Oprah: Serena, I read that you always tried to be Venus when you were younger.

Serena: There were two Venus Williamses in our family—it was crazy.

Oprah: Wouldn't you even order whatever Venus ordered at a restaurant?

Serena: Yes. My parents would make me order first, but once she ordered, I'd change my mind. It was tough for me to stop being Venus and become the person I am.

Oprah: When did that happen?

Serena: Well, maybe just two years ago! [Laughter.]

Venus: Now that she's 21.

Serena: One day I just said to myself, I'm not Venus. I'm Serena.

Oprah: I know you're laughing, but it's a serious thing to have followed in someone's footsteps, and then to realize her shoes don't fit you.

Serena: I still copy Venus in many ways, but it's not as bad. I sound like I've been through some kind of 12-step program.

Oprah: How does playing against your sister compare with competing against others?

Venus: There sure is a difference because I always want the best for Serena. As the older sister who took care of her, I still look out for Serena on the court—yet I'm trying to get the win myself. We're definitely in a strange situation, one that no other player has been in. The best part is that right now we're the best at what we do.

Oprah: Preparing for the finals at Wimbledon, do you think about going in and slamming each other?

Serena: No, I just think about what I'm going to do on the court, technique-wise. I don't consider the person I'm playing, especially that far into the tournament.

Oprah: So it's about the game, not the person.

Serena: Yes. After all those years of practice, that is your moment, so you have to take it.

Oprah: Do you feel the same way, Venus?

Venus: Sure. If I'm going out to play Serena, I've got my game plan, and I know what I have to do to be successful.


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