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Serena Williams on her and sister Venus: ‘We changed tennis’

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Venus Williams, Serena Williams — Getty Images

Think back to when Serena and Venus Williams turned professional. Two African American sisters with wacky hairstyles and incredible talent, the Williams sisters burst onto the scene, changing the sport of tennis for the better, and they know it.

In Argentina for an exhibition, the Williams sisters were asked about their legacy and said they know what they've done for the sport in the present and for the future.

"We changed tennis," Serena told the media. "We brought passion and fashion wearing extravagant clothes. And also style, power as a new skin color as we are African-Americans. We improved tennis."

"I think that totally changed the dynamic of the game," Serena continued. "I remember in particular Venus started wearing all these amazing outfits and I was so influenced by that. … I definitely think we had a huge impact on tennis in that way. As well, of course, bringing such power into tennis, and bringing a new color."

It would be hard to argue with what Serena said here considering how much they've both won and what they've done for the game in parts of the world that might never have tuned in to watch this sport if not for both of them.

Serena has won 17 Grand Slam titles and Venus has added seven herself, and the two have teamed up to snag 13 doubles titles in their free time, but the impact both have had goes beyond the trophies.

Venus had the height and dominated on grass while Serena just overpowered anyone that got in her way, and when Serena seemed locked in at the Grand Slams it always appeared she was unbeatable. Both have gone through the highs and lows of being a professional athlete in the spotlight, but both sisters have done to tennis what other big names have done for their sports over the years.

"Being African-American, and playing successful tennis and winning Grand Slams, that hadn’t been done in a long time,” Serena added. "I think that got so much excitement involved in tennis as well."

Serena, now 32, is still competing at an incredibly high level and sits just five Grand Slam titles short of catching Steffi Graf for most wins in the Open Era. The Australian Open kicks off in just over a month, and there Serena will have a chance to add to that legacy and win her first title in Melbourne since 2010.

h/t Beyond the Baseline

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