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Serena Williams and her sister Venus praised for 'busting down doors'

WSL surfers will wear the names of female athletes like Serena and Venus

venus serena william
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams have been praised for "busting down the doors of women’s sporting areas". Serena and Venus have been role models for women for years, speaking out about sexism in sport, body image and longevity. 

For 2023 International Women's Day, former world number one surfer Lakey Peterson will wear the sisters' last name on her jersey as she takes to the water - along with other members of the World Surf League's Championship Tour - to honor those who have inspired them.

"I have always been a really big fan of tennis. Both Venus and Serena Williams are huge inspirations for me. I didn’t want to choose between the both of them, so I chose just WILLIAMS to be on the back of my jersey in wanting to represent both Venus and Serena," Lakey, 28, shared.

venus serena william© Photo: Getty Images

Venus and Serena, picvtured in 2001, dominated the tennis world for nearly three decades

"I think they are two women who have busted down the doors of women’s sporting areas, and proven what can be done as females on the court. They are great representations off the court too,"  she continued. "I am honestly just a massive fan of the Williams sisters, grew up watching them on TV, and I grew up playing tennis, so that is who I decided to represent on my jersey this year for International Women’s Day."

The famous sisters, Serena and Venus, have dominated the tennis world for nearly three decades 

They won their first U.S. Open doubles title in 1999 and together have gone on to win 22 titles, 14 Grand Slams and three Olympic gold medals as a doubles team. Venus, 42, is a seven-time Grand Slam singles champion - including five at Wimbledon - while Serena, 41, has the highest number of singles titles among men or women, with 23.

lakey peterson© Photo: Getty Images

Lakey will wear the Williams' sister's name on her jersey 

Off the court, the two sisters have also shown their kind hearts, with celebrity makeup artist friend Pauline Briscoe telling HELLO! in 2022 how her famous friend helped her out with a family emergency.

The makeup artist remembered when Serena flew Pauline home from Milan to stay the night with her young son because he was missing her.

She said: "Serena shows me kindness all of the time. But one really notable time was when she flew me home from Milan to stay the night with my little boy who is now 10-years-old as he was missing me after being away for work for almost a week with her.

"It was really lovely to spend that time with him. She’s such a loving mom and really gets it where being a mom is concerned."

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