The Williams sisters have been credited for inspiring many African-American women to take up the sport of tennis. Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys are among those on the WTA Tour who have said that they were inspired by Venus and Serena to take up the game.
But the Williams sisters impact can be seen far beyond women's tennis. ATP tennis player Frances Tiafoe has also said that the Williamses have been a major inspiration to him, not just for tennis but also in life. Speaking to the media at the US Open in New York, Tiafoe spoke about the impact that the Williams sisters have had on the black community.
"Serena is obviously an icon in tennis. Everybody knows who Serena Williams is. Serena Williams, man, she's special, man. She's special. And Venus, too. I mean, they go down together, man. The Williams sisters, so much weight, you know what I'm saying.
You're in Black neighbourhoods and Black culture, every time I say I'm playing tennis, they're like 'oh, you do that Venus and Serena thing' That's just what they know. This is what it is. Everything she does, she's been such an icon for so long, she's a living legend.
I'm such a fan. I'm so happy we have gotten so close over the years and I can call her a friend, you know, because I ask her questions."
Tiafoe says Serena Williams & Venus are always going to be major GOATs
During the tennis shutdown, Tiafoe also created a video ‘Racquet down hands up’ to spread awareness against racial discrimination which featured several tennis players.
Serena was one of them. Besides their performances on the court, the 22 year old American says he also respects the siblings for not forgetting their roots and giving back to their community. "They give back. They get it.
They don't forget where they came from. You know, it was a dark place. It was a tough time. Obviously as a kid, you're enjoying that, but outside looking in, times are tough. But, you know, they did unbelievable jobs that you can't know where you're going unless you know where you're from.
Unbelievable what they did. I'm a fan. I had a similar come-up, and Serena Williams and Venus Williams are always going to be major GOATs." Frances Tiafoe scored a five-set win over John Millman at the US Open in the second round and will take on Hungary's Márton Fucsovics on Saturday for a spot in the fourth round. Serena Williams is also through to the third round of the US Open. (Image Credit - US Open)