Serena Williams – A SUCCESS STORY
Serena Jameka Williams is a professional tennis player of American origin. She is ranked ‘world number one’ by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA). Serena is the fifth woman player to boast of all the four major titles simultaneously. She is the only player to win 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two different decades. Serena Williams has to her crediit four Olympic gold medals. She was the highest paid female thlete in 2015 and was declared “Sportsperson of the Year” by Sports Illustrated magazine.
Serena Williams was born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan, to Oracene Price and Richard Williams. She has five elder sisters. Serena’s association with tennis started at three years of age when the family moved to Compton, California. Her father was her first coach. Seerna’s family shifted to West Palm Beach, Florida, where she attended Rick Macci’s tennis academy. Serena was ranked ‘number one’ in the category of ‘under-10 players’ in Florida.
Serena Williams made her professional debut at the Bell Challenge at 14 years of age in 1995. She experienced her first victory at the Ameritech Cup Chicago, where she defeated two players in the Top 10 but lost the semi-finals. Serena debuted in her first Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open 1998. She won the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open and her first professional title in doubles in Oklahoma City with her sister Venus. Serena was ranked at ‘world number 20’ in singles at the end of the 1998 season.
Serena experienced her first Tier I singles win at the Evert Cup against Steffi Graf in 1999. She was the second African-American woman to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. Serena reached the ‘world number four’ position in her second year of her professional career. Serena and Venus won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Serena and Williams attained the “Career Grand Slam” in 2001, as they were the fifth doubles team in history to win all the four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles during their career. Serena retained her position of ‘world number six’ for the second consecutive year t the end of the 2001 season.
Serena Williams won her first title of the 2002-season in Scottsdale, Arizona. She won the Miami Masters and clay court title at the Italian Open– her firsts! She skyrocketted to the ‘world number two’ rank on winning the French Open. Serena ousted her sister from the ‘world number one’ position when she grabbed the 2002 Wimbledon Championships. Her winning streak continued as she bagged the US Open title. Serena was the first African-American to end the season at ‘world number one’, the first woman player to win three Grand Slam tournament titles in a year after Hingis and the third player in the history of tennis to win the “Surface Slam” after Navratilova and Graf.
Serena became the fifth woman player to boast of all the four major titles simultaneously in 2003! The press dubbed this accomplishment as “Serena Slam”. She captured the Wimbledon Championships consecutively for the second time.
Serena won the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami and the China Open in 2004. Success smiled at her when she bagged the 2005 Australian Open. Serena underwent a rough patch in her career but bounced back with her victory at the 2007 Australian Open. She was the first player after Chris O’Neil to win the title while not being seeded. Serena won the Sony Ericsson Open and represented her country for the first time in the Fed Cup.
Serena continued to reign high, winning three consecutive singles titles at Bangalore and Miami, the Family Circle Cup and the US Open in 2008. She won ‘gold’ in doubles at the Beijing Olympics. Her win at the 2009 Australian Open made her the “all-time career prize money leader in women’s sports”. Serena won the Wimbledon Championships. She was the ‘world number one’ for the second time at the end of the 2009 season, having won all the three of her round-robin matches at the year-end WTA Tour Championships. Serena was declared “Female Athlete of the Year” by the Associated Press and became the ITF World Champion in singles and doubles.
Serena managed to retain her title at the Australian Open 2010. She went on to win the Wimbledon Championships. Serena successfully defended her title at the Wimbledon in 2011. She represented her country t the Olympic Games and won the ‘gold’. Serena and Venus won the Olympic doubles title. They were the only tennis players to win four gold medals. Serena won the US Open for the fourth time and the WTA Championships.
Serena started the 2013 season winning the first tournment in Brisbane. She won the singles title in Madrid, in Rome, the Roland Garros title and the Swedish Open– her first International level title victory. Serena was reigning high, capturing title after title! She won the Rogers Cup, the 2013 US Open, the China Cup and the WTA Championships. Serena earned the honour of being the first woman to win more than ten million dollars in a season and the oldest Number One player in WTA history.
Serena was declared the “ITF World Champion” for 2013 and conferred the World Champion’s crown. She won two prizes at the 2013 ESPY Awards. Serena was recognised as the “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Female Tennis Player”. She was conferred the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year award by the Associated Press (AP).
Serena tasted her first victory of the 2014 season at the Brisbane International. She won the Miami Open, the 2014 Internazionali BNL d’Italia, the Bank of the West Classic, first Western & Southern Open title, the US Open singles title and the WTA Finals title. Serena retained her title as the “WTA Player of the Year” and “ITF World Champion” for the third consecutive year. It was no mean feat that she continued to occupy the ‘world number one’ position for the whole calendar year.
Serena surpassed Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for second-most Grand Slam singles titles won in the Open Era on winning the 2015 Australian Open. She is the first player in tennis’ history to have to her credit all four majors at least once after 30 years of age. Serena won the 2015 French Open. Her victory at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships earned her the second “Serena Slam” and her 7th ESPY for Best Female Tennis Player. Serena was selected the “WTA Player Of The Year” and “ITF World Champion”. She was conferred the “Sportsperson of the Year” by Sports Illustrated.
On January 28, 2017, Serena Williams won the Australian Open for the seventh time and regained the No. 1 ranking, defeating her sister Venus Williams in the final, 6–4, 6–4.
Serena is the brand ambassador for Nike and has a fashion line with the brand. She plays with Wilson Blade 104. She advertised for Mission Athletecare, Berlei bras, OPI Products, OnePiece, IBM, Mini and Chase Bank, Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Audemars Piguet, Aston Martin, Pepsi and Beats by Dre headphones.
Serena launched her own design label, “Aneres” in 2004. Serena was the first black female athlete to dominate Vogue’s cover in 2015. Serena featured on several television shows. She appeared in the music video of ‘I Want You’. Serena played a small role in the film, Pixels, which premiered in 2015.
Serena Williams’ Foundation supports eductional institutions and gives university scholarships to underprivileged students in the United States. Serena was awarded a “Celebrity Role Model Award” from Avon Foundation for work in breast cancer in 2003. She has won the “Young Heroes Award” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland and the “Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award” in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Serena promotes First Serve Miami.
Serena and Venus authored a book, Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning alongwith the author, Hilary Beard in 2005.
Serena is a minority share-holder in Miami Dolphins, an NFL franchise. Serena speaks French, and a little of Italian and Spanish.
Serena Williams won the “Surface Slam” in 2002. She was declared “Female Athlete of the Year” by the Associated Press and became the ITF World Champion in singles and doubles. Serena eraned the title of “WTA Player of the Year” and “ITF World Champion” several times. She was conferred the 7th ESPY for Best Female Tennis Player. She was recognised as the “Sportsperson of the Year” by Sports Illustrated and conferred the 2013 Female Athlete of the Year award by the Associated Press (AP). Serena reigns supreme as the winner of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Olympic women’s singles and doubles.
Serena was awarded a “Celebrity Role Model Award” from Avon Foundation for work in breast cancer in 2003. She has won the “Young Heroes Award” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland and the “Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award” in 2003 and 2004 respectively.