Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In Celebration of Serena Williams: Living Legend and Greatest Female Tennis Player in the World

SERENA WILLIAMS
(b. September 26, 1981)



THE WOMEN'S FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH FOR THE 2013 U.S. OPEN IS SCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2013 IN FLUSHING MEADOWS, NEW YORK. LIKE MANY OTHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD I STRONGLY PREDICT THAT AT THE END OF THAT MATCH SUNDAY AFTERNOON SERENA WILLIAMS WILL BE HOLDING THE CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY ALOFT FOR THE FIFTH TIME IN HER LEGENDARY CAREER AND SHE WILL ALSO HAVE HER 17TH GRAND SLAM TROPHY OVERALL WHICH WOULD MATCH THE RECORD HELD BY THE MEN'S CHAMPION R0GER FEDERER FOR THE MOST OF ANY INDIVIDUAL TENNIS PLAYER MALE OR FEMALE SINCE STEFFI GRAF THE ALL TIME LEADER IN THE OPEN ERA OF TENNIS WHICH BEGAN IN 1968 WON THE LAST OF HER 22 GRAND SLAM TITLES IN 1999



http://panopticonreview.blogspot.com/2013/07/why-we-must-fight-false-media-narrative.html


All,

IN RECOGNITION OF THE ONGOING BRILLIANT AND GROUNDBREAKING PERFORMANCES OF THE NUMBER ONE RANKED FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER IN THE WORLD SERENA WILLIAMS (WHO HAS JUST MADE IT TO THE SEMIFINALS OF THE 2013 U.S. OPEN GRAND SLAM TOURNAMENT IN NEW YORK AS WE SPEAK FOLLOWING HER COMMANDING VICTORY LAST NIGHT) I BRING THE FOLLOWING SLEW OF NEW ARTICLES ON AND ABOUT THIS MAGNIFICENT CHAMPION.



BUT FIRST IT WILL BE PREFACED BY REACHING BACK INTO THE VERY RECENT ARCHIVES OF THE PANOPTICON REVIEW AND REPRINTING A PIECE THAT I WROTE EARLIER THIS YEAR ABOUT SERENA AND HER EXTRAORDINARY CAREER WHICH IS MEANT TO SERVE AS PROVIDING A HISTORICAL CONTEXT AND A FITTING PREFACE TO THE LARGER MEANING(S) AND IMPLICATIONS OF THESE MEDIA ARTICLES. SO ENJOY...AND SPREAD THE WORD...

Kofi 




RICHARD WILLIAMS
(b. 1942)

FROM THE PANOPTICON REVIEW ARCHIVES

(Originally posted July 9, 2013):

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Why We Must Fight and Defeat the False Media Narrative About the Reasons For Serena Williams's Extraordinary Success As the Best Female Tennis Player in the World

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/22956601


All,

With all due respect to Serena's current coach (see BBC article below) I must push back very hard against the incredible amount of outright false, distorted, and thoroughly dishonest misinformation that is currently being spread by the tennis media in charting Serena's (ongoing!) success on the court over the past year. I simply can't believe the barrage of straightup LIES and sheer propaganda that is being foisted on the public and how naive and clueless so many people in the general tennis community seem to be about Serena's ACTUAL phenomenal record of success that she has ALWAYS had--and long before she ever met Patrick Mouratoglou! This is not to say that her present coach is not a skilled professional or even that he doesn't have Serena's best interests at heart--in fact he alone is not even the real issue here--but come on now let's get real--HE IS NOT 'THE MAN' BEHIND HER SUCCESS as this headline arrogantly--and stupidly--proclaims. NOT EVEN CLOSE. In fact as I've stated before this absurdly transparent attempt on the part of the media and former white tennis players like Jim Courier (who really made some ridiculously egregious statements yesterday on Tennis Channel about how much Serena's current coach is responsible for her record over the past 12 months) is nothing more after all is said and done than a condescending and ultimately racist assertion by the media, some former players, and Serena's many former detractors in and out of the game who are now trying to pretend they are her "friends" since it's crystal clear she's on the brink of breaking nearly every major historical record left in women's tennis.

So it is in that major and most important context that I share the following astounding statistics about Serena's extraordinary career that she amassed LONG BEFORE she staried "working with" Mouratoglou in June 2012. What the following stats will reveal is that RICHARD AND ORACENE--AND ESPECIALLY RICHARD--are clearly and largely responsible for Serena's success since it was the self taught Mr. Wlliams who taught EVERYONE in the Williams family how to play tennis--as even Oracene openly and honestly admits!--and who first taught the sisters how to play at age 4 and 5. It wasn't until the sisters were 10 and 11 that Richard even sought out other coaches and settled on Rick Macci who proceeded--in collaboration with Richard--to coach Venus and Serena for the next four years whereupon Venus formally began her professional career at age 14 in 1994 and Serena followed three years later. And it's very significant to add that Richard, Oracene and the girls accomplished all this AFTER Venus compiled a 63-0 record (and Serena was 46-3) for girls in California who played tennis in the 12 and under division --which as it turned out were the ONLY junior level matches the two sisters ever played because Richard was wise and perceptive enough--he even said as much--not to burn out his two young phenoms too early. So in honor of the tremendous coaching job and guidance that Richard and Oracene provided for their two daughters I present the following FACTS as evidence that the real "man behind Serena's career" is indeed HER FATHER and not her current coach. I know this FACT really sticks in the craw of many people who simply don't like or respect Richard because of his overall "personality"--and to a LIMITED degree I can well understand why some of Richard's personal behavior can upset people. After all the man is far from perfect and obviously has his own personal faults and shortcomings but the truth of the matter is that in the final analysis Richard is no different from ANYONE ELSE in that respect. I mean NOBODY'S PERFECT and despite whatever problems some people may have with Richard, I for one WILL ALWAYS DEEPLY RESPECT, HONOR, AND SUPPORT what he has accomplished with his two daughters through a dynamic combination of LOVE, PATIENCE, DISCIPLINE, PERSEVERANCE, COURAGE, KNOWLEDGE, AND DETERMINATION--all sterling qualities and values which have IMO--and that of many others!--collectively made Serena THE BEST FEMALE PLAYER IN TENNIS HISTORY. What follows is the detailed empirical PROOF of exactly what Serena's two parents--and especially her father--have done as COACHES in shaping and providing real leadership in the formation, expansion, and growth of Serena's amazing career. The FACT that in the past 10 years Venus and Serena between them have won 23 of the 24 Grand Slam titles that ALL AMERICAN TENNIS PLAYERS COMBINED HAVE WON--AND THAT INCLUDES BOTH MEN AND WOMEN is not only a profound tribute to the astonishing GENIUS, savvy, innovation, and genuine INSIGHT that Richard Williams has brought to the game via his daughters but is an INDICTMENT of the nearly ALL WHITE USTA who despite having many sponsored programs and coaches throughout the country as well as MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in their well endowed budgets have utterly FAILED to accomplish anywhere near the gigantic success of ONE BLACK MAN AND ONE BLACK WOMAN over the past 15 years. Just THINK about those incredible FACTS for a moment. No matter what others falsely claim Serena's current coach is not even remotely close to matching what Richard and Oracene have done. My point is this: For once let's give the proper credit to black people for a change--they've earned it!-- and stop pretending that the "real narrative describing or acknowledging an African American's major success lies elsewhere--because the reality is that it doesn't...For the record then consider the following FACTS about Serena's unprecedented career and the obvious role her parents have played in it:

--Serena won four straight GS titles in just one seven month period from June 2002 to January 2003 which she herself dubbed the "Serena Slam." (she won again five months later at Wimbledon in June 2003)--and all finals were against Venus. The four straight Grand Slam finals they played from June of 2002 to January 2003 were the only time in tennis history that the same two people played against each other in four straight GS finals
--Serena was 94-8 in 2002 and 2003 winning 12 titles and was runnerup in four other tournaments

--Serena had already won Grand Slam titles on all four surfaces by the time she was 21 from 1999-2002

--Serena and Venus won 12 straight Grand slam doubles titles from 1998-2010; Serena also won two gold medals in doubles in the Olympic Games in 2000 and 2008 with Venus

--Serena was the Number One ranked player in the world five different times from 2002 to 2011 

--Serena won six Grand Slam singles titles from 1998-2003 and she won seven more from 2005-2010 before she was out most of 2011 with injuries--so much for the completely phony and absolutely false argument that Serena hasn't really been "consistent" throughout her career!

--15 different players other than Serena have been ranked Number One in the WTA at some time or another since Serena began playing professionally in 1998 and Serena is the ONLY PLAYER in the last 15 years who has a WINNING RECORD against EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM--an extraordinary record that she established LONG BEFORE she ever met her current coach

Kofi



Wimbledon 2013: 
The man behind Serena Williams's success
By Simon Austin BBC Sport 
June 24, 2013

When Patrick Mouratoglou's dream of becoming a top tennis player was blocked by his businessman father, he vowed to scale the heights as a coach instead.

