Sister Act: Serena and Venus Williams
Photographs by Stephan Wurth
SW: I remember Pete Sampras playing in 1990; I was watching on television, and I remember that was the first year he won a Grand Slam. He was really young, and they were talking about how good he was going to be. He was wearing such short shorts; they were almost like a bikini. [Laughs]
VW: Did you think Pete was cute?
|Dress, Max Mara ($1,150). Americana Manhasset, 2060 Northern Blvd.; maxmara.com|
SW: I definitely thought Pete was very handsome, but around 1996 I thought he was really hot—but I also think everybody is hot, so I don’t know if that is saying much. I think the most random people are really hot. And the first thing I remember about me playing the Open was obviously you playing the Open.
VW: I knew it! I knew you were going to say that!
SW: You got to the finals, and honestly, I was so happy. Every match I lived and died. I wasn’t cute at the time—I really was going through an extremely awkward period in my life, to my dismay when I watched the film. My best memory was when you were playing Sandrine Testud: You were running out of position at this backhand cross-court for the winner, and it was the shot that changed the match. The next match, you did it again against Irina Spîrlea, and I just remember thinking I was going to have a heart attack. And I remember my failure in doubles. [Laughs]
VW: Did you imagine that two years later you would hold the cup?
SW: Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that. Never. However—this is really weird—I knew when I went to play in 1999, I felt that I was going to win even before the tournament started.
What is your favorite match at the US Open?
|Dress, Milly ($148). Bloomingdale’s, 1000 Third Ave., NYC; bloomingdales.com|
VW: That is the hardest one, because I always feel like every match helps you with the next one. I remember I played Anke Huber in ’97, and that is when I got smarter. I started mixing up my shots, and I understood how to raise the ball. That was a huge win. I also remember playing Martina Hingis in the semis one year; I was down 3-5 and I remember thinking as I got up from the changer, ‘It is now or never.’ It was such a calm thought, and I immediately started attacking and won the match. That was probably one of my best moments, because who is that calm when you are down in the match in the third set?
Let’s talk about the Hamptons. I know you have been there a little more than I have. What are your favorite places?
SW: I really have fun there. I stay with Russell Simmons, and we just hang out. I went to the White Party once, but now all of that stuff happens around the US Open, so I can never go. It is a great place to go to if you want to relax, be chill; it is the total opposite of big-city but, at the same time, extremely happening.
Outside of tennis, I know you have your clothes and then you have your interior design. How are you able to stay focused and go to school and do some of my schoolwork?
Photographs by Stephan Würth
Styling by Karen Shapiro
Hair by Angela Meadows for Angela Meadows Salon (SERENA) and Stacy Gibson (VENUS)
Makeup by Maital Sabban for ms-management.com (SERENA) and
Stacy Gibson (VENUS)
Manicure by Beth Fricke using OPI for Artists by Timothy Priano
Location provided by Image Locations Inc. (www.imagelocations.com)