By the end of 2007, on top of the series of major wins for Venus, the Williams sister also managed to get her associate degree in fashion design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, following in her sister’s footsteps. Then, Venus attended the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and left with a shiny gold medal to add to her collection.
She won in the women’s doubles category, teaming up with sister Serena. The pair beat Spanish tennis greats Virginia Pascual and Anabel Medina in the finals. Ironically, in the same year, Venus went on to win her fifth Wimbledon Championship against her sister Serena.
Fighting for Equal Pay
Venus made headlines when, after winning her fifth title at Wimbledon, she attended a Grand Slam committee meeting with Larry Scott, who was the CEO of the Woman’s Tennis Association back in 2005. For decades, there had been a policy in the Wimbledon Championships for men to be paid more than women.
Venus passionately argued against this at the meeting and even wrote an opinion article for the London Times in 2006 stating that “I feel so strongly that Wimbledon’s stance devalues the principle of meritocracy and diminishes the years of hard work that women on the tour have put into becoming professional tennis players.” A year later, Wimbledon changed its policy on prize money, making it equal for both genders.
As if making up for all previous losses, Venus made a stellar comeback in 2007. First, she made history at the French Open, by serving a ball that flew at 129mph, the second fastest by a woman ever recorded. Although she only made it to the third round in the French Open, Venus won the Wimbledon Championship that same year.
This made it Venus’s fourth win at Wimbledon, a feat only three other women tennis greats have achieved – Billy Jean King, Steffi Graf, and Martina Navratilova.
During the 2000s, it seemed hard to watch a tennis match that didn’t feature one or both Williams sisters. So logically, it was only a matter of time before they began playing against each other, which always made for an exciting match. In 2009, Venus was the runner-up against Serena’s win at Wimbledon for the third time.
All that didn’t keep her from winning the Grand Slam women’s doubles title with her sister. This took Venus all the way up to number five in the world rankings. Like they say if you can’t beat them, join them!
Serena Rises to the Top
Serena was at the height of her career, going on to win the 2009 and 2010 Australian Open and Wimbledon Championships. By the end of 2009, Serena was ranked the world’s number-one female player for the second time in her professional career.
It was also the year where she played a whopping 16 tournaments, more than in any of the previous years. However, she had a famously bad time at the 2009 U.S. Open.