The last 12 months have seen him realise that ambition spectacularly.

Mouratoglou, 43, started working with Serena Williams last June, just days after she had suffered a humiliating defeat to Virginie Razzano, ranked 111, in the first round of the French Open.

Since then, the American has embarked on one of the most remarkable runs in the entire history of women's tennis, which Mouratoglou himself encapsulated on Facebook on 10 June. 

"Anniversary of one year of collaboration with Serena," he wrote. "Three Grand Slam titles, two Olympic Gold medals (single and doubles), winner of the Masters Cup, 11 titles, back to number one in the world, oldest number one in the history of the game, 74 matches won out of 77, 31-match winning streak and still counting. Serena is just unique."

The collaboration has seen Mouratoglou, little-known outside tennis circles a year ago, become the subject of front-page stories because of speculation about a romantic relationship with Williams.

Williams' record with Mouratoglou:

Won 74 of 77 matches
Lost only two of 28 matches v top-10 opponents
Won Wimbledon, Olympics, US Open, Masters Cup and French Open
Won 31 matches in a row
Just two short of Martina Navratilova/ Chris Evert's record of 18 Grand Slam titles
Regained world number one ranking and oldest number one in history of women's game

He says Williams has improved several facets of her game in the last 12 months. "Firstly, I think she moves better on the court, which is so important.

"And she is more consistent, meaning her low level is now much higher than it used to be. She doesn't have to rely only on her champion's mentality to come through a match on a bad day."

Williams, now 31, is also competing in more tournaments and many observers have spoken about a happier, friendlier and more motivated athlete.

One of them is former world number one Tracy Austin, who told BBC Sport: "In the past, it seemed like Serena could get bored, as it all came so easily to her. It seems Patrick has made it interesting.

"To wake up every day and feel challenged, and like you have something to improve on and get better on, is phenomenal for an athlete .

"When you have someone in your corner who is not only a great coach but also a great motivator, it's special. Serena has also spoken about the fact she'll look up now and see Patrick in her box and he'll never change his expression, which is so different from her father, who always seemed to be in a different seat and would leave in the middle of matches. Patrick seems to me to be a real stabilising force for her.

"Serena seems in a really good place right now. She's settled, hungry, fit, healthy and confident, which is not a bad combination."

Mouratoglou has reignited Williams' passion for tennis, says former world number one Tracy Austin

Mouratoglou agrees that Williams has less "ups and downs" than she used to.

"You have to remember that tennis players are human beings," he said. "They cannot keep motivated at their best throughout the whole of their careers. But you have to say this - even when Serena was having those downs, she was still winning Grand Slam titles, which is incredible. She really is amazing.

"Serena had already won 13 Grand Slams when we started working together, but had the will to go on, to keep practicing hard, to keep looking for ways to improve. That requires a special frame of mind, the mindset of a very special champion."




Why doesn't Serena Williams get the credit she deserves?

IF you want to spark a reaction on Twitter, just say something complimentary about Serena Williams.

"I can't stand the sight of her - she's the person who ruined women's tennis," was one of the more printable responses to a comment I posted last Thursday evening suggesting that Williams had not received enough praise for a staggering demolition of Sara Errani in the semi-final of the French Open that saw her lose just a solitary game.

Two days later, and Williams was defeating Maria Sharapova in straight sets to claim a 16th grand slam title. Did that lead to an outpouring of superlatives? Not exactly.

Most of the public acclaim appeared grudging at best, while the media response to Williams' 43rd victory from 45 matches this season was muted in comparison to the deluge of column inches that accompanied Rafael Nadal's victory over David Ferrer a day later.

In part, that reflects the extent to which women's tennis is still seen as something of a poor relation compared to the version of the game that is played by men, but it isn't always like this and it is hard to avoid the conclusion that something specific is involved when it comes to Williams.

It is equally hard to avoid the conclusion that that 'something specific' is related to issues of race and femininity, thorny subjects undoubtedly, but ones that cannot be ignored when one of the greatest sportswomen of our era is being denied the credit she deserves.

What is it about Williams we either dislike or distrust? The most common criticism hurled in her direction is that her playing style is predicated solely on power, and that her naturally muscular physique somehow gives her an unfair advantage over her opponents.

This is a desperately flawed argument for a number of reasons. For a start, you don't become the best player in the world simply because of an ability to hit the ball hard.

Yes, Williams' preferred playing style owes much to the strength of her shots, particularly when it comes to her serve, which is significantly superior to that of most other female players.

But her athleticism, precision and ability to consistently keep hitting the lines under the most intense of pressure mark her out as a supreme technician.

Particularly on the forehand, she can mix things up much more than she gets credit for, but even if her game was solely about strength, it's not as if such an approach is against the rule book.

So much of Nadal's play revolves around his repeatedly heavy hitting from the back of the court, his metronomic consistency and the competitive instinct that enables him to keep balls alive that other players would give up on.

In Nadal, that is a ferocious will to win. In Williams, it is somehow regarded as unsportsmanlike.

Is the distinction because Williams is black? It must surely play a part for some people on some level, yet it would be wrong to claim that society, particularly in this country and the United States, is completely uncomfortable with the idea of a physically powerful black champion.

On the football field, the likes of Patrick Vieira and Yaya Toure were lauded for their physical attributes. Americans are used to black footballers and basketballers using their size and strength to their advantage. Nobody seems to complain about the way Usain Bolt towers over his rivals in the 100m.

Yet the common denominator in all of these situations is that the athlete in question is a man. Try to think of examples of powerful black females - and the word 'powerful' here can have both physical and emotional connotations - and it quickly becomes apparent that Williams is blazing something of a trail.

The leading female sprinters are perhaps comparable, but none have dominated their sport in the way Williams has over the last decade-and-a-half, and so none have been subjected to the same sniping and judgement. The same can be said of Nicola Adams, another black sportswoman who has achieved success in a sphere where strength is all-important.

In many ways, Williams is a new type of champion, challenging conventions of what is deemed desirable in a sport that has strong, pre-conceived notions of what a women's number one should look like, and how she should perform and conduct herself on the court.

Williams' behaviour is often held up as another defect, and there have been times when she has strayed beyond the boundaries of acceptability, most notably when she threatened a lineswoman during the final of the 2009 US Open.

Again though, different things seem to be demanded of Williams than of other players. Roger Federer is no stranger to swearing on court, and can be churlish and argumentative in his press dealings, yet he is held up as the ideal sporting gentleman. John McEnroe's entire persona was built around his combativeness and fiery personality.

Williams isn't allowed to be like that, even though she would only be half the player she is if she didn't have an unquenchable need to succeed.

That competitiveness has enabled her to tower over her rivals, another stick that is used to beat her down. "It's an extremely weak time for women's tennis," is the cry, evoking a previous halcyon era, but conveniently forgetting that that halcyon era never really existed.

Steffi Graf, one of Williams' rivals for the title of the greatest of all time, once won a French Open final 6-0, 6-0, yet you don't find many people saying she had it easy.

Williams has overcome multiple obstacles to reach the pinnacle of the game, and continues to tackle adversity at every turn.

In 2011, she almost died after suffering a pulmonary embolism, yet within little more than a year, she was beating Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon to claim her fifth All England title.

Later this month, she will return to SW19 at Wimbledon in an attempt to defend her crown. Perhaps in years to come, we will fully appreciate how privileged we are to be able to witness her achievements.

Posted by Kofi Natambu at 7:08 AM 
Labels: American tennis, Coaching, Richard Williams, Serena Williams, Sports media, Tennis History, Williams sisters legacy, Women's sports




From 'Inside Tennis magazine': Excerpt from interview with Serena's coach--



LOOK WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT SERENA'S TENNIS VISIONARY FATHER RICHARD WILLIAMS!! EVEN HE REALIZES THE TRUTH...


Photo: http://www.insidetennis.com/2013/08/exceptional-exclusive-interview-serenas-coach-patrick-mouratoglou/

From 'Inside Tennis magazine':  Excerpt from interview with Serena's coach--

LOOK WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT SERENA'S TENNIS VISIONARY FATHER RICHARD WILLIAMS!!  EVEN HE REALIZES THE TRUTH...


IT: Was it the greatest sports prediction ever when Richard Williams said that both of his daughters would become No. 1 players?

PM: I wouldn’t say that it’s the greatest prediction, I would say that he’s the greatest coach of all time.  From what I know, no one else in the history of sports raised two different children to become No. 1.
  
IT: Why do you think Richard isn’t appreciated more? In the US he’s often is dismissed as a buffoon or not a real coach, [as] someone who doesn’t know the Xs and Os.

