Venus & Serena Williams

The Williams sisters have come into their own, and show no signs of easing up on their domination of tennis

The powerful–perhaps iconic–photo by Damon Winter (above) that accompanies John Jeremiah Sullivan’s feature “Venus and Serena Against The World”:

With Venus and Serena, Oracene [Williams, their mother] said, “it’s almost like they were raised on the court.” She remembers Serena as a toddler, off to the side while they played. Oracene noticed early that something was different about their game. “They still weren’t as athletic as me,” she said — a thing you learn quickly about Oracene is that she says exactly what she means and never says anything she doesn’t mean, to a degree that can be intimidating and even seem aggressive until you realize that it isn’t negatively charged, she’s just very unto herself — “but I did notice one thing: they had a natural swing. That’s what I looked for first.” She didn’t elaborate on that, but I knew what she meant — the pop. It was the unquantifiable kinesiology of the pop. These two new daughters had it. (Richard would later claim that they were engineered for it, by an express and all but eugenical logic — he saw Oracene’s long, powerful gams and thought they would make great legs for a tennis player. Jehovah God knows if these things are true, but unlike the sturdy-tree story, it feels like something he might have thought.)

Read the full article here.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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