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FATHER IS FROM MARS, WHILE WINNER IS FROM VENUS?
Published March 29, 1999
The Lipton Championships final between Venus and Serena Williams on Sunday marked the first time sisters met in the finals. In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes that Venus and Serena Williams "made Fox look like a genius" for picking up the Lipton finals. Rogers: "The two put on a such compelling display of tennis that Tracy Austin turned in one of her best performances as an analyst" (A.C., 3/29). In Miami, Peter Bosch writes that an IMG exec was heard to say at the end of the 28-minute first set, "It's going to go three sets. Fox has two hours" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/29). DADDY DEAREST? Richard Williams posted seven messages during the match which he "strenuously displayed for the television cameras." In N.Y., George Vecsey calls the one which read "The Williams Family loves Fox TV" a "trifle tacky" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/29). Other signs read: "I told you so," "It's Venus's house," "Go, Serena, Go," and "Let's hear it for the Williams sisters and Lipton" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/29). NEWSDAY's Shaun Powell writes that the success of the sisters makes Williams "a very proud, accomplished and dangerous man," whose "bizarre personality threatened to steal the show at Lipton." Powell: "He should allow his daughters to thrive without his interference. His presence was necessary at first; now it's clumsy" (NEWSDAY, 3/29). In Miami, Meri-Jo Borzilleri wrote that prior to the Lipton finals, ticketholders could get their hair "corn-rowed and beaded" for $5 a strand (MIAMI HERALD, 3/28)....Despite the appeal of the WTA women, Charles Bricker reported that the Lipton men's final was sold out two days in advance, while the "increasingly exciting" WTA Tour had 1,000 tickets left for its final, as of noon Saturday (SUN-SENTINEL, 3/28).