Serena & Venus Williams’ Family: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Venus and Serena Williams have been the face of women’s tennis
since the 90’s but the duo didn’t get to the top alone. In fact, the
Williams’ success has been a complete family effort.
Parents as coaches, step-sisters as assistants and even post-
divorce seating arrangements have made the Williams family one
of the most interesting groups in all of sports. Now, as the sisters
once again square off , this time in the fourth round of Wimbledon,
the Williams family is split down the middle, trying to find some
scenario where both Serena and Venus walk away from center
court with a victory.
Here’s what you need to know about the Williams family as they
try to figure out a solution to their cheering conundrum:
1. Richard Williams & Oracene Price Met in 1979
Both of Serena and Venus’ parents were married prior to meeting
in 1979. Richard Williams had been married to Betty Johnson while
Oracene Price was married to Yusef Rasheed. Williams and Price
married in 1980 after Venus was born and moved their family to
Compton, outside of Los Angeles, not long after.
Both Williams and Price each had several children from their
previous marriages as well and, over all, Serena and Venus have
2. Richard Williams Served as His Daughter’s Tennis Coach Early
in Their Careers
After learning the game of tennis from a man he called “ Old
Whiskey,” Richard Williams started to pass on his talents to his
daughters Venus and Serena. According to Williams, he wrote a
78-page plan, detailing the trajectory for his daughter’s careers
and, as soon as they could pick up a racket, got to work.
Although Williams was able to get both daughters into the
prestigious Shreveport tennis tournaments, he quickly pulled them
both out of the private academy and began to coach them himself.
Under his guidance, both daughters won their first Grand Slam
titles; Serena at the US Open in 1999 and Venus at Wimbledon in
Still, Williams has rubbed some of the tennis world the wrong way.
That includes ESPN’s Jason Whitlock who is convinced that
Williams fixes his daughter’s tennis matches.
3. Yetunde Price, Venus & Serena’s Step-Sister, Was Killed in
Yetunda Price was working as a personal assistant to her step-
sisters, and still living in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, when
she was shot and killed in 2003.
According to The Daily Mail , Price had been sitting in a vehicle with
her boyfriend when an argument broke out. Witnesses claimed that
they head about a dozen gunshots. Price was later pronounced
dead at the hospital.
Keven Davis, the Williams family lawyer, told media:
They are all devastated. It’s a fluid situation and a lot of reports
out there may be inaccurate. We are asking people to respect the
family’s privacy and are trying to get as much information as we
can. I just talked to Yetunde Friday. She was great. She was
upbeat, in a great mood.
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4. Williams & Price Divorced in 2002
After an initial separation in 2000, Williams and Price announced
their divorce , officially, in 2002. Price, who reverted back to her
maiden name after the divorce, released a statement:
I was very honest with our children that a reconciliation would not
happen. They’ve accepted our divorce and love us, as we both
love them. Richard and I will continue to work together for the
good of our girls, and I truly wish him well.
The divorce was finalized as a “no fault” divorce after Price and
Williams had originally filed, cited irreconcilable differences.
5. Williams Remarried in 2010 & Welcomed a Son in 2012
After Williams and Price divorced in 2002, Serena and Venus’
father married Lakeisha Graham in December 2010. Graham is 37
years younger than Williams and just one year older than Venus.
The pair welcomed their first child, son Dylan , in 2012. The trio
have been seen in the crowd of both Venus and Serena’s matches
recently and, are expected, to be at this year’s Wimbledon
tournament as well. In fact, the brand-new family is generally
seated right next to Price.
Williams told The New Yorker he didn’t want his son to play tennis
though, citing the up-hill battle Venus and Serena have climbed:
With the things I know now, Venus and Serena wouldn’t have been
there. Look at Donald Sterling. . . . What sport do you think he
played? Not one! And he makes enough to pay every single player.
He’ll never be a billionaire in tennis.