Serena Williams is considered to be one of the greatest women's tennis players of all-time in a career hampered by numerous injuries. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions and and is currently Number five in doubles with her older sister Venus. Serena Williams has won two Olympic gold medals in women's doubles, and has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Serena has played older sister Venus in 23 professional matches since 1998, with Serena winning 13 of these matches. The pair have won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles together.
Serena Jameka Williams was born September 26, 1981 in Lynwood, California to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. She is the youngest of Oracene's five daughters and the younger sister of Serena Williams. The Williams family moved from Compton, California to West Palm Beach when Serena was nine so that she could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci. Marci, who spotted the exceptional talent of the sisters, could provide additional coaching for the young girls.
Richard Williams stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Venus Williams was eleven and her younger sister Serena was 10. His decision was based partly on racial problems the girls had to suffer, claiming he had heard parents of white players talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments. Their father was also concerned that they maintain as normal a childhood as possible, and wanted them to still have time to be "little girls".
At that time he pulled the sisters, Serena 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, Richard pulled his daughters out of Macci's academy, and from then on took over all coaching at their home.
In 1995, Serena turned pro. Two years later, she was already No. 99 in the world rankings, up from 304 just 12 months before. A year later, she graduated high school, and almost immediately inked a $12 million shoe deal with Puma.
By the following year her world ranking had risen as high as number 21, and both Williams and her sister, Venus, were bona-fide celebrities. She served notice that her time had come when she advanced to the semifinals of a Sydney, Australia tournament by beating the then third-ranked woman in the world, Lindsay Davenport, who went on to become the United States Open champion that year. Expected to do well in her first Grand tournament, the Australian Open, Serena Williams had the bad luck of having to face her sister in the second round after ousting ninth-ranked Irina Spirlea in the first round.
Venus emerged victorious, and Essence magazine reported that she was heard to say, "I'm sorry I had to take you out, Serena," as the two sisters walked off the court. This was the first time that the public caught a glimpse of the relationship between the two sisters and how they work not only to be the best for themselves, but also to motivate each other.
Having learned to play tennis on public courts in Compton, Calififornia alongside her older sister Venus, Serena became the first Williams sister to win a major singles title in 1999, when at age 17 she defeated No. 1 Martina Hingis in the U.S. Open final.
From 2002 through 2003 Serena Williams won four consecutive Grand Slam singles titles (2002 French Open, 2002 Wimbledon, 2002 U.S. Open, 2003 Australian Open), a feat that was dubbed the “Serena Slam.” Williams is the fifth woman, behind Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, to hold all four major titles simultaneously. Serena defeated her sister in the finals of the four majors that comprised that run.
Off the court, fashion and acting are Serena's passions. She was selected as one of People Magazine's “25 Most Intriguing People” October 21, 2002, and one of the top 10 celebrities in Biography's top 100 biographies of 2003. Serena was also honored as one of Essence magazine's “50 Most Inspiring African- Americans.”
Serena Williams gives back to community whenever possible. She visits schools and hospitals, and conducts tennis clinics for at-risk youth. Through her work with The Owl Foundation, she is able to help fund programs that address learning problems for individuals who experience academic failure. Its mission is to ensure that every child is treated individually and is provided with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential
Serena Williams 2005 Australian Open victory finals match earned ESPN2 their highest highest-rated and most-watched tennis telecast ever. After injuries forced her to compete in only four tournaments in 2006, Serena came back triumphantly winning the 2007 Australian Open and the Sony Ericsson Open, proving that she is still on top of the tennis world.
On April 20, 2017, Serena revealed she was 20 weeks pregnant with a Snapchat video showing off her baby bump. She gave birth to a girl on September 1, 2017. She is currently trying to regain her form after becoming a mother.