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Champions don’t last for ever

To the enthusiastic delight of blacks all over the world, two black sisters, Venus and Serena Williams splashed into the tennis scene with astonishing successes even as teenagers.
Particularly striking was that their mentor and trainer was and is still their father, Richard, who on several occasions deployed his tough and indomitable nature to resist the initial racial prejudice against her daughters.
What really captured the  imagination of the world on the extraordinary tennis sibblings  was the then prevailing notion that the game of lawn tennis was not, at least at that time, meant for blacks, but whites.
The whites, with their economic and social status, had the advantage of exposing their children to the game early in life with lawn tennis courts as one of the facilities in their expansive estates.
On the other hand, many black children grew up in ghettoes, deprived and overpopulated.
Therefore, the emergence of the Williams sisters in the 2000s raised eye brows for, before then, the most ranked black tennis player was Arthur Ashe who won a few important tournaments like Wimbledon and US open.
The sisters combined to win about 30 major tournaments in a space of over 18 years.
Williams Venus, was the first out of the block, as it were for in their early years Venus won the major tournaments, Serena playing the second fiddle to her elder sister.
However, Venus’s consistency was inestimable and Serena was to overtake her eventually.
This culminated in Serena winning a total of 23 major tournaments like US Open, Wimbledon and Australian Open.
But at their peak, the sisters were the dominant force in female tennis both in singles and doubles with the sisters winning gold for US in Olympic Games.  In other words, the two sisters had become two successful recurring decimals in women tennis.
Naturally, some people either out of envy or natural boredom began to make uncomplimentary comments against the sisters, especially Serena.  They made much issue but her muscle but sexy physique.
Ever strong-minded Serena replied her critics with one victory after the other.
Once she boasted that she was in good health condition that it was impossible of any woman in her era to have the upper hand over her.
Ironically, Serena had her own share of regular health problems.  Once for over a period of one year she sank to 128th position from her usual number one in WTA ranking.
Though Serena remains one of the most iconic female players in history, she has in recent times lost surprisingly to lowly ranked opponents, mostly caused by loss of form through injuries.  And the frequency of her injuries is indicative of the impending end of her glorious era occasioned by age- 35 years.
Indeed champions do not last forever and the omens seem to be tolling for the end, proud end, for the Williams sisters whose exploits will be recited for ever.
And trust Nigerians, Nigerians fans, when the sisters were at the top of their profession, laid claims that they had their origin in Nigeria, indeed Ikorodu in Lagos.  But throughout their career, the sisters never made confirmatory references to such claims, wild claims.

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