Sunday, August 5, 2012

Congrats Venus and Serena! (Golden Girls Remix)

Deja Vu never looked so good.
Four years ago, I wrote that headline and lead article in the Los Angeles Sentinel after Venus and Serena Williams captured doubles gold in Beijing. Today, it means so much more now that Serena has done what her sister did in 2000 - win double tennis gold at the Olympics.

For Serena, she now has the career Golden Slam. Steffi Graf did in 1988 when she won the Grand Slam and Olympic singles gold in the calendar year. But Serena is the only one to add doubles to that resume, which she already did in 2000 and 2008.

And today, she and her sister have won their third doubles gold medal. A sister act that has continued to grow and add to their accomplishments in spite of their recent adversity.

Last year, Serena had a blood clot in her lungs. 2010, she suffered a serious foot injury that ended her 2010 season in July. Venus found out she had an auto-immune disease in 2011 which forced her to withdraw from the US Open and kept her out of competition until February. The disease drains you of your energy and while Venus has risen back to No. 40, few could have expected her to win any Grand Slam titles, much less a doubles one.

Now here they are again, winning in one of their favorite places. Since 2000, they've won a combined 15 Wimbledon championships (5 individual titles for both and 5 doubles). Earlier this summer, Serena won Wimbledon while they both cleaned house in the doubles match.

Serena finally caught up to Venus with 5 Wimbledon titles and now she has singles gold like her big sis.

Serena beat Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-0 in 63 minutes on Saturday in the singles final. In layman's terms - she destroyed the No. 3 player in the world (the defending French Open champion and Australian Open finalist) like she was ranked No. 300.  The only other active female tennis player was a career Grand Slam was outmatched by someone who's on an entirely different level with her mix of power, focus and precision.

The only question remains is why haven't they gotten more love and appreciation? They've dominated their sport across two different eras. They've won 43 Grand Slam titles. They've been model citizens and icons who showed why life outside of sports help you stay focused in it. Why America hasn't embraced them more while at time been highly critical of them in a way most dominant stars aren't?

Why isn't Richard Williams hailed as a genius for how he steered his daughter's careers? Enough time has passed to give him credit for his vision and drive. Especially as too many Black athletes don't get to see their father praised.

Victory is always sweeter with family

Is it purely rooted in race? Is it turned off by being bold and outspoken? Is it hating the confidence? Either way, they are by far the most successful American tennis players post-Sampras/Agassi and they deserve far more praise what they've done, not just for who they are or are not.

Congrats to two of the greatest tennis players and one of the greatest doubles' teams ever. Sisters United! Golden Girls! The Pride of Compton and inner-city Los Angeles! Now let Serena walk on em like we do out here in LA!

Oh you mad cause I'm stylin on you? 
Oh yeah, for the uninformed White media or non-Los Angeles folks, Crip Walking is not just something gang members do. It's been a mainstream dance for well over a decade. Yes it has gang roots but it's so far removed from that with folks. I don't feel like having a debate I could've had 10 years ago unless you're from L.A. or know gang culture, stop hating on Serena's joy and just embrace her greatness. I'll let my friends at Blak4rest speak the rest.


  1. Great article, I love these girls.

  2. They're awesome beyond words. Winners, stylish, dominant and could probably keep winning for a couple more years (Venus' illness notwithstanding)