The impact of Barack Obama's historic election win has extended to the tennis court, at the WTA's year-end Sony Ericsson Championships in the politically sensitive Middle East.
As Jehovah's Witnesses, the Williams sisters do not vote - but that does not mean they do not care.
Nine-time grand slam champion Serena Williams said she walked out for Wednesday's round-robin match against Dinara Safina with her shoulders back and her chest puffed out with pride after the momentous events in her home country. Struggling to sleep on Wednesday night in her Doha hotel, she had watched the results unfold and was "choked up" watching Obama's victory confirmed.
"It's just a great time to be black right now in the United States," she said. "Everyone's proud."
Her sister Venus, the winner of five Wimbledon and two US Open titles, had earlier spoken eloquently of her love for a country that nevertheless "since its beginning was supposed to be a place where people were escaping intolerance, [but] became a country that was really intolerant of different minorities and skin colours.
"So it's interesting, because … my dad grew up in Louisiana, a place where he was called 'Boy' and shown no respect. Where he couldn't say anything. I'm very close to what things were like in the past … So I think it's amazing that America has the opportunity to have someone who is a minority or mixed race, or whatever you want to call it. Hopefully, it will just give more people opportunities and more people will work hard and say, 'Yeah, I can be my best, too, no matter what my background is'."
Serena, too, spoke of her excitement and her thoughts for her father, back home in Florida. "It's just everything that I think African Americans have been through, I mean even 40 years ago, even 30 years ago, and even today still," she said.
Serena said she was almost speechless to think of the Obama family in the White House. "I got choked up. I was just thinking about everything - Martin Luther King and Malcolm X and all the pioneers … Althea Gibson, why I'm playing tennis today. All of these people. Arthur Ashe, who led the way for us … it's amazing."
• • Tennis star Serena Williams, to the New York Times: ''I don't really get involved in political affairs because of the way I was brought up and being a Jehovah's Witness, but it's exciting to see someone like Barack Obama have a chance to lead one of the world's biggest nations.''