- Laura Lane
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In the latest issue of The Mag, Seth Wickersham writes that the Mannings are America's most successful sports family and will remain so, "Until Venus or Serena has kids". Well, the Williams sisters may be the second most successful family in sports, but there is one thing they have that no Manning has won: an Olympic gold medal (Two actually. In Beijing they won their second doubles gold). We sat down with Venus and Serena to talk sibling rivalries, the Mannings, and why they're both better together.
THEMAG.COM: The Manning brothers don't watch film together, do you two watch tennis film together?
VENUS: Sometimes we watch live matches together, but we don't really watch films together. We'll practice together but not always. She's always watching the tennis channel.
SERENA: I watch a lot of tennis. As much as I can. I just love tennis.
Of the two of you who is the aggressor and who is more passive?
SERENA: Venus is definitely more aggressive.
VENUS: I don't think so! You're more aggressive. Serena is definitely more aggressive.
SERENA: Okay, I guess I'm a little more aggressive. I'm just affirmative in what I believe and what I need.
What personality qualities do you share and what is different?
VENUS: We love to laugh and joke and gossip and I think that's definitely very similar.
SERENA: And different: Venus loves to go to concerts and I don't.
VENUS: I love music, and I love to study. Serena loves TV.
SERENA: Yeah, that's for sure. I love that Avatar [The cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender], but that show is finished.
Both you and the Mannings endorse the Oreo Double Stuf Racing League. How do endorsement deals work for the two of you—do you always do them together?
SERENA: We love to do things together when we can because we love being around each other. With the Double Stuff Racing League and the Manning brothers, we saw that it was about getting family together. We thought it would be brilliant. And we were so excited to be together.
What makes you guys a better sibling match than the Manning bros?
SERENA: Well we both really nailed the technique of twisting and Venus has really nailed the licking technique. I was pretty much a dunk champ and clearly I know how to chew faster than all three of them. It's obvious.
How did growing up together make you better competitors?
VENUS: I think we definitely were motivated by each other's results so if I saw her do well, I knew that I could do it too. I think that's definitely what it was all about.
Do you guys have rivalries off the court? How about guys?
VENUS: I don't know what kind of taste I have. I like almost anyone. I'll date anyone.
SERENA: Oh my god! (laugh)
VENUS: Yeah, I don't have a type. If I see it, I might like it, I might not.
SERENA: Lately I'm so into tennis, the only thing I'm dating right now is my tennis racket. That's the only thing I'm into.
You both have your own clothing lines, do you guys have competing fashions?
VENUS: I think I'm more eclectic. My style always changes. It's never the same. For a while I only wore dresses but I'm back to being eclectic again.
SERENA: My style's gone old Hollywood, real glam.
What advice would you have for other sibling athletes?
SERENA: Definitely see the sport as it is and leave everything on the court or on the field or wherever your sport may be and then go home and be family.
2dMarc Stein and Ramona Shelburne