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Venus and Serena Williams portray domination and inspiration




LeGeorge Mauldin, assistant coach at The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis/ Tutorial Academy
LeGeorge Mauldin, assistant coach at The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis/ Tutorial Academy
Julian Burrell

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On Saturday two of the biggest sports icons from Southern California went face to face across the net: Compton's own Serena and Venus Williams.

It was the first time in 14 years that the Williams Siblings played for an Australian Open Title.

After a heavily contested match, Serena beat her sister 6-4 to claim her 23rd Tennis Grand Slam Championship.

As she accepted her trophy, Serena was gracious to her older sister. "I really would like to take this moment to congratulate Venus," She said. "She's an amazing person. There's no way I would be at 23 [championships] without her. There's no way I would be at one without her."

"I was kind of rooting for Venus, hoping she could get to number eight, but, Serena did what she need to do in order to get to 23. ," LeGeorge Mauldin said.  

Mauldin grew up with the sisters, playing tennis on the courts in and around their hometown. He always admired how hard they played the game "Out here you have to be intense to become a tennis player, not only in the pros but also as a junior player playing in Southern California."

As the Williams continue to dominate the sport of tennis, Mauldin continues their legacy here in Southern California. He's an assistant coach at the Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Tutorial Academy near Culver City.

Two of his students are sister Katrina and Hannah Smith, 12 and 10.

While they're young, Katrina is very familiar with the most famous siblings in tennis.

"Since I first started watching the tennis matches I admired them and I always look out for them whenever I watch major tennis tournaments," Katrina said.

Hannah thought that Saturday's match-up was, "interesting because I knew they were sisters and I was going to see if they kind of made mistakes and if they knew each other's weaknesses in tennis so I'd see if they'd use that."

The Williams sister's dominance has been called the ultimate sibling rivalry. But Mauldin is hesitant to identify it that way. "I think it's called just pushing one another," He said. "The younger sister pushing the big sister, the big sister teaching the younger sister on what to do when to do it how to do it, things like that."

Mauldin believes that learning to play tennis at the Williams Academy can set students up for success. But that doesn’t always mean being an international superstar.

"I tell the kids, 'Look, we're not out here to try and make everyone go pro. If you want to go pro great, but let's try to get a tennis scholarship.' It's different avenues you can take just by playing this game of tennis of ours,"

That’s all well and good… but Hannah has her own plan that was inspired by Venus and Serena.

"I want to grow up to be as good as them and if not maybe even better," Hannah said.

To hear the full conversation, click the blue player above.

Answers have been edited for clarity.