(From L-R) Muttiah Muralitharan, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, and Aaron Finch
We have seen Venus and sister Serena Williams weave magic with their tennis rackets on countless occasions over the decades. However, in one instance, they switched their rackets for cricket bats and struck a few crisp shots under the watchful eyes of Muttiah Muralitharan (aka Murali) and Aaron Finch.
This interesting episode took place around the first week of 2014, mere days ahead of the Australian Open. Serena Williams, who was then the World No. 1, had just come off winning the 2014 Brisbane International, beating rivals Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka en route to the title.
A few days later, Venus and Serena Williams joined hands with Murali and Finch, both of whom were plying their trade for the Melbourne Renegades at the time.
The Williams sisters and cricketers assembled on the rooftop of the Olsen Hotel in Melbourne. The Americans batted and kept wickets, all while donning chic and glamorous attire. In the end, all four stars posed together, with the two cricketers gifting the Williams sisters their own Melbourne Renegades jersey.
Below are some images from the occasion:
(From L-R) Murali, Finch, Serena Williams, and Venus WilliamsSerena Williams prepares to hit a shot as Venus Williams dons the keeping glovesSerena Williams celebrates one of her shotsVenus Williams’ time to play a shot
Interestingly, both sisters wielded the cricket bat left-handed, similar to a double-handed backhand in tennis. Recently, Naomi Osaka was spotted using a similar technique while playing baseball, which makes it appear as though tennis players prefer a double-handed grip while playing bat sports.
How did Venus & Serena Williams fare at the 2014 Australian Open?
Serena Williams at the 2014 Australian Open
Venus and Serena Williams both began their 2014 campaigns strongly. While Serena won the Brisbane International, older sister Venus finished runner-up at the ASB Classic, losing to Ana Ivanovic in the summit clash.
However, neither of the Williams sisters could carry forward their sublime form to the year’s opening Slam. Venus Williams fell at the very-first hurdle in the Australian Open, as 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova showed her the door.
Top seed Serena Williams, on the other hand, got her 2014 Australian Open campaign off to a solid start after scoring a 6-2, 6-1 win over wildcard entrant Ashleigh Barty.
Williams went on to beat Vesna Dolonc 6-1, 6-2, before ousting Daniela Hantuchova in the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 scoreline.
In the fourth round, Ana Ivanovic stopped Serena’s blistering run by handing the American a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 defeat.