T365 Recall: ‘Welcome To The Williams Show’ – The first-ever Venus Williams-Serena Williams WTA final
“Today could be the first of many all-Williams finals,” one report claimed as they previewed the first-ever Serena Williams vs Venus Williams final in Key Biscayne.
And it turned out they were right.
Their father, Richard, arrived at the 1999 Lipton Championships final on 28 March, 1999 with a sign “Welcome To The Williams Show”.
And he was also right.
The Williams sister first met in a WTA Tour match at the 1998 Australian Open with Venus coming out on top in their round of 64 encounter and the older sister also emerged victorious when they met in the quarter-final of the Italian Open later that year.
But their clash at the Lipton Championships, which would later be renamed the Miami Open, was unprecedented and a start of things to come as it was the first time that sisters have met in a final.
Martina Hingis, who lost to Serena in the last four in Key Biscayne, previewed the match.
“Venus is more powerful, especially the serve [and] from the baseline,” she told LA Times. “She’s more aggressive. Serena kind of has the ability to change it up more, the speed, more variety.
“I think she [Serena] has a big chance definitely now.”
Defending champion Venus continued her dominance over her younger sibling early on in the match as she dropped only one game to take the opening set 6-1.
But Serena hit back as she won the second set 6-4 to take it to a decider before the 18-year-old Venus wrapped up the match 6–1, 4–6, 6–4.
“Venus triumphs in family affair” was the BBC’s headline after the match.
“It’s difficult to play against your sister,” Venus said after her victory. “But whoever I play – I play to win.”
Richard was certainly feeling quite emotional as he left the arena early.
“I really thought I was going to cry. I felt too ugly to be out there crying so I left,” he said.
The victory meant Venus took her head-to-head record over Serena to 3-0, but the 17-year-old vowed to improve.
“Now that I am playing more, I’m certain I will have another chance to play her again in a final,” Serena said.
“I didn’t consider her my sister. I considered her my opponent.”
Serena did manage to get her revenge in their next match-up as she won the 1999 Grand Slam Cup in Munich in October, beating Venus 6–1, 3–6, 6–3 in the final.
They have met another 26 times after their Munich encounter with Serena winning 17 of those to lead the head-to-head 18-12.
Of the 30 “The Williams Show” episodes to date, 12 were finals with Serena dominating it 9-3 and the last coming at the 2017 Australian Open.
Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna
The pieces continue to fall into place for Andy Murray as he finally gets a win over a top-10 player.
‘I don’t think there is any pressure, but everyone should be a little patient with me,’ urges Emma Raducanu
The US Open winner is seeking her first WTA Tour match victory.
Cameron Norrie headlines Great Britain’s Davis Cup Finals squad with Andy Murray left out as expected
World No 14 Norrie is Great Britain’s top-seeded player in the ATP Rankings.
High praise for Emma Raducanu from Simona Halep as Romanian highlights US Open champion’s feature qualities
“I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness.”
WTA Finals race between Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit heats up as Tunisian jokingly urges rival to ‘back off’
Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit enjoy some online banter.
‘Becoming the No 1 in the world is still the goal’ for ‘experienced’ Daniil Medvedev
“If I’ll catch up with him this year, excellent, but if not I will try to do it down the road.”
‘I am proud of putting myself in a position to compete with the top guys,’ says Andy Murray
“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing,” says Murray.
Novak Djokovic and co to be given Australian Open lifeline? Leaked email suggests vaccination policy U-turn
Policy U-turn set to open door for unvaccinated players?
Jannik Sinner and Aslan Karatsev are big ATP Tour winners on finals Sunday
Aslan Karatsev won the VTB Kremlin Cup.
Emma Raducanu opens up on her coaching dilemma as she aims to shine in Romania
Raducanu is relaxed at the prospect of finishing the season without a coach.