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Serena Williams calls Venus Williams her "hero", says her sister paved the way for Black tennis players

Venus (R) and Serena Williams at the 2012 Olympics.
Venus (R) and Serena Williams at the 2012 Olympics.
Vedant Chandel
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Serena Williams recently sat down for a detailed interview with Entertainment Weekly, where she discussed the impending release of 'King Richard', a film based on her father's life. Also present in the interview were Serena Williams' sister Venus Williams and actor Will Smith, who plays the duo's father on screen.

Serena Williams said the film told the story of her sister's life more than anything else. The 23-time Slam champion pointed out that Venus had a huge impact on the sport as she was the first Black female tennis player to succeed on the big stage.

Serena conceded that she would not have accomplished what she has, had it not been for Venus's path-breaking career.

"I feel like the film actually tells her story, in a way that no one can ever really tell what she went through in being the first Black player to really step out there," Serena said.
"You see the impact that it has had and all the people that are coming up after myself and Venus," she continued. "There would be no Serena if there wasn't a Venus."
Venus (left) and Serena Williams in 1998.
Venus (left) and Serena Williams in 1998.

Serena Williams further hailed Venus as her "hero", saying she had always wanted to emulate her older sister on and off the court.

The 40-year-old added that even though she followed in Venus' footsteps almost immediately, it was the older sister who "burst open" the doors for young Black athletes like herself.

"[Venus] was my hero and she still is my hero," Serena Williams said. She'll do something and I'm like, 'I'm doing that too. She's still my hero, she really was able to open the way for me and go through doors."
"Even though I was right behind her, it's still if you think about opening the door, [for] the second person it's a lot easier," she added. "Venus is so humble, she doesn't really take credit for that. She burst open that door and I ran through."

I was also watching her and learning - Venus Williams on being pushed by Serena Williams

Serena (L) and Venus Williams at the BNP Paribas Open.
Serena (L) and Venus Williams at the BNP Paribas Open.

Venus Williams reciprocated her sister's praise, saying that she learned a lot from watching Serena over the course of her career

The seven-time Grand Slam champion also expressed her delight at the way that 'King Richard' portrays her relationship with Serena. Venus said she was delighted that the film managed to capture their innocence, before re-emphasing the "symbiotic" bond that she shares with Serena.

"I love that it captured the innocence—the innocence we still hang on to, actually," Venus Williams said. "It's kind of difficult for me to say, 'Oh, this film shows me.' Because me is Serena. Me is my sisters."
"And there's no me without her, she continued. "And I could have never done what I've been able to achieve on the court without her because I was also watching her and learning. It's so symbiotic."

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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