Each week, Baseline will take a look at a player who has thrived at one of the stops on the ATP and WTA tours during their career.

From Sydney to Rio, Venus and Serena Williams have made their mark on the Summer Olympics, fighting their way to the podium at nearly every edition of the Games since 2000.

Having proven themselves as Grand Slam champions in 1999 when Serena first won the US Open and Venus succeeding her as champion in New York, after her maiden Wimbledon triumph, the sisters ventured to Sydney, Australia, in the fall of 2000. Seeded second, Venus battled through the later stages of the draw to win her first gold medal, beating Elena Dementieva in the singles final. Serena wasn’t in the singles draw, but the sisters partnered together for doubles and dominated the field. Unseeded, they only dropped one set on their way to victory, knocking off Dutchwomen Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans in the final.


With Serena suffering from an injury in 2004, they were unable to defend their doubles title in Athens, Greece, and Venus, the sixth seed in singles, was upset in the third round. Looking for another shot at Olympic glory in singles in 2008 in Beijing, the fourth-seeded Serena and Venus, the seventh seed, both lost in the quarterfinals in singles to eventual gold medalist Dementieva and Li Na, respectively. Already owners of a career Grand Slam in doubles by this point, the sisters once again reigned in that category in Beijing, topping Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain in the final.

When the 2012 Olympics rolled around, one major prize was missing from Serena Williams’ trophy haul. History was on the line for the American and the venue in London—at Wimbledon—was the perfect place for her to try to secure the career “Golden Slam.” Having just won her fifth singles title at the All England Club a few weeks’ prior, Williams stormed through the draw, stopping Maria Sharapova in the final and denying the Russian her own Golden Slam, as well.

She would then go on to add the gold in women’s doubles, once again with Venus, and in the process become the first player to win all four Grand Slams and the top prize at the Summer Games in both disciplines.

The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was a shocking experience for the sisters as they both fell early in singles and their three-Games winning streak in doubles came to an end in the first round against the dangerous Czech team of Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova. Mixed doubles, introduced at the 2012 Olympics, presented an opportunity for at least one of the Williamses not to go home empty-handed. Partnering Rajeev Ram, Venus captured her first silver medal, as they fell to Jack Sock and Bethanie Mattek-Sands in an all-American matchup.


Should they choose to participate in the Olympics that were postponed to next year, it would be hard to discount either—or both—of them finding their way to the medal stand once again.

No Place Like 
'Home': Williamses 
and Olympic glory

No Place Like 'Home': Williamses and Olympic glory