Wrapping up a whirlwind visit Serena tweeted - Serena Williams?@serenawilliams
- I LOVE SOUTH AFRICA!!!! I LOVE it. I LOVE it. I LOVE it. And I love everyone here!!! You guys made my trip amaz! I can't wait to come back!
The Williams Sisters were in the country this week to champion 'Breaking the Mould' (BTM), an initiative created by Octagon SA aimed specifically at acknowledging and recognizing women (of all ages) who have broken the mould whether at home, play, at work or in their communities. These are women who have risen above their own set of challenges and adversities to succeed and inspire millions of women of all ages across the globe.
The sisters' whistle-stop visit to Johannesburg included a development clinic at the Arthur Ashe Academy in Soweto that was attended by 60 children aged between 8 and 16 years; a gala dinner on Saturday night where the great and the good of Gauteng gathered to applaud the sisters' triumphs; and culminated in the sold-out exhibition match on Sunday afternoon.
This was the 25th time the sisters have gone head to head on the tennis court - Serena leading with her 14 wins. The BTM Venus vs Serena Williams Exhibition Match also broke the mould with a curtain raiser featuring Wheelchair Tennis SA and Tennis SA players with wheelchair- bound 'ball kids'. Wheelchair Tennis SA through the Sports Trust, were the recipients of R100,000 raised at an auction of original tennis memorabilia kindly donated by the sisters, at the gala dinner.
"We felt it was appropriate that this important occasion should be marked by another mould breaking moment", said Qondisa Ngwenya - or Q as he is known - Octagon's MD and the mastermind behind the BTM initiative.
"We have created an initiative that will make a significant difference to our society - one that reaches people in all spheres - from sport to the arts - so that people can believe in realising their dreams when they set them ... so that young people know they have role models who are willing to support them and encourage them; so that we can help catalyse greatness in individuals."
The matches were broadcast live on SABC 3.Venus and Serena Williams - Statistics
|Venus Williams||Vs||Serena Williams|
|17 June 1980 (32)||BIRTH DATE (AGE)||26 September 1981 (31)|
|Lynwood, CA, USA||BIRTH PLACE||Saginaw, MI, USA|
|Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA||RESIDENCE||Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA|
|6'1" (1.85m)||HEIGHT||5'9" (1.75m)|
|160 lbs. (72.5kg)||WEIGHT||155 lbs. (70kg)|
|Pro (31 October 1994)||STATUS||Pro (September 1995)|
|1||YTD SINGLES TITLES||6|
|44||CAREER SINGLES TITLES||45|
|$607,316||YTD PRIZE MONEY||$5,295,975|
|$28,497,747||CAREER PRIZE MONEY||$40,047,909|
|Right Handed/Two handed Backhand||PLAYS||Right Handed/Two handed Backhand|
|Wilson BLX Blade Team||RACQUETS||Wilson BLX Blade Team|
|11||HEAD TO HEAD||14|
- The BTM Exhibition Match was umpired by Adri du Plessis who started umpiring in 1990. She received her white badge in 2000. Since then she has umpired in several Davis Cup ties (including the tie between South Africa and Denmark), Fed Cup ties in South Africa and abroad as well as Challenger and Satellite events.
She was part of the team of chair umpires during the 2010 Wheelchair World Team event. She umpired at Wimbledon in 2009 and 2010 and most recently at the 2012 US Open where she was part of the team of officials who umpired the finals of the mixed doubles. Wheelchair Tennis SA
- A curtain raiser match was played before the main event.
Who is behind BTM?
WheelChair Tennis SA
Lucas Sithole - Ranked #1 SA Men and #7 in the world
Kgothatso Montjane - Ranked #1 SA Women and #10 in the world
Tennis South Africa
Illse Hattingh - Only 16 years of age but is ranked #1 Girls Under 16 and under 18 and # 71 in the world.
Lynn Kiro - Aged 17 years, ranked #6 in SA and # 120 in the world.
BTM was conceived by Octagon Marketing's Managing Director Qondisa Ngwenya (Q). BTM aims to promote and sustain a "Breaking the Mould" culture in South Africa. Over the years, Q has seen, repeatedly, how the power of leading female athletes and personalities can inspire and encourage audiences from all walks of life to achieve great things. Venus and Serena Williams were chosen as international mould breakers through a collaboration with Octagon and Intermatch Sports Marketing - which they did as a result of shared vision for the development of tennis on the African continent.