“Really breaking the mold; Really spearheading this for us and being progressive”

Vania King thanked Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard Williams for inspiring many parents from minority families to encourage their kids to take up tennis as a career. King expressed that Williams Sr’s efforts to introduce Serena and Venus Williams to tennis gave her own father great confidence about her foray into tennis at a time when the sport lacked inclusivity.

Similar to the Williams sisters, King also grew up in Southern California. Venus and Serena Williams overcame many obstacles to eventually make great waves in the sport by the time King took up tennis seriously.

“Her dad inspired my dad a lot, so thanks, Richard,” Vania King said during her appearance on a recent episode of the Tennis Channel podcast.

The two-time doubles Grand Slam champion said that while she needed to work quite hard to be able to make it to the top, she is grateful for the impetus provided by the example of the Williams family. King further hailed Richard Williams for breaking stereotypes and fighting discrimination back then to introduce Venus and Serena Williams to tennis, both of whom ended up having legendary careers.

“Someone that didn’t look quite like me but being a minority was very compelling. Having a father that coaches his daughters, which is very different than the white male-dominated sport where it’s a white coach wearing white clothes and teaching a white player So it was really breaking the mold and that gave my parents and my dad specifically a lot of inspiration,” King expressed.

The 33-year-old stated that she and many other tennis players would not have been able to make it to the top of the sport without the inspiration provided by Venus, Serena, and Richard Williams.

“So I can’t say I’d be where I am if it weren’t for her (Serena Williams). I can’t say a lot of us would be where we are if it weren’t for them. Really spearheading this for us and being progressive. And fighting for it, because it was tough back then. There was a lot of discrimination and racism,” she added.

“That was just icing on the cake” – Vania King on playing against Serena Williams on tour

Serena Williams and Vania King (R) at the 2016 US Open

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