You can forgive Tornado and Hurricane Black for the slight eye rolls and exasperated sighs when Serena and Venus Williams are raised in the course of a conversation. They've heard this all before.
The two African American sisters from Florida are among the best young tennis prospects in America, the 15-year-old Tornado reaching the third round of the U.S. Open Junior Women's Tournament. Her sister, Hurricane, is the top-ranked 12-and-under women's player in the U.S.
And yes, the Black sisters were pushed toward the sport by their father … just like the Williams sisters. Unlike Richard Williams, Sylvester Black was a Davis Cup player and national sprinter for Jamaica. The dynamic duos athletic pedigree is enhanced by their mother, Gayal Black, who was a competitive swimmer for Jamaica.
Still, once one gets past the incredible names, its the Black sisters' game that stands out and leads to inevitable comparisons with the Williams sisters, two of the best female players of all time. As chronicled by the New York Post, Tornado plays with a combination of finesse, power and poise, just like Serena. Hurricane is a whirl of overpowering force and skill, mowing down any similarly aged competitors she faces.
Put those profiles together, and the sisters have had to get used to the Williams comparisons. Luckily they're beginning to take them in stride.
"I used to hate it, still not liking it now, but I’m getting used to it," Tornado Black told the Post. "I just want to be myself and do my own thing and not follow other people’s steps.
"Now some people are like, ‘Oh, are you going to be the next Sloane?'"
And the names? Tornado said the sisters are finally embracing the flair that comes from them, too.
"They wanted us to be tennis stars so they picked storm names," said Black. "I used to hate it because a lot of kids made fun of me, but now I’m getting used to it. I like it now."