Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player and a former world no. 1. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her world no. 1 in singles on five separate occasions. She became the world no. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002 and regained this ranking for the fifth time on November 2, 2009.She is the only female player to have won over $35 million in prize money.
Her 27 Grand Slam titles places her ninth on the all-time list: 13 in singles, 12 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously and only the fifth woman in history to do so. She was also the first woman, along with sister Venus Williams, to hold all four Grand Slam doubles titles simultaneously since Martina Hingis did so in 1998. Her 13 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list. Williams ranks fourth in Grand Slam women's singles titles won during the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each). She has won more Major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles than any other active player, male or female. She is beginning to enter the conversation as (and is already considered by some) the greatest female tennis player of all time.
Williams has won two Olympic gold medals in women's doubles. She 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. They have met in eight Grand Slam finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, which was the first time in the open era that the same two players had contested four consecutive Grand Slam finals. The pair have won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles together. She is the first player, male or female, to win 5 Australian Open singles titles during the open era.
Serena Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. She is of African American heritage and is the youngest of Price's five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde (1972-2003), Lyndrea and Isha Price, and full sister Venus. When the children were young, the family moved to the city of Compton in Los Angeles county, where Serena started playing tennis at the age of five. Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister Venus and to this day, Serena Williams was and remains coached by both her parents.
Williams' family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach 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' 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 motivation was racial, as he had allegedly heard parents of white players 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 Serena was in the ninth grade, Richard pulled his daughters out of Macci's academy, and from then on took over all coaching at their home.
Serena won Olympic gold medal at London Olympic 2012 beating Maria Sharapova of Russia in strait sets 6-0, 6-1. She became only the second woman to achieve a Golden Slam, winning the most lopsided women's final in Olympic history. Serena defeated No. 1 seed Victoria Azarenka to win her 4th US Open title and 15th career Grand Slam title.
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