OLD PHOTOS of the Williams sisters: Champions then, champions now, champions forever!


Nineteen years after their first career meeting happened in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open, 35-year-old Serena Williams and 36-year-old Venus Williams are clashing in the final at Melbourne Park and the younger sis will battle for a record 23rd Grand Slam singles title. Let’s take a moment to travel down the memory lane with the sport’s legends as part of my Little Tennis Stars series.

serena and venus williams

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Venus Williams and Martina Hingis

It’s amazing that the sisters were winning prestigious trophies as youngsters and two decades later they are still ruling! In 1997, 17-year-old Venus Williams finished runner-up to 16-year-old Martina Hingis at the US Open in the youngest Grand Slam final and now Venus is the oldest woman to reach an Australian Open final in the Open era and the second oldest to play a Grand Slam final.

Venus' practice back in 1990
Venus’ practice back in 1990

The 2017 Australian Open final is the oldest women’s final in the Open era, as Venus’ and Serena’s combined age is 71.

Eleven-year-old Venus practices in Compton
Eleven-year-old Venus practices in Compton

The sisters have accumulated a total of 120 singles titles which include 29 Grand Slam titles. If you really like maths, try adding up all their women’s doubles and mixed doubles title!

15 year old venus williams
Fifteen-year-old Venus Williams with her eyes set on big trophies

The sisters’ first clash in a Grand Slam final was way back in 2001, when Venus defeated Serena to claim the US Open title, while a year earlier they also faced each other in the big Miami final.

baby venus williams
Little Venus Williams

After years of countless successes and 27 all-Williams matches, Serena is more than happy to see her sister in the Australian Open final.

“She’s my toughest opponent,” said Serena, who leads Venus 16-11 in their career clashes. “No one’s ever beaten me as much as Venus has.”

Little Serena with father
Baby Serena with father Richard

The fact is, though, that Serena has six Australian Open titles to her name, while Venus lost her sole Australian Open final to her younger sister back in 2003.

We know that the sisters will be happy with any outcome of the final, but who would you like to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup?

serena with daddy
One of many Serena’s post-victory hugs with father Richard

And who do you think has a greater chance of winning? I’ll go with Serena, as we all know how dominant she is.

Compton memories
Compton memories

And before I finish, I’d like to share photos from Serena’s and Venus’ first pro matches, that I found at Tennis Forum!

venus williams first pro match

On 6th November 1994 in the first round of Oakland, Venus defeated Shaun Stafford 6-3 6-4, before losing in the second round to top seed Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario 2-6 6-3 6-0.

serena first pro match

Serena’s first professional match was a 6-1 6-1 loss to Annie Miller in the first round of qualifying in Quebec City on 30th October 1995.

The flies, but Venus and Serena are timeless!

Enjoy more childhood photos of the Williams sisters:


  1. I voted to Venus too, because after all the injuries and illneses i want to see her with a big reward a grand slam trophy. Even if i think that serena is the better of the two no one can deny the fact that venus is one of the most respectful, classy and inspirational person on tour. What the sisters are doing is really unbelievable at their age most people were already done and retired, all credit to them to show how much they love the game and how much it means to them. A Williams will win tomorrow but the reality is that we are lucky to have the opportunity to witness one of the best sibling story in tennis and sports. One day people will appreciate the williams sisters, and for sure they booked a place in HISTORY.

  2. Sabey,, you stole my thunder…my thoughts exactly. Now, I will say my heart says Club Fed, my head says Rafa! Two great classic finals at the AO..can’t wait!

  3. Congrats, Serena and Venus Williams, living legends! This is a win-win situation for the two of them, as everyone is well aware. Who would ever think Venus at age 36, and soon to be 37, could “up” her game the way that she has? Don’t ever underestimate a Williams sister; they’re showing the entire world how to still make stupendous things happen, regardless of age or not so pleasant circumstances. Serena all the way! #23! The greatest of all time! Venus and Serena=Inspirational Champions of the World! Unbelievable longevity on both their parts! Have they found the fountain of youth along the way? Unstoppable! I’m crying tears of joy just watching them in this final. So proud of you both!


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