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I don't consider the person I'm playing, especially that far into the tournament. Serena: Obviously, I want to win, and I'm sure my sister does, too. If we aren't, then they should come out and show us how to do it. Oprah: Venus, as the big sister, is part of your goal to take away that ranking? Oprah: When you're not on the road, don't you two share a nine-bedroom estate with your dogs? Serena: Venus cooks more than I do because she still looks out for me. You shouldn't slam the door and run up to your room. Venus: Being famous has taught us not to make presumptions about others. Venus: Men aren't criticized if they aren't out there having dinner and socializing. Your father has received some criticism of his own. No one can tell me what to do—well, no one except my mother. Serena: I want to be a giving woman and just a nice person in general. You do your personal best, and God reads the heart. You've been quoted as saying that fame and money are great, but they don't bring you happiness.
Serena: When we were younger, it was difficult for me to play Venus because she'd always beat me so badly. Even now when we practice together, I have to watch out because she'll just blow me off the court. Venus: As Venus the tennis player, my goal is to be the best at what I do. Once, when we were younger, I ran out of lunch money, and we were both hungry. We still tease our mom because she didn't allow us not to get along. Oprah: Venus, was there ever a time when you cared what people thought? Oprah: That's mighty—to be raised female and not have that concern. We were taught that things like peer pressure didn't exist for us. Oprah: I like what your father said: We don't see Bill Gates out there socializing with everybody. I remember another player once saying "Venus didn't say hi to me." She didn't say hi, either.
Venus: [Turns to her sister, laughing.] Is anybody dating anybody, Serena? As the older sister who took care of her, I still look out for Serena on the court—yet I'm trying to get the win myself. He is an unbelievable visionary—and I think Serena and I understood that even when we were small. He showed us how to serve—and we have the biggest serves in women's tennis. Venus: It might not seem fair, but we're just like this. If someone says we're not good enough, then we just do better. When I walk onto the court, I'm there to play tennis and nothing else. Serena: We're enjoying ourselves, and there's no time for anything else. Oprah: Do you even care what other people think of you? Serena: That's why we don't read the articles—I just look at the pictures. If another tennis player says something negative, I say, "That girl will never beat me." We feed off the criticism. I've never once heard you make negative statements about other players. Serena: I really don't—as long as my family knows who I am. Venus said, "Serena, you take my money—you go eat." And it was fried chicken day at school! Oprah: Does coming from such a strong family help you handle the criticism that comes with living in the public eye? " Most of the lies people tell about us are eventually washed away, so they don't bother me. Oprah: With all that's been said and written, is there one thing people most often misunderstand about you?
Venus: When anyone is critical of what I do, I'm just motivated by it. Oprah: Aren't you amazed at the untruths that people can write about you?
Start reading Oprah's interview with Venus and Serena Williams Note: This interview appeared in the March 2003 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. Venus: A hairdresser at a salon in New York told me that Serena's catsuit was making gay men turn straight! Oprah: What message are you trying to communicate with your bold outfits? You win or lose the match before you even go out there.