When the Williams sisters played each other at Wimbledon today, it was a somber demonstration of their places in the sport. This rare encounter was a contrast to over a decade ago when they would meet almost every other month. As was the case this morning, it can be difficult to watch the siblings play each other as there is only one winner. But their rivalry changed women’s tennis, and they pushed each other to become two of the greatest athletes in American history.
Here’s a list of times fans got to see the Williams sisters play at the four most-prized tournaments in the sport.
Australian Open, 1998
Their first-ever Grand Slam face off would occur in the Australian tournament early in their professional careers. In a sign of things to come in the not too distant future, Venus prevailed over her little sister 7–6(4), 6–1.
It would be a few years before their second match on a big stage, this time occurring at the Grand Slam where most of their encounters would take place in the future. In the first championship to feature two Black players in the sport, Venus would win the historic match 6–2, 7–6(3).
U.S. Open, 2001
On the big stage in New York City, the two sisters would kick off a stretch in which they would rule over the sport for several years. In dominant form, Venus bested her little sister 6–2, 6–4.
French Open, 2002
In their first trip to the French Open, both came in looking to win the elusive Grand Slam. Little sister Serena was destined to win all four slams though, and edged out her sister 7-5, 6-3 that day.
Only a month later, they’d meet again during a year where they were practically running women’s tennis. Serena was beginning to catch up to Venus in their rivalry though, and won this one 7–6(4), 6–3.
U.S. Open, 2002
In a rematch of their previous U.S. Open final, Serena was chasing history as she wanted to be the first to win all four grand slams back to back. Not even her sister could stand in her way, as this time she walked away with the victory 7–6(4), 6–3.
Australian Open, 2003
It had been five years since they played each other at the big down under tournament, and the first time it happened in the final. Serena won the intense showdown 7–6(4), 3–6, 6–4 and completed her coveted “Serena Slam.”
In yet another rematch only happening a year later, they would meet again on the grassy courts of the British tournament. Serena was emerging as the victor in their encounters though, and won here 4–6, 6–4, 6–2.
US Open, 2005
After a two year period where the sisters did not reign over the sport like they used to, their first encounter in a while would be at the fourth round of the American open. Venus would get the win here 7–6(5), 6–2, but would fall in the next match.
Another gap of several years would push their next showdown to 2008, and they would met on a familiar stage yet again. Venus is usually the better player at Wimbledon though, and won the close match 7–5, 6–4.
U.S. Open, 2008
Fans did not have to wait long for the next match between them, and it felt like old times to get another one within the same year. It came a bit early as it was in the quarterfinal, and Serena would trounce her sister 7–6(6), 7–6(7) before winning it all.
Up until today this was their last meeting at one of the four bigger tournaments, and as has been the case several years before it would be a rematch occurring a year later. While they nearly met at the Australian Open this year, Serena defeated her big sister 7–6(3), 6–2 in a battle that was their last major one for a while.
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