Taking a look at the world-famous Tennis champion and overall rockstar, Serena Williams and her success story.
Serena Williams was born on September 26, 1981. Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Oracene Price and Richard Williams, and is the youngest of Price’s five daughters. The family moved to Compton, California, where Williams started playing tennis at the age of four. Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister, Venus Williams.
When Serena Williams was nine, she attended the tennis academy of Rick Macci; Macci began to provide her with additional coaching. In 1995, however, William’s father pulled his daughters (Serena and Venus) out of Macci’s academy and, from then on, took over all coaching at their home.
Her first professional event was in October 1995 at the Bell Challenge in Quebec, she used a wild-card entry to circumvent age-eligibility rules. Serena Williams is a force to reckon with and her success story is proof. She has won 39 Grand Slam titles including 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles.
Her Grand Slam Single wins include the Australian Open for 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017. She has also created a benchmark for herself at the French Open by winning in 2002, 2013 and 2015 as well as Wimbledon in 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016. She also earned glory at the US Open held in 1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Serena Williams also has several Grand Slam Doubles wins to her credit. Along with sister Venus, she won a record 3 doubles gold in the Olympics as a team. Her impeccable record of Grand Slam wins puts her third on the all-time list and second in the open era.
In 2013, she became the oldest no. 1 player at the age of 31 years and 4 months. She is the only tennis player in history, in both men and women categories to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open). She holds the record of winning the most women’s singles matches at the Grand Slams. If holding records was a competition, she’d win at that too.
Earning almost $29 million in prize money and endorsements, Williams was the highest-paid female athlete in 2016. She repeated this feat in 2017 when she was the only woman on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-paid athletes with $27 million in prize money and endorsements. She has won the ‘Laureus Sportswoman of the Year’ award four times (2003, 2010, 2016, 2018), and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. In 2019, she was ranked 63rd in Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list.
Turning entrepreneur, she launched her own line of cosmetics, ‘Aneres’ in 2004 along with her signature collection of handbags and jewellery sold under her own brand name, ‘Serena’.
Build African Schools, common Ground Foundation, Elton John AIDS Foundation,Eva Longoria Foundation, Global Goals, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Hearts of Gold, I Heart My Girlfriends, The HollyRod Foundation, UNICEF and World Education are some of the non-profits she supports.
One the personal front, Serena Williams gave birth to a girl on September 1, 2017. She named her Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. On 17 November 2017, Serena Williams tied the knot with her long-time fiance and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian. The wedding festivities were held at New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center.
“I definitely have found a balance. I’ve had so many offers in the past to do different movies or different things and I always choose tournaments over it,” says Serena Williams who’s true to the game because she owes so much to it.