and her sisters to tackle whatever adversity came their way. She and Serena Williams, therefore, started approaching tennis the same way they approached life -- refusing to accept defeat and always finding a way to win.

"My mom and dad, they wanted us to be able to handle whatever life came at us," said Venus Williams. "So the way we approached tennis was also how we approached life.
"Like when you get on the court, you never accept defeat you give it your all, you find a way and that translates to life as well. They wanted us to be champions in life and that turned out to be pretty good."

Also check out: Updated Tennis Schedule 2022

Edited by Arvind Sriram

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