How A Shotgun Apparently Helped Serena and Venus Williams Become Tennis Superstars

Jamie Weinstein Senior Writer
Font Size:

If not for Richard Williams’ 12-gauge shotgun, his daughters Venus and Serena may never have become world-famous tennis players.

On Howard Stern’s radio show Wednesday, father Williams, 72, explained how he had to clear the Compton, California tennis courts he trained his daughters on of drug dealers before he could begin training them whey they were little.

“Tennis court was used as a place to meet and sell drugs,” Williams explained.

“Every time I got beat [up],” he said of his physical confrontations with the drug dealers. “You know what stopped me from getting beat [up] Howard? One day I got tired of getting beat [up] like I did in the South by the white man. The white man would beat me, now my black man beat me. So guess what? I went and bought me a 12-gauge shotgun. I went to the tennis court the same day I got the gun.”

“So instead of going over there asking them to move, I went over there and started shooting,” he claimed.

Serena and Venus Williams have become among the best female tennis players in history. Serena has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, while Venus has won seven. The two have also won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles together.

Follow Jamie on Twitter