Williams Sisters are the near Perfect Tennis Pair | The Olympics On The Record

August 18, 2019

You join us in the second set
of the semifinals of the women’s doubles tennis competition at London
2012. Russia versus the United
States. The winner goes through
to the gold-medal match. What a great tie we have here
today. Here’s Maria Kirilenko and
Nadia Petrova of Russia and they’re up against the
might of Serena and Venus Williams of
the United States. The Russians are playing well, and the Americans are in
trouble. They are love-30 down. The United States need
to get their act together. Like Olympics gone by,
Venus and Serena prevail. It must be tough on
their hopeful opponents because the Williams sisters
up to this point had never lost an Olympic
doubles match. Not in Sydney… not in Beijing… ..and so far, not in London. It’s a perfect record. And when it came to
the crucial points the sisters weren’t going to
budge. They always found a way. But then they did have an
advantage, they were two of the best
tennis players of all time. Venus Williams won Wimbledon
five times and the US Open twice. She was world number one
for several weeks. It would have been more
if it wasn’t for… her sister, Serena Williams. Serena was the dominant force
in female tennis for at least a decade at the
start of the 21st century. She won all four Grand Slams,
many, many times. Serena was in dazzling form
at London 2012. She had already won the Wimbledon singles title
that summer and, in the Olympic singles
semifinal, she came up against world number one, Victoria
Azarenka. Serena handed her Belarusian
opponent a drubbing on the historic Centre Court
at Wimbledon. The Serena serve… the Serena backhand… the Serena forehand… and the Serena serve again. Serena’s opponent in the
gold-medal final was world number three and archrival Maria Sharapova. Sharapova received
similar treatment, particularly the Serena serve, the Serena serve
and the Serena serve. Game, set and match, Williams. You’ll have noticed that when either one of the Williams
sisters is on song, that shot,
in particular, stands out. Many experts consider
Venus and Serena to be the two greatest servers
of all time. Throughout her career, Serena dominated the serving
statistics, her points won on serve
way ahead of her rivals. Serena’s fastest recorded speed
is 128.6 miles per hour. Both Williams sisters served
faster than an Olympic bobsled at top speed, or a high-speed
train or a 2000cc motorbike. Here’s what it’s like to be on
the receiving end of a Serena serve. You get about half a second to
react and try and get the ball back. – Oh.
– Ow. – Ooh.
– Eee. Venus may lack her sister’s
unerring consistency but, in 2012,
her fastest recorded serve was actually a shade quicker
than Serena’s – 129mph. So when anyone faced the two of
them on court, good luck. There was one other key element
to their doubles success – they were sisters,
they were close, they worked as a team
for each other. All those hours, days and weeks smashing balls on the public
courts of South Central Los Angeles prepared them for whatever
tennis threw at them. At London 2012, they hit a new
high. Still undefeated, played 12
matches, won 12 matches, they entered the final without
having lost a single set. On this occasion,
the gold medal match, the Czech pair of Andrea
Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka were picking up the challenge. The Williams sisters
versus the world. There was only ever going
to be one winner. Or should I say two winners?

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