There a consensus that she is among the sport’s all-time greats among women tennis players. As far as female players go, she has the biggest paycheck.
Serena Williams Early Life
She was born Serena Jameka Williams on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan, but she spent a good chunk of her youth in Compton, California. The Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, were encouraged to pursue tennis from an early age. So that they could devote as much time as possible to training, both sisters were homeschooled. Richard Williams, her father, and Oracene Price, her mother, were her official trainers.
In addition to Richard Williams, who later founded The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis/Tutorial Academy, other coaches helped her develop her skills at a young age. Serena and her family relocated to West Palm Beach, Florida when she was nine years old so that she could train at tennis pro Rick Macci’s academy. Their father took over as the girls’ coach in 1995, after having previously removed his children from Macci’s academy.
Serena Williams Career
In addition to being the all-time money winner for women’s tennis, Serena Williams has held the number one spot in the world rankings on eight separate occasions. Williams has racked up over $90 million in prize money throughout the course of his career as of this writing. She and her sister Venus have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and 23 Grand Slam singles titles between them. She is a three-time Olympic gold medalist (after Sydney and Beijing and London) winner.
At the tender age of 14, Williams competed in her first professional competition. Williams, then ranked No. 304, made quite an impression in the 1997 Ameritech Cup by knocking off the No. 7 and No. 4 players before losing in the semifinals. Her success drove her to the 99th spot in the world by the end of 1997. Several major titles were won the next year, including at Wimbledon and the US Open in doubles. Still, she had not yet won a singles championship.
Williams’ early supremacy was on display in 1999, when she won the US Open, the first Grand Slam singles competition she entered. In the early 2000s, Serena Williams continued to dominate, and by 2002, she had risen to the top of the women’s tennis rankings. As if that weren’t enough, she also swept all four Grand Slam tournaments that year, defeating sister Venus in the finals of the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.
She won the Australian Open, making it her fourth Grand Slam championship overall. Since she won all four Grand Slam tournaments at once, she called this achievement the “Serena Slam.” During the 2014–15 Grand Slam season, she repeated the feat. In the years that followed, she endured a number of health and personal setbacks, including as knee surgery and the loss of her half-sister, Yetunde.
Even while she kept winning tournaments, her ranking dropped out of the top 10, leading many in the tennis world to believe that she and her sister Venus were no longer as formidable as they once were. By 2008, however, Williams had won a series of Grand Slam tournaments and climbed back to the top of the rankings. Unfortunately, health issues reappeared in 2011.
Doctors discovered a blood clot in one of her lungs that year. Many people questioned if she would ever compete again after undergoing surgeries to fix the problem. On the other hand, she won more titles the following year and made history by winning the women’s singles event at the 2012 Olympics. She went on to win the US Open in 2012, the French, Australian, and US Opens in 2013, Wimbledon that same year, Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015, and the Australian
Open and Wimbledon in 2016. Serena had a rough year in 2018, losing the US Open and Wimbledon for the second time in a row. Serena Williams has maintained her status as a tennis powerhouse even though she has had to deal with injuries and take time off to start a family. Her 23 Grand Slam singles titles are a record that she owns.
Serena Williams Endorsements
Williams is arguably the most well-known athlete in need of endorsements. Outside of tennis, she makes between $15 and $20 million year through endorsement deals with brands like Nike and Kraft Foods. Williams signed a $40 million contract with Nike in 2004 to create a clothing brand.
Serena Williams Activism
Williams frequently utilises her social media accounts to advocate for many causes, especially those related to the LGBT community and the Black Lives Matter movement. She is outspoken about her experiences as a woman in tennis, and she is an advocate for gender equality. She has been recognised for her efforts with several accolades, including the NAACP President’s Award.
Serena Williams Philanthropy
Olympia’s parents pic.twitter.com/r07SCuSkoG
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) July 6, 2022
Serena and Venus Williams are big supporters of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and they often travel to hospitals to play tennis matches to raise money for the organisation. In 2004 and 2005, their charity tour was the subject of an entire ESPN special. Serena Williams established a charity to help financially disadvantaged students attend college. In Matooni, Kenya, the Serena Williams Secondary School was built with funding from the foundation. The charity also collaborated with Helping Hands Jamaica to construct the Salt Marsh Primary School in Jamaica’s Trelawny Parish.
Since 2011, Serena has served as a UNICEF international Goodwill Ambassador and has maintained tight ties with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. Serena and Venus Williams have teamed up on several humanitarian initiatives through their Williams Sisters Fund. In Compton, they established the Yetunde Price Resource Center in her memory. Families who have been impacted by localised violence can seek assistance and services here.
Williams joined the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse initiative as an ambassador that same year (2017). She is involved with numerous charitable organisations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the HollyRod Foundation, the Eva Longoria Foundation, and the NHS’s Great Ormond Street children’s hospital in London.