PM: That surprises me. Whatever his personality is, people should be more interested in such a successful person. I’m French, and four years ago, when I didn’t know Serena and Venus, I interviewed him. I said to the French media, “How can you not be interested?” You have to know what he did, or at least try to know. You have to be curious. It’s wrong not to be respectful of what he achieved. Maybe he doesn’t have the knowledge in every aspect—maybe—but he did something so incredible that he has a lot of interesting things to give, and it’s a pity if people don’t understand that.

IT: Was it fun to interview him? He always has something new to say  

PM: Yes. Of course, he’s not like everybody, but it’s because he’s not like everybody that he was able to achieve what he did.


Serena Williams hugs her father (and original coach) Richard in the stands following her winning the 2012 Wimbledon championship match while her proud older sister Venus looks on
Serena Williams hugs her father (and original coach) Richard in the stands following her winning the 2012 Wimbledon championship match while her proud older sister Venus looks on



IT: Was it the greatest sports prediction ever when Richard Williams said that both of his daughters would become No. 1 players?



PM: I wouldn’t say that it’s the greatest prediction, I would say that he’s the greatest coach of all time. From what I know, no one else in the history of sports raised two different children to become No. 1.

IT: Why do you think Richard isn’t appreciated more? In the US he’s often is dismissed as a buffoon or not a real coach, [as] someone who doesn’t know the Xs and Os.

PM: That surprises me. Whatever his personality is, people should be more interested in such a successful person. I’m French, and four years ago, when I didn’t know Serena and Venus, I interviewed him. I said to the French media, “How can you not be interested?” You have to know what he did, or at least try to know. You have to be curious. It’s wrong not to be respectful of what he achieved. Maybe he doesn’t have the knowledge in every aspect—maybe—but he did something so incredible that he has a lot of interesting things to give, and it’s a pity if people don’t understand that.

IT: Was it fun to interview him? He always has something new to say

PM: Yes. Of course, he’s not like everybody, but it’s because he’s not like everybody that he was able to achieve what he did.


Serena Williams holds the trophy as she celebrates her win over Victoria Azarenka of Belarus during their 2013 US Open women's singles final match in New York City. / AFP PHOTO/STAN HONDA

by Douglas Robson, USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — When she won her first Grand Slam title at the 1999 U.S. Open at age 17, Serena Williams celebrated by taking in a movie.

"I was too young to do anything," Williams said.

Fourteen years later, she has returned to "low-key" celebrations, telling a small group of reporters in a Midtown Manhattan office building Monday that she ordered room service in her hotel and went to sleep following Sunday's dramatic 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 6-1 U.S. Open victory against Victoria Azarenka.

"That's something in common," she said of her first and most recent U.S. Open wins.

But uncommon is her sustained excellence at the top of the game.

MEN'S FINAL: Expect long, grueling rallies

With her fifth championship in New York and her 17th major title overall, Williams has enjoyed the longest winning span for majors in women's tennis history.

It may not be her most treasured record — and she said she has more goals in mind — but one that she seems certain to extend despite turning 32 on Sept. 26.

"I haven't thought of a number or age when I'm going to stop," said Williams, whose four major titles past 30 are a record. "I can tell you this: I don't see myself retiring anytime soon."

Williams hadn't slept much despite turning off her lights at 1 a.m. But after hitting the usual round of morning TV programs and doing a photo shoot in Central Park, she looked fresh.

She credited career longevity to her father, Richard, who laid the building blocks of a power game that was not one-dimensional but could improve over time.

"He was just a genius in developing that," she said, referring to herself and her older sister, Venus. "He was always saying that he wanted to give us a strong foundation. He always said those exact words. So I think that definitely worked out."

Since losing in the first round of the 2012 French Open, Williams has used that foundation to take her game to new levels.

Under the coaching influence of Patrick Mouratoglou, who runs a tennis academy in his native France, she has become a more complete player that can blast opponents off the court with her serve and groundstrokes but also throw in the occasional lob and drop shot, grind through long rallies and more comfortably rely on her defensive skills.

Since they teamed up 15 months ago, Williams has won four of six Grand Slam tournaments, an Olympic gold medal and compiled a stunning 98-5 record, her best over any such period.

"Obviously we've had really good results," she said. " I think they speak for themselves."

While Mouratoglou's relationship with Williams has evolved beyond the court, she was typically coy about their presumed romantic connection.

She said it was important to have it in your life but said she was no expert.

"I'm definitely in love with tennis right now," she smiled.


Serena Williams talks with reporters at a media roundtable on Monday.(Photo: Douglas Robson, USA TODAY Sports)
No. 1 Williams leaves 2013 with two majors, the French Open and U.S. Open, and she already has won more titles (nine) and compiled a better record (67-4) than any season in her 17-year career.

But she gently chided a reporter who suggested that her current campaign stacked up favorably with 2002, the only year she won three majors (and three fourths of the 2002-03 "Serena Slam," which concluded with her fourth consecutive major at the 2003 Australian Open).

"No, it definitely feels good, but it doesn't feel as good because I only have two," she said, agreeing that 2013 was more consistent. "If I had three it would probably feel better, but I do have lots of other titles. But three is more than two."

At a time when most players are scaling back their schedules, Williams has become a workhorse.

Williams, who has played a lighter schedule than most top players for most of her career, now finds herself playing more since she turned 30, including this year's career high 71 matches.

She did so, she said, to reach the No. 1 ranking, which she reclaimed in February.

She's not sure if that pace will persist, but she said Mouratoglou's strategy of focusing on every match and every tournament has paid off.

"Sometimes in order to win those big ones you have to win the little ones too," she said.

Plus, the 5-9 Williams said, she feels physically and mentally strong. If she didn't, she said she would take a break.

"I think the last two years have been really arduous," she said. "But at the same time I've been really enjoying it."

After overcoming a series of accidents, surgeries and illness in 2010-11, including a pulmonary embolism and hematoma in her stomach, Williams' outward ferocity is finally being counterbalanced by an inner (and appropriate) serenity.

She admitted that she got tight in the second set of her match versus No. 2 Azarenka, blowing a two-break lead and failing to serve out the contest twice.

But she was able to calm down, refocus and take control in the third set.

"It's important to stay composed, and I've been doing that a lot since I came back, so to say," she said of balancing her intensity with poise. "Even (Sunday) I was still complaining and throwing my hands everywhere but that's just me, I am never going to be able to change that, so I just have to learn how to hone that in a little bit, but still be myself, at the end of the day I still have to be myself."

On a court has been the scene of considerable angst and controversy in recent years, including memorable meltdowns in 2009 and 2011, Williams handled her emotions, blustery conditions and a tough opponent.

Still chasing history, Williams called Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova the greatest female players.

If she stays healthy, she seems likely to eclipse Navratilova, who is tied with Chris Evert in fourth place with 18 major singles titles. Graf, the Open era leader with 22, is within reasonable striking distance.

On the 40th anniversary of the women's tour and equal prize money at the U.S Open, Williams praised Billie Jean King's pioneering efforts and took pride that other African-American women were coming up the ranks, among them Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys, Taylor Townsend and U.S. Open girls' runner-up Tornado Alicia Black.

"I hope everyone can just be as successful even more successful than me," she said.

At one point while discussing her ongoing high level of fitness, Williams said with a big laugh, "I feel like jumping down and doing a one arm pushup," before adding that, "I can't by the way."

No one put her to the test. But after another remarkable age-defying season, nothing seems out of reach.


Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Williams

Serena Williams
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Country  United States
Residence      Palm Beach Gardens, Florida[1] and
Paris, France
Born  September 26, 1981 (age 31)
Saginaw, Michigan
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Turned pro September 24, 1995
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$ 47,049,995[2]
(1st all-time among women athletes and 4th all-time among tennis athletes)[

Official website serenawilliams.com

Singles

Career record 614–112 (84.57%)
Career titles 54 WTA[1] (5th in overall rankings)
Highest ranking No. 1 (July 8, 2002)
Current ranking No. 1 (August 12, 2013)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010)
French Open W (2002, 2013)
Wimbledon W (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012)
US Open W (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012)
Other tournaments
Championships W (2001, 2009, 2012)
Olympic Games  Gold Medal (2012)

Doubles

Career record 169-22 (89.1%)
Career titles 22
Highest ranking No. 1 (June 7, 2010)
Current ranking No. 27 (May 27, 2013)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010)
French Open W (1999, 2010)
Wimbledon W (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012)
US Open W (1999, 2009)
Other Doubles tournaments
Championships SF (2009)
Olympic Games  Gold Medal (2000, 2008, 2012)
Mixed Doubles
Career record 27–3 (90%)
Career titles 2
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open F (1999)
French Open F (1998)
Wimbledon W (1998)
US Open W (1998)
Team Competitions
Fed Cup W (1999)
Hopman Cup W (2003, 2008)
Last updated on: July 8, 2013.
Olympic medal record
Women's tennis
{{MedalCountry | the  United States }

Gold 2000 Sydney Doubles
Gold 2008 Beijing Doubles
Gold 2012 London Singles
Gold 2012 London Doubles

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on six separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002, and regained this ranking for the sixth time on February 18, 2013, becoming the oldest world no. 1 player in WTA's history.[5] She is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money.[6] Williams is the reigning French Open, US Open, WTA Tour Championships and Olympic ladies singles champion.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time,[7][8] Williams holds the most Major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active players, male or female. She is the only player to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. Her record of 31 Grand Slam titles ties her for eighth on the all-time list: 16 in singles, 13 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 ('02–'03) and only the fifth woman ever to do so. Her total of 16 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list,[9] and fourth in the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each).[9] She has won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam finals.[10] Serena Williams is also a three-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships.[11] Williams is only one of five tennis players all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matching Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Martina Navratilova and Frank Sedgman. The arrival of Venus and Serena Williams has been credited with launching a new era of power and athleticism in women's tennis.[12][13][14][15]
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women's singles and three in women's doubles, an all-time record shared with her sister Venus.[16][17]

Contents 

1 Early life
2 Playing style
3 Professional career
3.1 1995–98: Professional debut
3.2 1999–2001: Becoming a top-10 player
3.3 2002–03: "Serena Slam"
3.4 2004–07: Injuries, depression and the comeback
3.5 2008–10: Back to Number One, back in the titles and a life threatening injury
3.6 2011–present: Oldest World No. 1 and Golden Slam
4 On-court activities
4.1 Rivalry with Venus Williams
4.2 Controversies
4.2.1 2004 US Open
4.2.2 2009 US Open
4.2.3 2011 US Open
5 Off-court activities
5.1 Personal life
5.2 Fashion
5.3 Entertainment
5.4 Miami Dolphins venture
5.5 Charity work
5.6 Writing
6 Grand Slam tournaments
6.1 Grand Slam tournament performance timeline
6.2 Grand Slam tournament finals
6.2.1 Singles: 20 (16 titles, 4 runner-ups)
6.2.2 Women's doubles: 13 finals (13 titles)
6.2.3 Mixed doubles: 4 finals (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)
7 Records and achievements
8 See also
9 Works Cited
10 References
11 External links
Early life[edit source]

Serena Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price and is the youngest of Price's five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea and Isha Price, and full sister Venus.[1] When the children were young, the family moved to Compton, California, where Serena started playing tennis at the age of four.[18][19] Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister Venus[20][21] and to this day, Serena Williams was and remains coached by both her parents.[1]

Williams' family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach[18] 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".[22] 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 factor was racial, as he had heard white parents talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments.[23] 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.[24] 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. When asked in 2000 whether having followed the normal path of playing regularly on the junior circuit would have been beneficial, Williams responded: "Everyone does different things. I think for Venus and I, we just attempted a different road, and it worked for us."[24] In 2003 sister Yetunde was fatally shot in an SUV after a confrontation with youths in Compton.[25][26]

Playing style

"She's a competitor. She doesn't like to give free points and free games.  No matter the score she wants to win those games and those points,  whether she's down a break point or up a break point or whatever it is."
---Maria Sharapova, on Serena Williams in 2013.[27]

Williams is primarily a baseline player, with a serve that critics, pundits and tennis experts consider the greatest serve in the history of women's tennis.[28] Her game is built around taking immediate control of rallies with her powerful and consistent serve,[29] return of serve, and forceful groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand swings. Williams' forehand is considered to be among the most powerful shots in the women's game as is her double-handed backhand. Williams strikes her backhand groundstroke using an open stance, and uses the same open stance for her forehand. Williams's aggressive play, a "high risk" style, is balanced in part by her serve, which combines great power and placement with very high consistency. In the 2013 Australian Open, she had a peak serve speed of 128.6 mph (207.0 km/h) which was the second-fastest all-time among female players (Venus recorded the fastest with 129 mph).[30] At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Serena hit a tournament record of 102 aces which was more than any of the men hit during the two weeks.[31] Serena also possesses a very solid volley and powerful overhead which is very useful for her net game. Although many think of Williams as only an offensive player, she also plays a strong defensive game.[32]
Williams is also known for her mental toughness and her ability to come back from improbable situations.[33] [34] 

She has won three Grand Slam singles titles after saving match points (2003 Australian Open versus Kim Clijsters, 2005 Australian Open versus Maria Sharapova, and 2009 Wimbledon versus Elena Dementieva), more than any other player in history, male or female.[35] In the 2012 US Open final against Victoria Azarenka, she was led 5-3 in the third set and found herself two points away from losing the match. Williams then proceeded to win the next 4 games and defeat Azarenka.[36] In recent years, Williams has shown an ability to serve aces at critical moments. One of these instances was the 2013 French Open final, where in the last game of the match, she fired three aces, including one clocked at 123 mph (198 km/h) on match point.[37] [38]

Professional career

1995–98: Professional debut[edit source]
Main article: Serena Williams' early career
Williams' first professional event was in September 1995, at the age of 14 to counteract the forthcoming changes to age-eligibility rules, at the Bell Challenge. She lost in the first round of qualifying to Anne Miller, winning just two games.[39]

Williams did not play a tournament in 1996. The following year, she lost in the qualifying rounds of three tournaments, before winning her first main-draw match in November at the Ameritech Cup Chicago. Ranked world no. 304, she upset world no. 7 Mary Pierce and world no. 4 Monica Seles, recording her first career wins over top 10 players and becoming the lowest-ranked player in the open era to defeat two top 10 opponents in one tournament.[1] She ultimately lost in the semifinals to world no. 5 Lindsay Davenport. She finished 1997 ranked world no. 99.

Williams began 1998 at the Medibank International Sydney. As a qualifier ranked world no. 96, she defeated world no. 3 Davenport in the quarterfinals, before losing to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the semifinals. Williams made her debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open, where she defeated sixth-seeded Irina Spîrlea in the first round, before losing to sister Venus in the second round in the sisters' first professional match.[40] Williams reached six other quarterfinals during the year, but lost all of them, including her first match against world no. 1 Martina Hingis at the Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne, and her second match against Venus at the Italian Open in Rome. She failed to reach the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam tournament the remainder of the year, losing in the fourth round of the French Open to Sánchez Vicario, and the third round of both Wimbledon and the US Open, to Virginia Ruano Pascual and Spîrlea, respectively. She did, however, win the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open with Max Mirnyi, completing the Williams family's sweep of the 1998 mixed doubles Grand Slam tournaments. Williams won her first professional title in doubles in Oklahoma City with Venus, becoming the third pair of sisters to win a WTA title.[1] The Williams sisters won two more doubles titles together during the year. Serena finished the year ranked world no. 20 in singles.

1999–2001: Becoming a top-10 player[edit source]
Williams lost in the third round of the 1999 Australian Open to Sandrine Testud. Williams won her first professional singles title, when she defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the final of the Open Gaz de France. With Venus also winning the IGA Superthrift Classic that day, the pair became the first sisters to win professional tournaments in the same week.[41] A month later, Serena won her first Tier I singles title at the Evert Cup, defeating Steffi Graf in the final. At the Lipton International Players Championships, Williams had her 16-match winning streak ended by Venus in the first all-sister singles final in WTA history, Serena made her top-10 debut at world no. 9. She then lost in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open and the German Open, and the third round of the French Open, where she and Venus won the women's doubles title. She then missed Wimbledon because of injury. When she returned to the tour, Williams won a Fed Cup singles match, won the JPMorgan Chase Open, beating Julie Halard-Decugis in the final, and reached the US Open final where she defeated Hingis to become the second African-American woman after Althea Gibson in 1958 to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.[1] The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at this tournament. To complete 1999, Williams won a doubles match in the Fed Cup final against Russia. Williams ended the year ranked world no. 4 in just her second full year on the main tour.

Williams started 2000 by losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Elena Likhovtseva. She failed to defend her titles in Paris and Indian Wells, although she did win the Faber Grand Prix. Williams missed the French Open because of injury. She returned at Wimbledon, where she lost to Venus in the semifinals, but they won the doubles title at the event. Williams successfully defended her title in Los Angeles, defeating Davenport in the final. She reached the final of the Du Maurier Open where an injury forced her to retire from her match with Hingis. Her defense of the US Open title ended when she lost in the quarterfinals to Davenport. Williams teamed with Venus to win the gold medal in doubles at the Sydney Olympics in September. She ended the year winning the Toyota Princess Cup. She finished the year ranked world number 6.

