It’s practically Shakespearean.
At one end of the court, a woman striving to create history by the end of the week.
At the other end, her sister, best friend, greatest supporter and someone she acknowledges as the toughest opponent she’s ever played.
The Williams sisters - Serena and Venus- will go down in the record books as two of the greats in women’s tennis.
Fate brought them together on Wednesday, on the centre court at Flushing Meadow, to battle in the quarter finals of the US Open.
In what became a battle to the end, the result did not surprise anyone but perhaps that it happened over three sets and not in two straight, is what added to the drama.
Venus is in the twilight of her career, having battled consistent niggling injury over the past couple of years. But when she faces her baby sister, there is a fighting spirit that emerges, and her performance through this tournament to get to the quarters has impressed many.
Imagine framing your mindset at courtside as a third and deciding set awaits. Trying to psyche yourself up to defeat your opponent but at the same time, a small voice must be reminding you that your opponent is your sister, and she is striving for a major career goal -- one that you want her to achieve. In that minute you realise you stand between her and taking a step closer to that goal.
Both sisters say they treat each other as any other opponents, and do not think of the relationship, but it must be almost impossible to completely eliminate any sense of connection.
As expected Serena took the match and did it in emphatic style -- with an ace -- as if underlining the status quo.
Venus warmly hugged her sister at the net and fondly waved farewell to the crowd as she departed to leave Serena with the deserved accolades and the applause.
This friendly but fierce rivalry has fascinated tennis watchers for years but you can be sure that Serena’s most ardent and vocal supporter in the stands for the matches to come on her road to this grand slam goal, will be her sister.
Five down, two to go.September 9, 2015