Serena Jameka Williams is an African-American tennis former World No. 1. She was born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan to Richard and Oracene. However, she was raised in California, where she began to train at an early age.
In California, Serena won her first tournament at the age of 4 and continued competing thereafter alongside older sister Venus Williams, whom she succeeded to as the No. 1 player among 12 and below players in the said state. The Williams’ talent in tennis attracted nationwide attention from the press and advertisers. She and Venus Williams were later sent by his father to be trained in a tennis school by Rick Macci.
Serena turned pro only at the age of 14 in 1995, a year after her sister Venus debuted. In her first tournament, a non-WTA event, she lost in less than an hour in Quebec City.
It was in 1998 that Serena was able to penetrate the WTA top 20. In the same year, she lost in the second round of her first Grand Slam tournament to her sister Venus during the Australian Open.
Serena started to beat top seeds en route to the final in some titles in 1999, including then World No. 1 Martina Hingis at the U.S. Open. She ended the year as World No. 4. Her rank dropped to World No. 6 in 2000 and 2001.
In 2002, Serena won her first French Open and Wimbledon tournaments. Her 8 single titles gave her long coveted World No. 1 rank. Her left knee injury in 2003, made her back out from tennis events. Nevertheless, even after playing only 8 events that year, she still managed to rank as World No. 3 as she won both at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
One memorable game by Serena was in 2004 when she unpredictably lost at the Wimbledon finals to newcomer 17-year old Maria Sharapova. From 2004 to 2006, Serena’s career turned sour due to a chronic left knee injury. She even fell out of top 100 for non-participation in WTA events due to her injury.
Serena managed to climb back to the top 10 in 2007 after winning her third Australian Open. In early 2008, Serena defeated Venus during the Tier II Bangalore, India Open, winning 8 out of 15 matches with her sister throughout their entire professional careers. She even managed to topple top seed and rank No. 1 Justine Henin at the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Williams’ service is recognized as the best among the women, tying with sister Venus for the fastest service by a woman in a WTA tour for a 129 mph serve. She is also known for donning colorful and peculiar outfits in court.
In 2011, Williams started off her year with a foot injury, which caused her to withdraw from the Hopman Cup as well as the Australian Open. As a result of these withdrawals, her ranks dropped to No. 12. Williams also received some heat after facing off against Samantha Stosur, after the former verbally abused the chair umpire. Afterwards, Williams cited that she will not be playing in the China Open as she has been suffering from an injured toe.
She made an amazing career comeback from 2011 to 2013. Williams won Olympic gold medals in both the singles and doubles divisions in 2012. Within this period, she became the 8th player to win 11 titles or more in a year and also became the oldest player to become world number one if the history of WTA.
After having an unusual exit from Wimbledon, she proceeded to win 19 out of her 20 matches in 2014. Williams also held the number one rank for an entire calendar year, the first time a tennis player has done so since 1996. After winning the 2015 Australian Open, Williams became the only player to win all four Grand Slams at least once after turning 30 years old in the history of the sport.
While she matched Steffi Graf’s record for holding the longest stretch of world number one ranking with 186 continuous weeks in 2016, she had setbacks with her performance due to a shoulder injury. In 2017, she returned to the number one spot and surpassed Steffi Graf’s Open Era record with her 23rd Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open.
While she had health problems brought about by pregnancy, she was able to reach the final of the 2018 US Open but lost against Naomi Osaka. Williams returned to the top 10 and she is the World No. 10 as of May 2019.
Having a career record of 808–138, Serena has already won 72 WTA titles, among which are 23 Grand Slam titles – 6 U.S. Opens (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014), 3 French Opens (2002, 2013, 2015), 7 Australian Opens (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017) and 7 Wimbledon Championships (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016).
Achievements:• 808–138 (85.41%) career record – singles• 72 Women’s Tennis Association career titles - singles• 187–33 (85%) career record - doubles• 23 Women’s Tennis Association career titles – doubles• Singles gold medalist, 2012 London Olympics – representing the United States of America• Doubles gold medalist, 2012 London Olympics – representing the United States of America• Doubles gold medalist, 2008 Beijing Olympics – representing the United States of America• Doubles gold medalist, 2000 Sydney Olympics – representing the United States of America