Williams began 2001 losing to Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals of both Sydney and the Australian Open. Serena and Venus won the doubles title at the latter tournament, becoming only the fifth doubles team in history to win all four Grand Slam women's doubles titles during their career, completing a "Career Grand Slam". Her next event was the Pacific Life Open, defeating Kim Clijsters in the final. However the final was marred by the behavior of the crowd towards Williams and her family. The crowd were incensed at the apparent match fixing of games involving the family after Venus withdrew before their semifinal. Neither Williams sister has entered the tournament since.[42] The following week at the Ericsson Open, Williams lost to Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals. She then lost in the quarterfinals to Capriati at the French Open and Wimbledon. This was the fourth consecutive Grand Slam tournament at which Williams had exited in the quarterfinals. At the North American hard-court season, she lost in the quarterfinals of Los Angeles, then captured her second title of the year at the Rogers Cup, defeating Capriati in the final. Williams reached the final of the US Open, losing to sister Venus. That was the first Grand Slam final contested by two sisters during the open era. At the 2001-ending Sanex Championships, Williams won the championship by walkover when Davenport withdrew before the start of the final because of a knee injury. Williams finished 2001 at world no. 6 for the second straight year.
2002–03: "Serena Slam"



Injury forced Williams to retire from her semifinal match at the Medibank International Sydney and to withdraw from the 2002 Australian Open. She won her first title of the year at the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic, defeating world no. 2 Jennifer Capriati in the final. She then won the Ericsson Open for the first time, becoming one of three players in the open era to defeat the world's top 3 at one tournament,[1] after beating world no. 3 Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals, world no. 2 Venus in the semifinals, and world no. 1 Capriati in the final. Her 6–2, 6–2 win over Venus was her second career win over her sister. Williams played three clay-court tournaments before the 2002 French Open. Her first tournament was at Charleston, where she was the third seed. Serena reached the quarterfinals losing to Patty Schnyder. She reached her first clay-court final in May, at the Eurocard German Open losing to Justine Henin in a third set tiebreak. Williams went on to win her first clay court title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, defeating Capriati in the semifinals and Henin in the final.[43] This raised her ranking to a new high of world no. 3. Williams was the third seed at the French Open, where she claimed her first French Open title defeating Venus in the final winning her Second Grand Slam title. Serena rose to a career high of no. 2 after the win, second only to older sister Venus. At the 2002 Wimbledon Championships, Williams won the title for the first time, defeating Venus to win a Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set for the first time in her career. This victory earned Williams the world no. 1 ranking, dethroning her sister and becoming only the third African-American woman to hold that ranking.[1] The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at the tournament, the fifth Grand Slam doubles title for the pair. Williams played just one tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open, losing in the quarterfinals of the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles to Chanda Rubin, ending a 21-match winning streak. As the top-seeded player at the US Open, Williams reached the final where once again she defeated her sister to win the title for the second time. Williams won two consecutive singles titles in the fall, defeating Kim Clijsters to win the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo, and Anastasia Myskina to win the Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig, Germany. She reached the final at the year-end Home Depot Championships, where she lost to fifth-seeded Clijsters in straight sets, ending her 18-match winning streak. Williams finished 2002 with a 56–5 record, eight singles titles, and the world no. 1 ranking. She was the first African-American (male or female) to end a year with that ranking since Althea Gibson in 1958. She was the first woman to win three Grand Slam titles in one year since Hingis in 1997.[1]

At the 2003 Australian Open, Williams went on to reach the semifinals for the first time, where she recovered from 5–1 down in the third set and saved two match points, before defeating Clijsters. She faced her sister Venus for the fourth consecutive Grand Slam final and won to become the sixth woman in the open era to complete a Career Grand Slam, joining Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, and Margaret Court. She also became the fifth woman to hold all Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously, joining Maureen Connolly Brinker, Court, Graf, and Navratilova. This feat was dubbed the Serena Slam by the press.[44][45] The Williams sisters won their sixth Grand Slam doubles title together at this event.[46]
Williams then captured singles titles at the Open Gaz de France and the Sony Ericsson Open. Williams' winning streak came to an end when she lost the final of the Family Circle Cup to Henin, her first loss of the year after 21 wins. She also lost to Mauresmo in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Despite these losses, Williams was the top seed at the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Henin, marking Williams's first loss in a Grand Slam tournament since 2001. The match was controversial, as Williams questioned Henin's sportsmanship, and spectators applauded Williams's errors.[47] She was known to be dating professional football player LaVar Arrington at the time.[citation needed] Williams rebounded from the loss at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Henin in the semifinals and Venus in the final. This was Williams' second consecutive Wimbledon title and her sixth Grand Slam singles title overall. This was her last tournament of the year after pulling out of three events in the USA, Williams underwent surgery on the quadriceps tendon in her knee at the start of August. Initially she was expected to be out for six to eight weeks.[48]

2004–07: Injuries, depression and the comeback[edit source]

Main articles: 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 Serena Williams tennis season


After eight months away from the tour during which her desire was questioned,[49] Williams began her comeback at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami, where she made a triumphant return as she won the title. This was the third consecutive year that Williams had won this tournament. She then played three clay-court tournaments leading up to the French Open. She lost in the quarterfinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships, at the Family Circle Cup she withdrew before her third-round match because of an injured knee. She then played the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she lost to world number nine Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals. Although ranked world number seven, she was seeded second at the French Open. She won her first four matches over players ranked outside the top 50, before Capriati beat her in the quarterfinals. This was the first time she had lost before the semifinals at a Grand Slam singles tournament since Wimbledon in 2001. She was seeded first at Wimbledon, even though her ranking had dropped to world number ten. She reached the final, where she was defeated by 13th-seeded Sharapova. This loss caused her ranking to drop out of the top 10 for the first time since 1999. Williams reached her third final of the year at the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles on hard courts where she lost to Lindsay Davenport which was her first loss to Davenport since the 2000 US Open. Williams then withdrew before her quarterfinal match at the Acura Classic in San Diego with another left knee injury. She returned for the US Open, where she was seeded third even though she was ranked world number 11. She lost there in the quarterfinals to world number eight Capriati in three sets. This match featured several missed line calls, including one that led to the suspension of the chair umpire for the remainder of the tournament. This match is commonly referred to as the impetus for the current challenge system.[50] Williams won her second title of the year at the China Open in Beijing, in which she defeated US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Williams qualified for the WTA Tour Championships. In the round-robin phase of the tournament, she defeated Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina, but lost to Davenport. She lost to Sharapova in the final where Williams suffered an abdominal injury that caused her to serve around 65 mph.[51] Williams finished 2004 ranked world no. 7, but did not win a Grand Slam singles tournament for the first time since 2001

At the 2005 Australian Open, Williams rejected suggestions that she and sister Venus were a declining force in tennis, following Venus's early exit at the tournament.[52] In the quarterfinals, Williams defeated second-seeded Mauresmo. In the semifinals, she saved three match points in defeating Sharapova 8–6 in the third set. In the final, Williams defeated world #1 and top seed Davenport to win her second Australian Open singles title and seventh Grand Slam singles title, winning 12 of the last 15 games.[53] The win moved Williams back to world number two, and she stated that she was targeting the number one spot.[54] Williams completed just two tournaments between the Australian Open and Wimbledon, losing to Venus in Miami and at Internazionali BNL d'Italia to Francesca Schiavone. Williams suffered a series of retirements and withdraws. Williams withdrew before her quarterfinal match at the Open Gaz de France;[55] she retired from her semifinal Dubai Duty Free Women's Open, citing a strained tendon in her right shoulder, and a left ankle injury forced her to retire from the Bausch & Lomb Championships.[56] The ankle injury reoccurred, causing her to miss the French Open.[57] She returned for Wimbledon as the fourth-seeded player, but was defeated in the third round by world no. 85 Jill Craybas. After Serena won her first match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, a recurrence of her left knee injury caused her to withdraw from the tournament. At the US Open, Williams lost to her sister Venus in the fourth round. This was the earliest the sisters had met in a Grand Slam tournament since their first meeting at the 1998 Australian Open. Williams played just one more match the remainder of the year, a loss to world no. 127 Sun Tiantian at the tournament in Beijing. She failed to qualify for the year-end championship for the first time since 1998. She finished the year 2005 ranked world number 11, her first time finishing outside the top 10 since 1998.

