TORONTO – Venus and Serena Williams haven’t often played the Rogers Cup the same years.
But they’re both in Toronto this year.
Back in the day, Venus (along with Lindsay Davenport, to name another) was pretty faithful to a three-tournament summer swing in California.
It included Stanford and L.A, and Carlsbad. And so they got more than enough US Open prep there. And at the time the Cincinnati event, which has now grown, was only a “Tier III” for the women.
So this is only the fifth time – and Venus first played the Canadian event in 1995 – that they’ve both been in it. Some years, they planned to. But Serena pulled out.
And on Monday morning, they practiced side by side.
A rare joint appearance
Only once have the two sisters ever made a real run during the same year. In 2014 in Montreal, Serena reached the semis only to lose to her sister in three sets.
Below some vintage press-conference video from the sisters.
Venus went on to be beaten by Agnieszka Radwanska in the final. But she loved the whole thing so much she immediately signed on to play the smaller Quebec City event after the US Open.
It was a crazy thing. 2014 was the first time Venus had played Montreal, and only the second time Serena had been there. The fans went crazy. Most of them had never seen the sisters play live, so it was bucket-list time for many.
With her ranking at No. 50, Venus needed a wild card in Toronto this year – until a few withdrawals allowed her to get straight in.
But she has to play the first round, because only the top eight seeds get byes. She will meet Carla Suárez Navarro.
Serena, after the withdrawal of Petra Kvitova, got the No. 8 seed and a first-round bye. She will play the winne Elise Mertens in her opener.
It’ll happen Wednesday night, as you already know if you’ve taken a stroll around the grounds.