Serena Williams is a professional tennis player from the United States. She was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan. Serena and her sister Venus Williams were introduced to tennis at a young age by their father. Serena has achieved great success in her career, winning a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is the most by any player in the Open Era. She is known for her powerful serve, aggressive playing style, and mental toughness. Serena is not only a tennis champion but also an inspiration for many, as she has overcome numerous challenges and setbacks throughout her career.
Have you ever participated in a game of singles? What about doubles? Maybe you’ve been in a match that ended with a double bagel or executed a shot with backspin. If you’re familiar with any of these terms, you might be a tennis player. And if that’s the case, you’ll be familiar with the name at the center of today’s Wonder of the Day—Serena Williams!
Who exactly is Serena Williams? She is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players of all time! Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan. Her family later relocated to Compton, California. It was there that Williams grew up alongside her four older sisters.
By the age of three, Williams’s father had already begun teaching her how to play tennis. Alongside her sister, Venus, Serena showcased her talent for the sport at a rapid pace. The two of them would practice tennis daily on the public courts in Compton.
When Serena turned nine, the Williams family moved to Palm Beach, Florida. It was there that both Serena and Venus started competing against other junior tennis players. Around the same time, they also began working with a new coach. Up until that point, their father, Richard Williams, had been their coach.
Serena turned pro in 1995, and she was immediately recognized as an emerging star. She proved herself on the court, and in 1999, Serena secured her first Grand Slam victory in singles. In tennis, a Grand Slam is achieved when a player wins all four major titles in the same year, which includes the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open.
Over the next few years, Serena dominated women’s tennis. She also teamed up with Venus, who is a highly accomplished professional tennis player herself. The two of them won gold in women’s tennis doubles at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
The Williams sisters repeated their success by winning gold in the Olympic women’s tennis doubles in 2008 and 2012. In 2012, Serena also claimed gold in women’s singles. Despite facing injuries in the early 2000s, she continued to achieve victories.
In 2017, Serena accomplished her 23rd Grand Slam. Later, she revealed that she was pregnant when she achieved this milestone. In September of that same year, she gave birth to a daughter named Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.
In addition to her achievements on the court, Serena Williams is also an entrepreneur. In 2009, both Serena and Venus became partial owners of the Miami Dolphins, making them the first Black women to own a share of a professional football team.
Serena has always had a passion for fashion. In 2018, she launched her own clothing line, called S. She expanded her brand by adding a jewelry line in 2019. Williams also invests in companies that prioritize diverse leadership through her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures.
Today, Serena Williams resides in Florida with her husband, Alexis Ohanian, Sr., and their daughter. She made her comeback to tennis in 2018 and continues to compete professionally.
It is widely agreed upon that Serena Williams is one of the top athletes of her generation. Are there any other athletes that capture your interest? Take some time today to learn more about your sports heroes!
Try It Out
Are you ready to dive deeper? Enlist the help of a friend or family member to assist you with the following activities.
- Serena Williams has undoubtedly left a mark in the tennis world, making history with her exceptional achievements. Moreover, her athletic talents and accomplishments place her in the lineage of influential Black women in sports. Take a look at this article to discover other significant Black female athletes. Select one of these pioneers and discuss their lives and achievements with a friend or family member.
- Serena Williams had to put in a tremendous amount of effort to reach her current position. It is also crucial to have passion and enjoy what you do. Is there a sport that you find enjoyable to play or watch? What aspects of that sport do you appreciate? Write a couple of paragraphs about a sport that you consider fun and challenging. Make sure to include your favorite parts. Share your writing with a friend or family member.
- Have you ever tried playing tennis? Are you familiar with all the rules of the game? It’s not easy, but it is a lot of fun! Explore this webpage that provides lessons on how to play tennis. Get a friend or family member to assist you and start playing!
References for Further Reading
- https://www.britannica.com/biography/Serena-Williams (accessed 04 Mar. 2022)
- https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/williams-serena-1981/ (accessed 04 Mar. 2022)
- https://www.serenawilliams.com/pages/bio (accessed 04 Mar. 2022)
- https://www.lottie.com/blogs/strong-women/serena-williams (accessed 04 Mar. 2022)
- https://learnersdictionary.com/ (accessed 04 Mar. 2022)