Williams started 2006 by participating in the Australian Open. Despite being the defending champion, she lost to Daniela Hantuchová in the third round.[58] After the tournament, Williams told the press that she was injured, blaming a lack of fitness and a knee injury for keeping her off the court.[59] However, in her biography, Serena claims that she was actually suffering from depression. After she had shut herself off from the world for a period, her sisters held a type of intervention which made Williams see her therapist daily.[60] After a chance meeting with a young girl who idolized Serena, she signed up to play in Cincinnati. During her conversation with the girl, Williams felt inspired and was informed that she could be even better at tennis. Williams went home and watched some of her old matches and started to believe that she could win again.[61] She had been away from the tour for almost six months and had slipped to 139 in the world, the lowest ranking Williams had held since 1997. On her return, Williams defeated Myskina and Bethanie Mattek,[62][63] before losing in the semifinals to Vera Zvonareva.[64] She also reached the semifinals in Los Angeles, losing to Janković in straight sets. At the US Open, Williams needed a wildcard to enter the tournament, as her ranking at the cut-off time was 139th in the world, outside the automatic 102. However her ranking had improved to 79th by the time the tournament came around.[65] She lost to top-seeded Mauresmo in the fourth round.[66] She did not play again in 2006, ending the year ranked world number 95, her lowest year-end ranking since 1997.

Williams began 2007 with renewed confidence, stating her intention to return to the top of the rankings,[67] a comment former player and commentator Pat Cash branded "deluded."[68] Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Hobart, Australia, a warm-up for the Australian Open. Williams was unseeded at the Australian Open because of her world no. 81 ranking and was widely regarded as "out of shape."[69] Williams experienced a huge amount of pressure on herself prior to the tournament, coming from her fans and the press as well as Serena herself about her weight, focus and needing a good showing. But just before her first match, a representative from Nike paid Williams a visit in the players' lounge, informing her that if she didn't perform to her accustomed level, the company might drop her. Williams claimed that Nike's ultimatum meant that she would have to reach the quarterfinals at least.[70] The distraction from Nike did not put Williams off, as she lost just three games to Mara Santangelo and defeated Anne Kremer in straight sets.[71] By this point, a blister had developed on Williams' foot and she had contracted a cold. In the third round, Williams found herself two points away from going home against Nadia Petrova, but fought back to win in three sets, which was her first win over a top-10 player since defeating Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Australian Open final. Williams then made it all the way to the final, defeating Jankovic, Peer and Vaidisova. Williams described them as "good players. Strong players. Players who certainly didn't expect an overweight, out-of-shape, has been champion like me to give them a game."[72] Williams also found herself two points from going out against Peer before turning it around.[73] By the time Williams had reached the final, the cold and blister had gone, but Tracy Austin in her tournament analysis stated that Serena had a great tournament, but the ride was over and that Sharapova would have no trouble with Williams. Serena thought it was mean and unnecessary and used it as motivation with all the other criticism.[74] In the final, Williams lost just three games against Maria Sharapova winning her first title at any tournament since winning the 2005 Australian Open.[73] Williams became the first player since Chris O'Neill to win the title whilst not being seeded; and claimed her third Australian Open and eighth Grand Slam singles title overall. 

The win elevated Williams to 14th in the rankings. Williams dedicated the title to her deceased sister Yetunde.[75] Her performance in the final was described in the press as "one of the best performances of her career" and "arguably the most powerful display ever seen in women's tennis."[69][76] In her post match interview, Williams took a swipe at her critics, stating that she had proved them wrong.[77]


After defeating Dinara Safina in the fourth round of the 2007 French Open Williams won the Sony Ericsson Open for the fourth time after defeating Justine Henin. Williams had to record a come-from-behind win after being whitewashed in the first set and saving 2 match points in the second.[78] At the Family Circle Cup, Williams retired from her second-round match because of a groin muscle strain.[79] Williams then played for her country in the Fed Cup for the first time since 2003 in a tie against Belgium. Williams won her opening match,[80] but withdrew from the her second, due to a knee injury.[81] At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Williams lost to Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals.[82] At the French Open, Williams lost in the quarterfinals to Henin.[82]

During her fourth round match against Hantuchová at Wimbledon, Williams collapsed from an acute muscle spasm at 5–5 in the second set. After a medical timeout and holding serve to force a tiebreak, rain forced play to be suspended for nearly two hours. When the players returned, Williams won the match in three sets.[83] Williams then lost her quarterfinal match with Henin, whilst suffering from the injuries sustained in the previous round.[84] At the US Open, Williams lost her third consecutive Grand Slam singles quarterfinal to Henin.[85] Williams reached the final of Kremlin Cup, losing to Elena Dementieva and retired from her first match in Zurich with a thigh injury. Williams qualified for the WTA Championships, but retired from her first match with Anna Chakvetadze with a knee injury and subsequently withdrew from the tournament.[86][87] Williams finished 2007 as World number seven and the top-ranked American for the first time since 2003.[82]
2008–10: Back to Number One, back in the titles and a life threatening injury[edit source]

Main articles: 2008, 2009, and 2010 Serena Williams tennis season

Williams started 2008 by participating on the U.S. team that won the Hopman Cup with Mardy Fish.[88] At the Australian Open she lost in the quarterfinals to Jelena Janković.[82] This was her fourth straight loss in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament. In the women's doubles event, She and Venus lost in the quarterfinals. Williams then withdrew from three tournaments because of an urgent need for dental surgery.[89] Williams then won three consecutive singles titles at Bangalore and her fifth Miami title, tying Steffi Graf for the most singles titles at this tournament. Williams then added Family Circle Cup her first clay-court title since the 2002 French Open. Her 17-match winning streak was ended by Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals of Berlin.[82] Williams then withdrew in Rome in the quarterfinals against Alizé Cornet because of a back injury. Williams was the only former winner of the French Open in the draw, but lost in the third round to Katarina Srebotnik.


Stretching for a ball in her first round match against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia at Wimbledon in 2008
At Wimbledon, Williams reached the finals for the first time in four years. She lost the final to her older sister Venus in straight sets, in their first Slam final since 2003. Serena and Venus then teamed to win the women's doubles title in their first Grand Slam women's doubles title since 2003. Williams played at Stanford, but retired 6–2, 3–1 down with a left knee injury from her semifinal match against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak, the injury forced her to withdraw from Los Angeles. At the Olympics, Williams lost to Dementieva in the quarterfinals. Serena and her sister Venus won the gold medal in doubles, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual in the final. Williams at the US Open, defeated sister Venus, Safina and Jelena Janković in the final. This was her third US Open and ninth Grand Slam singles title. This victory returned her to the world no. 1 ranking for the first time since 2003.[90] At the Year-End Championships she defeated Safina and lost to her sister Venus in her round-robin matches, but withdrew from her match against Dementieva, citing a stomach muscle injury. She ended the year ranked world no. 2 and with four singles titles, her strongest performance in both respects since 2003.

Williams began 2009 at the Medibank International losing in the semifinals to Elena Dementieva. At the Australian Open, she claimed her tenth Grand Slam singles title by defeating Dinara Safina in the final in 59 minutes. This win returned her to the world no. 1 ranking and resulted in her becoming the all-time career prize money leader in women's sports, overtaking golfer Annika Sörenstam. In women's doubles, with Venus, they captured the title for the third time. At the Open GDF Suez, Williams withdrew before her semifinal with Dementieva because of a knee injury. Williams then played at Dubai, losing to Venus in the semifinals.


At the 2009 Australian Open

At the Sony Ericsson Open, Williams hampered with ankle and quad injuries was upset in the final by Victoria Azarenka. This was the first of four consecutive losses for Williams, the longest losing streak of her career.[91] She was defeated in her opening matches at Barcelona, Rome, and Madrid. Despite not having won a match on clay in 2009 before the French Open, she lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. This ended her 18-match Grand Slam tournament winning streak. She rebounded at Wimbledon, saving a match point in defeating fourth seeded Dementieva in the semifinals. In the final, Serena defeated her sister Venus to win her third Wimbledon title and her 11th Grand Slam singles title.[92] Williams and her sister Venus teamed to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, their ninth Grand Slam title in women's doubles.
As a US Open preparation, Williams played at Cincinnati losing in the third round and in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup. At the US Open, she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kim Clijsters amid controversy involving shouting at a line judge when defending match point, an offense which cost Williams the point and consequently the match. She continued in the doubles competition, teaming up with Venus to win their third Grand Slam doubles title of the year and tenth of their career.[93] Williams won all three of her round-robin matches at the year-end WTA Tour Championships, defeating Venus, Dementieva, and Kuznetsova, saving a match point against Venus. She then advanced to the final, when Wozniacki retired from their semifinal match. In the final, Williams defeated Venus for her second singles title at this event.[94] Williams finished the year ranked world no. 1 for the second time in her career, having played in 16 tournaments, more than any other year. She also broke the record previously set by Justine Henin for the most prize money earned by a female tennis player in one year, with Williams earning $6,545,586. In doubles, the Williams sisters finished the year ranked world no. 2, despite playing only six tournaments as a pair. She won five Grand Slam titles, putting her total Grand Slam titles at 23. Williams was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.[95] She also was the ITF World Champion in singles and doubles.[96]


Williams on her way to the singles and doubles title at the 2010 Australian Open
In 2010, Williams's first scheduled tournament was the Medibank International Sydney, losing in the final to Elena Dementieva. At the Australian Open, Williams was the defending champion in both singles and doubles. Williams reached the final, where she defeated Justine Henin for her twelfth Grand Slam singles title. In doubles, Serena and Venus successfully defended their title by defeating Cara Black and Liezel Huber in the final. Williams withdrew with a leg injury from her next events. She returned at the Rome losing to Jelena Janković in the semifinals. At the Madrid, she fell to Nadia Petrova in the third round. She teamed with Venus to win the doubles title. At the French Open, she lost to Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals. She also played doubles with Venus as the top seeds, they won the title defeating Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the final to win their fourth consecutive Grand Slam women's doubles title and improved their doubles ranking to world no. 1.

