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Venus and Serena Williams were forced to alter their statement to save face after suffering defeat in their ‘Battle of Sexes’ match

In an instalment of the 'Battle of Sexes', teenagers Venus and Serena Williams were defeated by then World No. 203 Karsten Braasch.

Venus Williams and Serena Williams

Venus and Serena Williams are often credited for taking women’s tennis to a different level. The two sisters turned Pro in a year’s gap with Venus turning Pro in 1994 and Serena in 1995. Both of them were revelations and a much-needed breath of fresh air on the Tour.

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The two sisters quickly rose up and started giving tough time to the already established players. Coached by father Richard Williams, the two sisters took the supreme confidence of their father and it replicated on the court as well whenever the two took the court.

One such incident happened back in 1998. The sisters reportedly declared within the ATP office that despite no tour title yet to their name, they could easily beat any ATP player ranked outside the Top 200. Their challenge was accepted by then-ranked World No. 203, Karsten Braasch, a former World No. 38 aged 30 while Venus and Serena were 17 and 16 respectively.

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“Played like someone ranked 600th,”  Karsten Braasch after defeating both Venus and Serena Williams

Venus Williams, Karsten Braasch and Serena Williams

Words of the Williams sisters were going to bite them back. Braasch had overheard the challenge of the duo and agreed to take on the duo in a 1-set winner takes all singles match. The match was held prior to the 1998 Australian Open and without any cameraman or chair umpire.

Braasch’s training routine was noted by one journalist as, “A man whose training regime centered around a pack of cigarettes and more than a couple of bottles of ice cold lager.” With Braasch almost double their ages, Venus and Serena nevertheless went into the match and were made to regret their decision.

Playing Serena first, the German raced to a 5-0 lead before Serena could finally hold her serve. Braasch would however close out the match with a 6-1 win. He was as dominant against Venus as well defeating her 6-2 to claim the win in the ‘Battle of Sexes‘ match making both Venus and Serena swallow their pride.

Following her loss, Serena went on to say, “I hit shots that would have been winners on the Women’s Tour and he got to them easily. This time next year, I’ll beat him. I have to pump some weight.” Braasch however had other words to say.

The German stated, “500 and above, no chance” later adding that he felt he was playing someone ranked outside the Top 600 and had to lower his level in order to make it fun. The trio however later admitted that the match was purely casual.

But as for Venus and Serena, they had to accept the defeat and were later reportedly found adjusting their estimate. From claiming they could beat anyone ranked outside the Top 200, they increased it to the Top 350.

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