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Raising Tennis Aces - The Williams Story

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The lives and careers of the tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams are documented, with special attention paid to the training techniques of their father Richard Williams.

Amazon.com

With authorized bios like this, who needs exposés? While thrilling tournament footage attests to Venus and Serena Williams's domination of tennis, they come off as mere pawns to their father, self-proclaimed "master planner" Richard, who, as the narrator informs viewers, "single-mindedly raised two sporting champions." Richard has served as the sisters' manager, coach, and father, and according to this program he planned his daughters' destinies before they were born. There is no arguing with his success, which is delineated in the number of championships won, the endorsements earned, and the sisters' phenomenal net worth. But self-deprecation ("I'm just a poor little cotton picker") is not Richard's game. "People look up to me wherever I go," he states at one point. "It's like I'm a god almost." There is much here to inspire young fans, who may enjoy the charming home movie footage and living vicariously through the women's glamorous off-court activities, which range from fashion shoots and music video appearances to commercials. But Richard's harrowing memories of growing up in the segregated South may be too graphic for some. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Richard Williams
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Xenon
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 54 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000714F3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,661 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
A look "behind the scenes" and behind the hype, at the Williams family. The story is augmented by footage of a training session at their compound, and old home movie footage of Venus and Serena.
The story is one that's not often told in perspective, and is really pretty interesting. Father Richard Williams had a rough life. He grew up poor (in rural Louisiana), with his absent father living down the street and providing nothing. He watched one childhood friend get run down by a white woman in a car, apparently intentionally. (Williams shows us the tree he planted at the time, in his friend's honor, now a large flowering tree). He had a nail driven into his leg because he wouldn't call a white man "sir" on a golf course. He had nothing. He moved to Compton, worked menial jobs, eventually worked his way to having his own security company. He had the idea to train future children to play tennis, because there was money in it. He subsequently trained Venus and Serena, unconventionally, while raising them (with his wife) to reflect what he describes as values that were strong in past eras - including love of family and poise under stressful circumstance. You can see where his goals in raising them mirror the same goals most of us have in raising children - for them to be happy AND to understand how to take responsibility for their own lives.
Not everything possible is here - Oracene/Brandy (the mother) isn't featured at all, and there are a few hard question that could be asked that aren't. But what is here is interesting and inspirational. The DVD has a nice set of extra interviews and extra footage.
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i treasure this dvd because it demonsrates that with a goal in mind-belief in one's can do attitude,regardless of the ridicule and negative attitudes of others- anyone has the ability to reach for the stars.

I'M really inspired and I salute Mr Richard Williams for the values He instilled in his children to not let anybody sidetrack their focus on their goals and also He taught me of the importance of family support.
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The Williams sisters - Venus and Serena - changed the game of women's tennis by adding power to the game. This DVD tells their story and shows them in their youth on the tennis court and with their family. Serena had so much energy. Richard Williams tells some of his story in learning the game of tennis and teaching his girls different training techniques that helped their games and sent both of them to the number one position in the sport.
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Granted, he was the one that trained the girls, it was very interesting, and uplifting to see that Venus was a Jehovah's witness and when she expressed that there is more than tennis, I just thought to myself, what a great example for others to see
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I studied many success stories of many greats past & present. By far Richard and the producers of this dvd have done a great job. The documenting of the Williams sisters was warm, entertaining, as well as educationally informative. With heart, dedication, the right amount of effort (work) and determination any thing is possible. What I loved the most was Richard's "no pressure" approach to training the sisters in a tight-knit family. I just couldn't believe I knew so little about the Williams family story.
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"Raising Tennis Aces" is an insightful look into the tennis phenoms Venus and Serena Williams. But more than that, this documentary takes the viewer into an in-depth look at the force behind these two players; their father, Richard Williams.

Mr. Williams' upbringing in the deep south embedded a philosophy of family devotion, pride, respect of ones' self, hard work, perserverance, resourcefulness, strength, power and faith that he obviously instilled into Venus and Serena.

This film shows that is takes more than just physical strength to overcome your opponent; whether it be on a tennis court or off. I admire what Mr. Williams did with these two great athletes. Everything they have, they can outrightly claim they earned. You don't have to have country club money to be a winner. But possessing the internal workings of a mind that is set, focused, dedicated and ready to withstand all of the stumbling blocks that can be thrown in ones' path is found in this story.

It is a great documentary, and the viewer is priviliged to be invited into the Williams' world.
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I doubt that anyone who never has followed tennis would really enjoy this. But for those of us who miss the good old days, it's a
treat to recall the good old days when these two wonderful women won everything in sight!
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This is a beautiful documentary on a very important and usually overlooked chapter of U.S. History. A pleasant and fun account of how a very poor and socially despised young black man raised two of his daughters to be the world's champion tennis players, did it with them in Compton, California, and later parts East. The little girls are adorable and gifted; their father is loving, very creative and wise. Get ready to laugh, get ready to grip the edges of your seats; and get ready to grow, learn, and understand.
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