Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player who is ranked No. 1 in women’s singles tennis. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has ranked her world No. 1 in singles on six separate occasions. She became the world No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002, and achieved this ranking for the sixth time on February 18, 2013. She is the reigning champion of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic women’s singles and doubles. Williams is regarded by some commentators, sports writers, and current and former players as the greatest female tennis player of all time.
Williams holds the most major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active players, male or female. Her record of 36 major titles puts her fifth on the all-time list and second in the open era with: 21 in singles, 13 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four major singles titles simultaneously (2002–03 and 2014–15), the fifth woman ever to do so and only the third player, male or female, to achieve this record twice after Rod Laver and Steffi Graf. She is also the most recent player, together with her sister Venus Williams, to have held all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles simultaneously (2009–10).
Her total of 21 Grand Slam singles titles is third on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24) and Steffi Graf (22), and second in the Open Era, behind only Graf. She is the only tennis player – female or male – to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments. She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. She has won an all-time record 12 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt. Williams holds the Open Era record for most titles at the Australian Open (6) and shares the record for most titles at the US Open with Chris Evert (6).
She has won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam tournament finals. Williams is also a five-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships. The arrival of the Williams sisters has been credited with launching a new era of power tennis in the women’s game.Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles, an all-time record shared with her sister Venus Williams.
Serena Williams was the second-highest-paid female athlete in 2015 according to Forbes, following her rival Maria Sharapova, with US$24.6 million earned from prize money ($11.6 million) and endorsements ($13 million).
Serena Jameka Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price, and is the youngest of Price’s five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea and Isha Price, and full sister Venus. When the children were young, the family moved to Compton, California, where Williams started playing tennis at the age of three. Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister Venus. While he and subsequently her mother, Oracene, have been the official coaches, other mentors who helped her learn the game included the Richard Williams in Compton who would go on to found The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis/Tutorial Academy.
Williams’s family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach, Florida, when she was nine so that she could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci, who would provide additional coaching. Macci spotted the exceptional talents of the sisters. He did not always agree with Williams’s father, but respected that “he treated his daughters like kids, allowed them to be little girls”. Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Williams was 10, since he wanted them to take it slow and focus on school work. Another factor was racial, as he had heard white parents talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments. At that time, Williams had a 46–3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked No. 1 among under-10 players in Florida. In 1995, when Williams was in the ninth grade, her father pulled his daughters out of Macci’s academy and, from then on, took over all coaching at their home. When asked in 2000 whether having followed the normal path of playing regularly on the junior circuit would have been beneficial, Williams responded: “Everyone does different things. I think for Venus and I, we just attempted a different road, and it worked for us.”
“She’s a competitor. She doesn’t like to give free points and free games.
No matter the score she wants to win those games and those points,
whether she’s down a break point or up a break point or whatever it is.”
Williams is primarily a baseline player and her game is built around taking immediate control of rallies with her powerful and consistent serve, return of serve, and forceful groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand swings. Williams’s forehand is considered to be among the most powerful shots in the women’s game as is her double-handed backhand. Williams strikes her backhand groundstroke using an open stance, and uses the same open stance for her forehand. Williams’s aggressive play, a “high risk” style, is balanced in part by her serve, which some say is the greatest in women’s tennis history.She consistently projects great pace and placement with her serves and in the 2013 Australian Open, she had a peak serve speed of 128.6 mph (207.0 km/h) which is the third fastest all-time among female players (only Venus’s 129 mph and Sabine Lisicki’s 131 mph recorded speeds are faster). What makes her serve even more deadly is her ball placement and her ability to consistently place powerful shots with great accuracy. At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, she hit a women’s tournament record of 102 aces which was more than any of the men hit during the two weeks. Williams also possesses a very solid and powerful overhead. Although many think of Williams as only an offensive player, she also plays a strong defensive game.She has stated that her favorite surface is clay because it gives her extra time to set up her shot.
She has won three Grand Slam singles titles after saving match points, (2003 Australian Open versus Kim Clijsters, 2005 Australian Open versus Maria Sharapova, and 2009 Wimbledon versus Elena Dementieva), more than any other player in history, male or female. She also came back from a 3–5 deficit in the third set against Kim Clijsters in the 1999 US Open and went on to win her first Grand Slam singles title. In the 2012 US Open final against Victoria Azarenka, she was down 3–5 in the third set and found herself two points away from losing the match. Williams then proceeded to win the next 4 games and defeated Azarenka. In recent years, Williams has shown an ability to serve aces at critical moments. One of these instances was the 2013 French Open final, where in the last game of the match, she fired three aces, including one clocked at 123 mph (198 km/h) on match point. In the semi-finals of the 2015 French Open, Williams was ill and barely able to walk during changeovers, yet beat her opponent, Timea Bacsinszky, 6–0 in the third set. Another improbable win occurred in the third round of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships, when she recovered from two breaks of service in the third set to defeat Great Britain’s No. 1 female player, Heather Watson. Williams has bounced back from a set down to win in 33 Grand Slam matches.
|2001||The Simpsons||Herself (voice)||Episode: “Tennis the Menace”|
|2002||My Wife and Kids||Miss Wiggins||Episode: “Crouching Mother, Hidden Father”|
|2003||Street Time||Meeka Hayes||Episode: “Fly Girl”|
|2004||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Chloe Spiers||Episode: “Brotherhood”|
|2004||The Division||Jennifer Davis||Episode: “Lost and Found”|
|2004||Hair Show||Agent Ross|
|2005||Higglytown Heroes||Snowplow Driver Hero (voice)||Episode: “Higgly Hoedown/Eubie’s Turbo Sled”|
|2005||ER||Alice Watson||Episode: “Two Ships “|
|2005||All of Us||Herself||Episode: “Not So Wonderful News”|
|2005||America’s Next Top Model||Herself||Episode: “The Girl with the Worst Photo in History”|
|2007||Loonatics Unleashed||Queen Athena (voice)||Episode: “Apocalypso”|
|2007||Avatar: The Last Airbender||Ming (voice)||Episode: “The Day of Black Sun: Part 1 – The Invasion”|
|2006||The Bernie Mac Show||Herself||Episode: “Spinning Wheels”|
|2008||The Game||Herself||Episode: “The List Episode”|
|2008||MADtv||Herself / Black Racket||Episode: “Episode 7”|
|2011||Keeping Up with the Kardashians||Herself||Episode: “Kim’s Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event – Part 2”|
|2012||Drop Dead Diva||Kelly Stevens||Episode: “Rigged”|
|2012||Venus and Serena||Herself|
|2013||The Legend of Korra||Female Sage (voice)||Episode: “Beginnings, Part 1”|
|2015||7 Days in Hell||Herself|