Once again, tennis powerhouses Venus Williams, 35, and Serena Williams, 33 will face-off against each other on the court. No. 1-seeded Serena and No. 16-seeded Venus will battle it out during the fourth round of Wimbledon on Monday.
“We just don’t know what can happen there. We’ve all seen, a million times, them play. And we’ve seen different results, especially at Wimbledon. You just have no clue,” said Venus’ coach, David Witt. “We’ve seen good matches. We’ve seen bad matches.”
This will be their 26th showdown on tour (Serena leads 14-11), their 13th at a major (Serena leads 7-5), and their sixth at Wimbledon (Serena leads 3-2).
It comes 17 years after their first professional matchup, in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.
And it comes 15 years after their first encounter at the All England Club, in the 2000 semifinals
“I think we’re both more mature. Still as tenacious,” said Venus, who won that one en route to the first of her seven career Grand Slam titles, five at Wimbledon. “I mean, back then, we were definitely fun to watch. I think we still are.”
Serena also has won five trophies at the grass-court tournament, part of her collection of 20 major singles championships.
Her narrow escape in the third round Friday against Britain’s Heather Watson — after trailing by two breaks at 3-0 in the third set, then twice standing two points from defeat at 5-4 — extended Serena’s Grand Slam winning streak to 24 matches. She is aiming for a fourth consecutive major title, a self-styled “Serena Slam,” and trying to get the third leg of a calendar-year Grand Slam.
When the sisters asked who they would be rooting for, Venus was clear, “I’ll probably be cheering for her.”
Serena is equally in her sister’s corner. “I would be rooting for Venus,” she said.
Venus has battled an auto-immune illness that limited her time on the court.
“I mean, she’s been through so much. She’s had a wonderful story. She’s been so inspiring to me. You know, she’s just an incredible individual. She’s just so amazing,”