Williams sisters to go for fourth doubles gold at Rio 2016

Associated Press

10/31/2012 10:49:46 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria -- On their first visit to Nigeria, Serena and Venus Williams were ready to inspire local kids to set their goals high.

"We were really able to break the mould and win a lot of Grand Slams and a lot of tournaments and not only that, but kind of change the face of tennis," Serena said Wednesday.

"We were able to break the mould in a sport that was really dominated by white people and to have a face of colour that could come in and do the same and dominate, (it lets) people know that it doesn't matter what your background is and where you come from. If you have dreams, if you have goals, that's all that really matters."

The sisters, accompanied by their mother Oracene Price, are in Nigeria's largest city for the week as part of a promotional tour culminating with an exhibition match between them on Friday.

After a news conference in which a journalist suggested they actually came from Nigeria, the sisters swatted tennis balls with local children at an exclusive private club on Ikoyi Island, home to diplomats and many of the nation's wealthy.

If they have their way, the sisters will be hitting tennis balls for at least another four years, all the way to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"It's our main goal," said the 31-year-old Serena, a three-time Olympic doubles gold medallist with Venus. "We were talking ... about how we can't wait to get to Rio. And obviously, bearing that we're both healthy, that's our goal to be there."

Venus, who is 32, agreed: "That's what we've begun preparing for."

Venus and Serena have teamed to win 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and won Olympic gold in doubles in 2000, 2008 and 2012. Serena also won the singles gold this year, while Venus won it in 2000.

Serena, who beat Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 to win the WTA Championships final in Istanbul last week, is ranked No. 3 in the world. Venus, diagnosed last year with an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue, has struggled with illnesses and injuries in recent months and is ranked No. 24.