Her next tournament was Wimbledon, where she defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final without facing a break point and breaking the serve of Zvonareva three times.[97][98] She did not lose a set in the tournament.[99] After the match, Martina Navratilova said that Williams is in the top 5 of all the women's tennis players in all of history, which she said that "it's not just about how many Slams you win or how many tournaments you win—it's just your game overall. And she's definitely got all the goods."[98] Serena was the defending champion in doubles with her sister Venus, winning the last two years. They lost in the quarterfinals to Elena Vesnina and Zvonareva. In Munich on July 7, Williams stepped on broken glass while in a restaurant, and missed the rest of the year. She ended the year ranked no. 4 in singles, despite having played only six tournaments, and no. 11 in doubles after four tournaments. On March 2, 2011, she confirmed that she had suffered a hematoma and a pulmonary embolism.[100][101][102]
2011–present: Oldest World No. 1 and Golden Slam[edit source]

Main articles: 2011, 2012, and 2013 Serena Williams tennis season

Williams finally made a return to the practice court in March 2011.[103] She made her first appearance on the WTA tour in almost a year at the 2011 Aegon International in Eastbourne.[104] Williams lost in round two to Vera Zvonareva, in a match that lasted over three hours.[105] Her next tournament was Wimbledon, where she was the defending champion. She reached the round of 16, where she lost to Marion Bartoli. After the loss her ranking plummeted to no.175. Williams next competed at the Stanford where she won her first title on her comeback, beating Bartoli in the finals. This title was quickly followed by another in Toronto over Samantha Stosur. At the Western & Southern Open, Serena defeated Lucie Hradecká, only to withdraw the next day, citing a right toe injury. She then played at the US Open going all the way to the finals losing to Samantha Stosur, during a match which featured her verbally abusing the chair umpire. The US Open final turned out to be Williams' last match in 2011, and she ended the year ranked world no. 12 with 2 titles and with a 22–3 record for the season. She only participated in six tournaments throughout the season.


Williams won the singles gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2012, Williams started the year by playing her debut at Brisbane International, However, during her match against Bojana Jovanovski, she injured her left ankle when serving for the match late in the second set. As a result, Williams was forced to withdraw from the tournament.[106] Next she participated at the Australian Open where she was upset by Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round. After a month layoff Williams returned to competition in Miami losing in the quarterfinals to Caroline Wozniacki. Williams then won consecutive titles at Charleston and Madrid beating Lucie Šafářová and Victoria Azarenka respectively but withdrew from her semifinals match against Li Na in Rome citing a lower back injury. Williams suffered her first ever loss in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament at the French Open against Virginie Razzano. Williams notched up a 33–1 record for the second half of the season winning five titles in the process.[107] Williams won her fifth Wimbledon singles title, her fourteenth Grand Slam title;[108][109] setting a serving record of 24 aces by a female in a match as well as having the most aces, male or female during the tournament(102).[110] Williams returned to America to successfully defend her title in Stanford beating Coco Vandeweghe in the finals.[111][112] Serena then returned to Wimbledon to represent her country at the Olympic Games where she became the second female player to win a career Golden Grand Slam after winning the gold medal and the first player in history, male or female, to win the career Golden Grand Slam in both singles and doubles.[112] Williams undefeated streak ended with a loss in Cincinnati to Angelique Kerber. In New York City, Williams went on to win her fourth US Open singles title and her 15th career Grand Slam title overall beating Azarenka in the finals.[107][113] She missed the Asian swing[jargon] but ended the season competing at the WTA Championships going undefeated to win the event for her third title. Serena Williams was voted WTA Player of the Year for 2012, the fourth time she has won this award.[114] Based on her brilliant show in 2012, Serena was also named International Tennis Federation World Champion.[115] Williams also returned to doubles competitions with Venus; in the pair's first tournament since 2010 Wimbledon, they claimed their fifth Wimbledon doubles title and the 13th grand slam doubles title.[116] The pair successfully defended their Olympic doubles title which meant that they became the only tennis players to win four gold medals.[16]
In 2013, Williams' first tournament of the season was Brisbane where she won the tournament without dropping a set. Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open to fellow American player Sloane Stephens. After defeating Petra Kvitova in Doha, Williams ascended to the World Number One position for the sixth time in her career and became the oldest woman in the Open Era to hold the ranking.[117] Williams lost to Victoria Azarenka in the final. In Miami, Williams lost a set to Maria Sharapova for the first time since 2008. However, this setback did not stop Williams who recorded her seventieth come-from-behind win. The win made Williams a six-time champion in Miami breaking the record she held with Steffi Graf and became only the fourth woman in the open era to have won a tournament at least six times.[118] Williams successfully defended her Charleston title winning it for the third time in all.[119] Williams' next tournament was Madrid, where she was the defending champion. Williams set up a rematch of the Miami final against Maria Sharapova and won convincingly to retain her number 1 ranking and earn her 50th singles title. Williams then played Rome, where she cruised through without dropping a set to make her first final in Rome since 2002; where she defeated Victoria Azarenka to take her second title. Williams only dropped ten games in reaching the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. There, she faced Svetlana Kuznetsova. Williams squeezed it out in three sets and then defeated Sara Errani, dropping only a game, something Chris Evert described as the finest female performance on clay she had ever seen.[120] She progressed to the final and won her second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, defeating Maria Sharapova in straight sets.

 She became the fourth woman in the Open era after Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf to win each Grand Slam title twice or more. She won the Swedish Open by defeating Johanna Larsson in the final, making it her 53rd WTA title. This win also marked her first WTA International tournaments Title. She is undefeated on clay this season, with a winning ratio of 28-0.[121] In the meantime, she got two 2013 ESPY Awards on July 17, 2013, as Best Female Athlete and as Best Female Tennis Player. The first being her second, only the fourth female athlete to do so, the latter being her sixth.[122] She won her 54th WTA title and her 3rd Rogers Cup title in Toronto on August 11, 2013 where she beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the final.[123] Her next tournament was the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, which she considers "unexpected", however she reached the final for the first time in her career but eventually lost to Victoria Azarenka in a three-set thriller. It was the second time she lost to the Belarusian in the hard court this year.[124]

 In the US Open where she was the top seed, the defending champion and bidding to become the oldest woman to win the U.S. Open since tennis turned professional in 1968, she beat former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the opening round in a lopsided fashion. She then reached the quarterfinals of the last grand slam tournament of the year by ultimately defeating the 15th seeded and compatriot Sloane Stephens in straight-sets in a much anticipated fourth round match.[125] By dispatching Stephens, Serena avenged her loss to the fast-rising American star from a wobbly quarterfinal defeat in the Australian Open earlier this year.[126] She reached the semifinals in a child's play fashion by dusting 18th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the quarterfinals. The dominant Williams scored an impressive "double bagel" in less than an hour. It was the first "double bagel" in a quarterfinal match at Flushing Meadows since 1989, when 18-time major title winner Martina Navratilova did it to Manuela Maleeva.[127]
On-court activities

Rivalry with Venus Williams

Main article: Williams sisters rivalry

Serena Williams has played older sister Venus in 24 professional matches since 1998. Overall Serena is 14–10 against her sister. Serena has played Venus 12 times in Grand Slam singles tournaments and 11 times in other tournaments (including 11 finals). 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.
Controversies[edit source]

2004 US Open

In her 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinal match against Jennifer Capriati, an overrule was made by chair umpire Mariana Alves in Capriati's favor, even though later video review showed this to be an error. Williams attempted to argue the call, but was not successful. Capriati won the match, but tournament officials dismissed the umpire from the tournament. The controversy renewed calls for the adoption of technology like the MacCam and Hawk-Eye systems.[128]
2009 US Open

