Oprah Talks to Venus and Serena Williams
Oprah: I like what your father said: We don't see Bill Gates out there socializing with everybody. Tennis is serious business.
Serena: It's our job.
Venus: Men aren't criticized if they aren't out there having dinner and socializing. I remember another player once saying "Venus didn't say hi to me." She didn't say hi, either. It's a two-way street.
Oprah: I've got you. Your father has received some criticism of his own. Are you ever embarrassed by your dad?
Venus: No—nothing embarrasses us.
Oprah: Even when he did the victory dance?
Venus: It wasn't a dance—people just wrote that. He jumped up and down. I'm proud of my dad. He is an unbelievable visionary—and I think Serena and I understood that even when we were small.
Serena: Our father doesn't get enough credit. He showed us how to serve—and we have the biggest serves in women's tennis.
Oprah: Yes, and the fact that your dad taught himself how to play and then coached you is just amazing.
Serena: He stayed up many nights watching films so he could teach us. He taught our mom, and then they taught us.
Oprah: Your father has said that nobody ever talks about all the years of struggle it took to get you here.
Serena: It's a lot of work. It doesn't happen miraculously.
Oprah: And when you're 5 and 6, you don't always want to be doing all that work, right?
Serena: Right. Fortunately, we listened to our parents, which I think is one reason we're blessed. We never went out and got crazy. We were brought up as Jehovah's Witnesses, so we have a strong spiritual background.
Oprah: We all know what kind of tennis players you are, but what kind of women do you aspire to be?
Venus: I want to be honest. I've never had a reason to lie, and I want to keep it that way. I want to be a good example for my family and of my religion. I also want to be proud of who I am and to know exactly what I want. No one can tell me what to do—well, no one except my mother.