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The William Sisters: NIGERIANS HAVE MADE US FEEL SPECIAL! THIS WON’T BE OUR LAST TRIP TO NIGERIA!

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SERENA: NIGERIANS HAVE MADE US FEEL SPECIAL
Serena Williams praises Nigerians for the warm reception given to her ahead of the exhibition match against her sister. She spoke at a press conference which JOHNNY EDWARD attended
What makes this trip special Serena?
The fact that we are here to empower young girls who are ready to break the mould and carve a niche for themselves in the society makes this visit special. We are really happy to be here. Again, the fact that many Nigerians were tweeting to confirm our coming made it to be so special. Those lovely messages to me were so soothing and I love them all. I can’t wait to play against my sister here in Nigeria.
Rumours have it that the Williams have their roots in this country, could you clear the air on this?
In as much as we love to be associated with Africans and black people around the world, I would like to use this medium again to reiterate that we are citizens of the United States of America.
Are you promising Nigerians andyour fans that Friday’s match will be more that an exhibition game?
(Laughs) I’m looking forward to playing a great game against my sister here, to give back to the society and
inspire the youths.
What are those things you want to say have really influenced you to excel in the sport and part of which you want to give back to the younger ones?
I’ve been influenced by so many people and experience that I cherish so much. Those challenges and impact have made me a better player and person.
VENUS: THIS WON’T BE OUR LAST TRIP TO NIGERIA
Venus Williams promises to return to Nigeria some day after her exhibition match with her younger sister in Lagos tomorrow. She spoke at a media conference yesterday. JOHHNY EDWARD was there.
How do you feel being in Nigeria to support the recently launched ‘‘Breaking The Mould’’ campaign- a women’s empowerment initiative?
It’s so exciting and it’s amazing to see how people love us here in Nigeria. I’m looking forward tomeeting people here and be part of the launching of the Breaking the Mould campaign in Nigeria. Women have so much to contribute to the development ofthe society and this initiative is asimportant as playing tennis. I’m glad to be playing here in Nigeria. Playing against my sister here is going to be a final between us. I’ve heard a lot about Nigeria and her people and this won’t be our last trip. People are showing great love to us and we are happy to be here as well.
Could you share your experience with us when your sister Serena won her first grand slam?
It was an amazing feeling when she won because emotionally, I get stronger whenever she wins games and I also learn from it when she loses sometimes in case I have to face the same opponent she lost to one day. In all, she is a great tennis player and I’m always proud of her.
And when she loses?
I take it in good faith.
You have won seven singles titles, thirteen in women’s doubles and two in mixed doubles. Also, your seven Grand Slam singles titles place you with four other women in the twelfth place on the all-time list. What motivates you each time you’re on the court?
Well, I love what I do and I always give my best each time I go to the court. It’s amazing to have won those titles and the hunger to win more still burns inme. Our goal is to be at the next Olympics in Rio and perform well there. That’s why we want to stay healthy to defend our title.
How was it like growing up with your dad as a coach?
(Laughs) He did the right thing because the results are there to be seen but of course, he was tough and I had some great moments growing up and learning the game under him.
The Williams sisters have established schools in Kenya, is there any plan to doing the samehere in Nigeria and how is the school faring?
The school is going on well there.It’s basically about giving kids good education but we intend toexpand it with time. Setting up a school in Nigeria is going to be a good idea as well.

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