Sister Smackdown

No one's more competitive than sisters, but it's rare that you get to see the drama play out on Centre Court at Wimbledon. When Venus Williams clobbered her kid sis to win the championship in July, she tried to graciously control her glee at the awards ceremony, while Serena struggled not to look like a grump. So with the U.S. Open in full swing this month, we wanted to know: How does it feel to compete in such a public arena?

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"I don't like it, because she's my sister and best friend, but also because she's so darn good," Serena told us. "When we're playing, I try to think of her as just another opponent across the net who I want to beat, but it's hard. Still, when it's over, we're sisters and we're family. She's better than I am at losing and then being best friends afterward, but I'm trying to get better at it. I'm the baby sister, so I have to win!"

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Driven hard by their father, Serena, 26, and Venus, 28, have had 16 head-to-head battles and are tied at eight wins each. Venus--who shares a house with Serena in Florida--said, "I'm very sympathetic toward Serena when we're playing, but I still want to win. I try to keep in mind that it's great when we get to play because it's what we used to wish for when we were little. We're both living our dream."

Let's hope it doesn't turn nightmarish at the U.S. Open, where Serena--now ranked fifth in the world, just two spots above Venus — will no doubt be looking to avenge her Wimbledon loss.

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