The winner of thirty-nine Grand Slams and four golds in Olympic, Serena Williams marked her name on the pages of history. Williams, the former number one female tennis player started young. Moreover, a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour ushered with the Williams sisters. So, we at Bragsocial brings you a glimpse of Serena’s life, both, on and off the court.
A Star is Born
The youngest child of Oracene Price and Richard Williams, Serena was born on September 26, 1981, in Michigan. Apart from having Venus Williams as her full elder sister, she also has three older half-sisters from her mother’s side and almost seven other siblings from her father’s side. Williams began playing tennis from the age of four when they moved to Crompton. She, along with Venus, was home-schooled by their father. She began participating in the national junior tennis tournaments. And soon, she became number one among the under-10 players in Florida. However, her father stopped taking her to these tournaments, as they would have to face a lot of racism from the white parents during the tournament. Partly because he wanted her to enjoy their childhood and focus on school first.
However, Williams’ parents wanted her to enter the professionals after she turned sixteen. But, in the year 1995, as Serena turned fourteen she wanted to debut the professionals as a wild-card. But due to the age restrictions, as imposed by the WTA, she could not participate. However, then in October 1995 at the Bell Challenge in Quebec, she debuted in her professional career. But, she could not qualify for the qualifying rounds.
Journey To The Top
“I don’t like to lose — at anything… Yet I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us.”
After officially entering the professional tournaments, Williams did not win any matches initially. But she became the top-ten player of the time. However, she won her first professional singles title during Open Gaz de France in Paris, defeating Amélie Mauresmo in the finals. From then on, Serena did not back down and began her journey to become the number one.
In the 1999 US Open, she took the World’s number one female tennis player, Martina Hingis, in the finals. Therefore, she became the second African-American woman, after Althea Gibson in 1958, to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. The very next year, in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Serena teamed up with Venus and won her first Olympic gold medal in the doubles. Therefore, she ended the year with World rank number six.
By the end of 2002, she became number one, the second African-American to reach the top after Althea Gibson. Moreover, she went on to win a total of Thirty-Nine Grand Slams, twenty-three in singles, fourteen in doubles, and two in mix-doubles. And when it comes to Olympics, she has won a total of four golds in the Olympics, one in singles and three in doubles. In 2016, Serena Williams became the highest-paid female athlete, and the very next year, she repeated it and became the only woman to appear on the top-100 highest-paid athlete on Forbes’ list. As of last year, on October 12, 2020, she ranked number-ten in the world on the list of WTA.
Life Off The Court
Be it on court or off court, Serena Williams have been an inspiration for millions of people. She thrilled us with her performances on court as well as off the court. She married to the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, in 2016. Together they have a daughter, named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Apart from her talents on the tennis court, she works for the betterment of society. She has received several awards for her activism and charity work. On several occasions, she has raised her voice for the black lives and LGBTQ- community. Serena, with her sister, has dedicated themselves to many charity tours too. She has also served as an International Goodwill Ambassador with UNICEF since 2011. He has been She has a whole line of the fashion clothing line. From 2004, she has run her own line of clothing, “Aneres”, her name spelled backward. Recently in 2019 fall, she launched a new sustainable clothing line, S for Serena, where the designs range for all body types.
In 2001, she appeared on the television along with sister Venus, when she provided the voice for Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, in the animated show, The Simpsons. Other than this, she has appeared on numerous television shows like Keeping Up with The Kardashians, The Bernie Mac Show, Pixels, Ocean’s 8, etc. She has also had two documentaries made on her life, Serena: The Other Side of Greatness and Being Serena. In 2005, the Williams sisters wrote a book, Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning, along with the author Hilary Beard. But, her first solo autobiography came out after the 2009 US Open, entitled On the Line.
“You can be whatever size you are, and you can be beautiful both inside and out. We’re always told what’s beautiful and what’s not, and that’s not right.”
Serena Williams have worked hard, both on and off the court, to make as well as maintain the glory. She knows how to take and maintain the stardom and makes use of it in best way possible. She works as a philanthropist and runs numerous funds. Apart from owning these funds, she also collaborates with many, like Elton John AIDS Foundation, Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund, World Education, and many more. She has worked and still continues to work for the empowerment of the underprivileged.
Serena has set an outstanding example for all the girls and women who have the capability but fear holds them back. She has been on the top of her game and still continue to thrive. She has inspired millions, and still continues to inspire millions.