It’s a rivalry so big, the players involved need not be mentioned by their last names.
Serena vs. Venus.
Since they began dominating the tennis world nearly two decades ago, the Williams sisters have produced a number of memorable moments, both in terms of spectacular play on the court and taking a family rivalry to an entirely unprecedented level. As the younger Serena has taken her spot atop the sport and Venus has struggled with injury and illness, the rivalry may not be what it once was. But rest assured, whenever these two meet, especially at Flushing Meadows where they have won a combined eight US Open titles, it’s time to drop everything you’re doing and pay attention.
Before they square off in the quarterfinals Tuesday night, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the rivalry.
1. Serena Leads the Head-to-Head Battle, 15-11
The Williams’ have encountered each other an excruciating–for them, probably–26 times. Venus, 35, won the very first meeting with Serena, 33, in a first-round match at the 1998 Australian Open, before anyone probably knew they were witnessing history.
The rivalry was at its absolute peak during the early 2000s. Between the 2001 US Open and 2003 Wimbledon, there were eight Grand Slam tournaments. Amazingly, six of those featured Serena vs. Venus in the final. The dominant duo had taken over the sport in a way that was never seen–or even imagined–before. In fact, the only other time two sisters had met in a Grand Slam final was over 100 years earlier, and Venus and Serena, who were in their early 20’s at the time, did it six times in a span of two years.
The elder sister took five of the first seven family battles, but Serena has been mostly dominant since to run her record to 15-11. However, in their most recent hardcourt meeting at the 2014 Rogers Cup last August, Venus came out on top 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-3. It was her first victory over the younger Williams in nearly five years.
You can check out an entire list of their head-to-head matches here.
2. Serena Has Won 21 Majors to Venus’ 7
It’s an unbelievable rivalry, but Serena has done her best to make it a lop-sided one when the lights have been brightest.
After Venus won the 2001 US Open in their first Grand Slam final matchup, Serena defeated her older sister in five consecutive finals (2002 French Open, 2002 Wimbledon, 2002 US Open, 2003 Australian Open, 2003 Wimbledon). In Grand Slam play, Serena holds a slight 8-5 advantage, but a much-more significant 6-2 edge in Grand Slam finals. She has 21 majors and 67 WTA singles titles to seven and 46 for Venus.
At the US Open, the pair have combined for an astounding eight titles, with six of those belonging to Serena.
3. They Have 13 Doubles Majors Together
Of course, this isn’t really your typical rivalry. When Venus and Serena aren’t battling it out, they are just two normal sisters who also happen to dominate the doubles scene at the highest professional level. They won their first major together at the 1999 French Open against Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova and have captured a total of 13 Grand Slam titles (four at the Australian Open, two at the French Opens, five at Wimbledon and two at the US Open). Amazingly, they have never lost in a major final.
Only the teams of Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver (20) and Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva (14) have won more majors.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the Williams sisters have also captured three gold medals (2000, 2008, 2012) together, a feat no one else has accomplished in doubles.
4. They Have Won Over $100 Million in Prize Money
First and third on the all-time prize money list, Serena has raked in over $70 million while Venus has collected over $30 million.
That’s nine figures between the two of them, and that’s without even taking into account their countless endorsements. According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, Serena has an estimated net worth of $140 million, while Venus is at $75 million.
5. Their Parents Both Coached Them Growing up
Oracene Price and Richard Williams were both crucial in the development of Serena and Venus. Experts of the game themselves, they began coaching and training their two daughters at a very young age.
“It’s almost like they were raised on the court,” Price said.
Price and Williams divorced over 10 years ago, but they are still often in attendance for their daughters’ matches. Serena still calls her mother “one of the best at helping break down my game.”