Serena Williams of the USA celebrates with her father Richard Williams after her Ladies’ Singles final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland on day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships.
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Richard Williams was the driving force behind the girls when they began playing tennis and still influences them despite stepping away as their coach a few years ago.

Sydney Scott
Jul, 15, 2016

Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams proved once again just how strong they are after reports surfaced days before Serena's solo and the sisters' doubles win at Wimbledon that their father, Richard, suffered a stroke. 

By now, most people familiar with the sisters know how close the two are with their father. Richard Williams was the driving force behind the girls when they began playing tennis and still influences them despite stepping away as their coach a few years ago. 

In an exclusive interview with Radar, Lakeisha Williams confirms that the Williams patriarch did have a stroke and was released from the hospital last week. "His condition is fair – he’s up and walking around but he’s not at 100 percent. He needs speech therapy, psychological therapy and physical therapy but for now he refused,” she said, "I’m trying to get him under control and relaxed so that when we come back from out of town we could try to get that going. But he doesn’t wish to be bothered with anybody."

Williams acknowledged that the road to recovery will be tough, adding, "His mind is telling him that since he was once in charge of his life, after what’s happened he’s not accepting it. To him he’s a normal person – nothing happened to him...We have to let nature take its course. I’ve been with him a long time so I know what he’s trying to say."