History is set to repeat itself this weekend when Venus and Serena Williams compete for the 2017 Australian Open championship - 19 years after they first played each other in a Grand Slam tournament, in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open (Venus won that time, 7-6, 6-1).
As the world awaits that showdown at Rod Laver Arena on the weekend, it's an excellent time to get an insight into how these two champions tick. Maiken Baird and Michelle Major's documentary, Venus and Serena, looks back at how two gifted tweens from Compton managed to overcome more obstacles than most, to dominate the international tennis circuit for almost 20 years, and defy expectations about a tennis player's career longevity.
The film takes an unfiltered look at how this amazing pair (born just 15 months apart) made it to the top, and provides intimate access to the challenges they've faced along the way. The documentary focuses on a dark time for the pair back in 2011, when Venus in particular, was facing a potentially career-ending diagnosis of an auto-immune disease, which forced her to withdraw from the 2011 US Open and to reevaluate her lifestyle. Serena, too, was plagued by frustration and disappointment. At the time, it seemed they might be reaching the end of their extraordinary careers, and yet, six years on, here we are, primed for another Williams vs Williams Grand Slam final. Long may they reign.
Watch the trailer
Watch 'Venus and Serena' at SBS on Demand
M, United States, 2012
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