When your sister is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, it can be difficult to get together with her for a little family time. When both you and your sister are world-caliber tennis stars—Olympic gold medalists and past US Open champions—it is nearly impossible. But when Venus, 31, and Serena, 29, find that time, it is filled with silliness and laughter, an easy, familial banter as quick as their on-court volleys. As the US Open approaches, both women are keen to hoist another trophy at center court in Arthur Ashe Stadium while at the same time laying the groundwork for their post-tennis careers, including college degrees, charity initiatives, an interior design company, fashion collections and the rightful ownership of a little dog named Harold—or is that Jerry?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve been working out a lot since the summer and was really disappointed at Wimbledon, even though I shouldn’t have been. I felt like I should be really happy, but I am never really happy unless I’m on the top. Ever since then, I dedicated myself to working out, practicing more and just trying to do the right things on the court. I had to get serious about my fitness because I have taken so much time off, I almost forgot how to play.
Tell me about the fun things you are going to do this summer.
SW: I definitely plan on hanging out with you and going to school, but I really want to go to Paris for a month.
VW: My dream is to go to Thailand; I have talked about it every year and I never do it. My plan is to hang out at a local dive and dance, get some school in and do some new things for V Starr. Actually, I am going to be starting some new charity events for V Starr.
VW: I just want to say for the record, I will not be doing any of your schoolwork. I think what keeps me motivated is that I truly love everything I do. I absolutely love design; I love learning. My ultimate goal is to get an MBA; hopefully, it will happen for me in the next four years. As far as V Starr Interiors, this has been a big year for us. We got our first hotel client, and we worked with Howard University to do their gym.
Speaking of, how is the Serena Williams Foundation going?
VW: I have a proposition for you: I think we should start our own tour and hit cities that haven’t seen us before—like, say, Shreveport, where dad is from, and we can raise money for our charities.
SW: That would be good. Would it be like The Williams Sisters Tour though? Because if it’s like that, I wouldn’t want to go. [Ed note: The tour was a charity event from 2004 to 2006 that benefited Ronald McDonald House; Venus won seven of the nine matches.]
READ the entire interview at Hamptons Magazine.