Former world No. 1 Venus Williams said coming to her first Wimbledon and realizing she wasn't paid as male colleagues was "a slap in the face." In 1997, a 16-year-old Williams made her debut on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
Williams, who reached her first Wimbledon quarterfinal in 1998 and lifted her first Wimbledon title in 2000, wanted to initiate conversation regarding equal pay in tennis. After winning Wimbledon in 2000, Williams wasn't paid as he fer fellow compatriot Pete Sampras, who made it all the way in the men's event.
Seven years later, 2007 Wimbledon champions Williams and Roger Federer were equally paid. “Getting there and realizing, ‘Wow, I’m not being paid equally,’ was just definitely a slap in the face to a 16-year-old.
… It hit me hard,” Williams told Variety.
Williams made tennis history
In 2007 - for the first time in tennis history - a WTA player was paid equally as an ATP player after winning a Grand Slam. “Two short years later, after 30-plus years of fighting for equal prize money, we finally arrived.
It was a wonderful moment,” Williams admitted. Williams left a major mark in tennis history - on the court with her results, off the court with her activisim. Now, Williams credits her mother Oracene Prince for being a great inspiration and an outstanding role model.
“My mom was an inspiration,” Williams revealed. “She’s a wonderful, fun lady, strong lady, good tennis player and a great cook. She’s also very spiritually strong, so it gave us an opportunity to have belief and hope and to be calm and not be stressed about the regular worries of the day”.
Also, Williams revealed she and her sister were raised to always fight for the truth. "(Our mother) impressed upon us the importance of telling the truth and living the truth," Venus Williams said.