|Tuesday, May 6
Williams says his daughters can beat anyone
ESPN.com news services
After being relatively quiet for months now, Richard Williams is out there confusing things again.
In an interview with the French magazine L'Equipe on Saturday, Williams blasted the tennis world for racism, claimed no one will ever defeat his daughters all while saying he thought his daughters should take some time off from tennis.
It's a strange thing for a man to say whose daughter Serena could have won the Grand Slam last season if not for rolling an ankle right before the Australian Open. This year, a healthy Serena won the year's first Slam to become the holder of all four titles and giving her a chance to chase the Grand Slam this season. Meanwhile, older daughter Venus has reached the past four Grand Slam finals finishing as runner-up.
But in the interview Williams addressed critics who say that his daughters appearing in every final is making tennis boring.
"So women's tennis is getting boring. And you know why? Because two lovely black women dominate it.
"They're better than the white girls and that's intolerable. It's downgrading, lamentable," he said.
Williams said his daughters were the victims of racist prejudice from within the tennis world.
"They're disturbed by our being there. They've tried everything they could to tame us, to recuperate us and when they couldn't, they said I was a mad man."
Richard Williams was quoted as saying he believes racism is rife in women's tennis, and within the Women's Tennis Association.
"I asked the WTA, 'Does racism still exist with you?'," he said in the interview. "They told me no. They're taking me for an idiot."
Williams also said he will never salute the flag because of racism in America.
"It has no meaning for me," he said.
According to Williams, his daughters are talented enough to take a break from tennis and still dominate upon their return.
"I would like them to stop playing today, for Serena to study and for Venus to launch herself into business," Williams said.
The father said he is unimpressed with the level of competition on the women's circuit and in the junior ranks.
"If I was in their place, I would take a break for one or two years," Williams said. "I would do some sailing, some ice skating, and I would come back unranked, just so I could become No. 1 within five or six months."
But he also said that nothing can stop the Williams family.
"We'll always be around," he said. "There are tournaments we're going to skip but we'll play and win all the Grand Slams," he said.
"In the six or seven years to come, we won't leave anything to anybody, or only by pure chance."
He said Serena and Venus were first accused of being arrogant and were now facing more criticism and insinuations.
"Have you never heard people say: 'They're physically too strong not to have taken doping?'
"Now it's a new story. They say: 'The Williams sisters dominate tennis so much they're going to kill the show, to kill tennis.'
"And I say to all the old white guys, 'why don't you leave the stands?'," he said.
Williams added that his daughters were dominating the game because they had stolen the best shots from their rivals.
"The whites have always said that black people were robbers. My daughters are robbers. They're going to rob you of your best shot and make it our best shot.
"My daughters are the best two robbers in the world," he said.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.