In 2009, Williams again was involved in a controversial U.S. Open match, this time against Kim Clijsters in the semifinal round. The drama began at the end of the first set, when Williams slammed her racquet on the court in frustration over losing the set. She was given a warning, with a potential second violation carrying a one-point penalty. While trailing 4–6, 5–6, 15–30, Williams's second serve was called a foot fault, resulting in two match points for Clijsters. Williams gestured with her racquet to the lineswoman who had made the call and yelled at her, with profanities and an injury threat.[129] During the subsequent on-court conference between the head judge, the lineswoman, US Open officials, and Williams, a television microphone picked up Williams saying to the lineswoman, "I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious?"[130] The incident resulted in Williams being penalized a point for unsportsmanlike conduct — necessitated by the earlier warning for racquet abuse — meaning Clijsters won the match 6–4, 7–5. The following day, Williams was issued the maximum permissible on-site fine of $10,000 (plus $500 for racquet abuse). After further investigation, the Grand Slam Committee in November 2009 fined her $175,000 in lieu of suspending her from the 2010 US Open or other Grand Slam events.[131] They also placed her on a two-year probation, so if Williams committed another offense in the following two years at a Grand Slam tournament, she would be suspended from participating in the following US Open. If she committed no offenses in the next two years, her fine would be reduced to $82,500.[131] Williams initially refused to apologize for her outburst, both in her post-match press conference[132] and in an official statement released the following day.[93] She eventually apologized to the lineswoman in a statement two days following the incident.
2011 US Open

In the final of the 2011 U.S. Open against Samantha Stosur, Williams again generated controversy. After shouting "Come on!" as the Australian attempted to return a forehand Williams believed to be a winner, chair umpire Eva Asderaki awarded the point to Stosur based on the USTA's deliberate hindrance rule, which states, "If a player commits any act which hinders his opponent in making a stroke, then, if this is deliberate, he shall lose the point or if involuntary, the point shall be replayed."[133] As the point was 30–40 on Williams's serve, the penalty gave the break of serve to Stosur. Williams became angry with the chair umpire and made several gestures and unflattering comments toward her during the next several changeovers, warning her, "Don't look at me," and telling her that if Asderaki ever saw Williams coming toward her, she should "look the other way". She told the umpire that she was "a loser", "a hater" and "unattractive on the inside". [134] Williams initially gained momentum in the set following the penalty, breaking back in the next game, but eventually flagged and lost the match, 6–2, 6–3. At the end of the match, she declined to offer the customary handshake to Asderaki.[135][136] Williams mentioned the incident in her post-match speech as the tournament runner-up, claiming, "I hit a winner, but I guess it didn't count", but added, "It wouldn't have mattered in the end. Sam played really well."[citation needed] A writer for ESPN suggested that Williams could avoid being found to have violated the terms of the "probation" on which she was placed following her 2009 outburst, as she did not appear to have used profanity in addressing Asderaki during the match.[137] In the end, Williams was fined $2,000 and was not barred from competing in the 2012 US Open because "...Williams's conduct, while verbally abusive, [did] not rise to the level of a major offence under the Grand Slam code of conduct."[138]

Off-court

Personal life

As of 2013, Williams is dating her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.[139] She had previously dated Jackie Long, Brett Ratner and the rapper Common, the last of whom she dated for two years until they broke up in 2010.[139]

Fashion

Williams was once known for her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, there was much talk when she wore a black lycra catsuit at the US Open.[140] At the 2004 US Open, Williams wore denim skirts and knee-high boots—tournament officials, however, did not allow her to wear the boots during matches.[141] At Wimbledon in 2008, the white trench coat she wore during warm-up for her opening match was the subject of much discussion since it was worn despite the sunny weather.[142] Off-court, Williams has also presented new designs. In November 2004, at the London premiere of After the Sunset she wore a red gown that had a near-topless effect.[143]

Williams formerly had a special line with Puma[144] and currently has a line with Nike. The deal with Nike is worth US$40 million and was signed in April 2004.[145] Since 2004, she has also been running her own line of designer apparel called "Aneres"—her first name spelled backward. In 2009 she launched a signature collection of handbags and jewelry.[146] The collection, called Signature Statement, is sold mainly on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).
In early 2010, Williams became a certified nail technician in preparation for her upcoming nail collection with a company called HairTech.[147]

Entertainment
Williams has appeared on television and also provided voice work on animated shows: in a 2001 episode of The Simpsons Serena joined the animation along with sister Venus, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.[148] She has also provided guest voice work in a 2005 episode of Playhouse Disney's animated kids show Higglytown Heroes and a 2007 episode of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender,[149] which she has described as her "favorite show".[150]

Williams has posed for the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.[151] In April 2005, MTV announced plans to broadcast a reality show around the lives of Serena and Venus, which was eventually aired on ABC Family. Williams has appeared twice on MTV's Punk'd and in 2007, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race. In 2002, she played Miss Wiggins in the season 3 episode "Crouching Mother, Hidden Father" of My Wife and Kids;[152] she has also guest-starred during episodes of The Bernie Mac Show, ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[153] In 2007 Williams appeared in the music video of "I Want You" by the American rapper Common, alongside performers Alicia Keys and Kanye West.[154]

In late 2009, Williams became the first active female professional athlete to appear in a feminine hygiene product advertising campaign. A series of online videos and print advertisements for Tampax Pearl tampons showed her hitting balls at Mother Nature, played by Catherine Lloyd Burns, to prevent Mother Nature giving her a red-wrapped gift, representing her menstrual period. In the online videos, the two have dueling press conferences over the "bad blood" between them. "A lot of celebrities are not open to working with our brand, and we're thrilled that Serena is", said a brand manager for Tampax at Procter & Gamble.[155]
In May 2012, a minute of a new hip-hop track by Serena Williams was leaked, along with reports the sports star was planning to release an album.[156] In July 2012, she appeared in the ABC comedic improv television series Trust Us With Your Life and as a lawyer on the Lifetime television series Drop Dead Diva.

Miami Dolphins venture

In August 2009, Serena and Venus Williams became part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. The formal announcement was made during a press conference overlooking the practice field. The Williams are the first African-American females to obtain ownership in an NFL franchise. Other prominent owners include: Jimmy Buffett, Gloria and Emilio Estefan (the first Cuban-American owners), and Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. Stephan Ross, the majority owner of the Dolphins, said "We are thrilled to have Venus and Serena join the Dolphins as limited partners. They are among the most admired athletes in the world and have become global ambassadors for the game of tennis. Their addition to our ownership group further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem."[157]
Charity work[edit source]
In 2008 Williams helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya.[158][159] She received a Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation in 2003 for work in breast cancer.[160] Williams has also been involved in a number of clinics at schools and community centers, particularly those which have programs focusing on at-risk youth.[1] She has also won the "Young Heroes Award" from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland (2003) and the "Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award" (2004).[1] In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Williams, along with other ATP and WTA stars decided to forgo their final day of preparation for the 2010 Australian Open to form a charity event in which all proceeds will go to the Haiti earthquake victims.[161]
Writing[edit source]
The Williams sisters, with author Hilary Beard, wrote a book titled Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning, which was published in 2005.[162][163] During the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, Williams said that she is in the process of writing a TV show storyline, which will be converted into script form by her agency. She stated that the show will represent subject matter from a mix of popular American television shows such as Desperate Housewives, and Family Guy.[164] Serena released her first solo autobiography entitled On the Line, following the 2009 US Open.
Grand Slam tournaments[edit source]

Main article: Serena Williams career statistics
Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit source]
Tournament 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 SR W–L
Australian Open 2R 3R 4R QF A W A W 3R W QF W W A 4R QF 5 / 13 58–8
French Open 4R 3R A QF W SF QF A A QF 3R QF QF A 1R W 2 / 12 46–10
Wimbledon 3R A SF QF W W F 3R A QF F W W 4R W 4R 5 / 14 70–9
US Open 3R W QF F W A QF 4R 4R QF W SF A F W  4 / 13 65–9
Win–Loss 8–4 11–2 12–3 18–4 21–0 19–1 14–3 12–2 5–2 19–3 19–3 23–2 18–1 9–2 17–2 14–2 16 / 52 239–36
Grand Slam tournament finals[edit source]
Singles: 20 (16 titles, 4 runner-ups)[edit source]
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1999 US Open Hard  Martina Hingis 6–3, 7–6(7–4)
Runner-up 2001 US Open Hard  Venus Williams 2–6, 4–6
Winner 2002 French Open Clay  Venus Williams 7–5, 6–3
Winner 2002 Wimbledon Grass  Venus Williams 7–6(7–4), 6–3
Winner 2002 US Open (2) Hard  Venus Williams 6–4, 6–3
Winner 2003 Australian Open Hard  Venus Williams 7–6(7–4), 3–6, 6–4
Winner 2003 Wimbledon (2) Grass  Venus Williams 4–6, 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 2004 Wimbledon Grass  Maria Sharapova 1–6, 4–6
Winner 2005 Australian Open (2) Hard  Lindsay Davenport 2–6, 6–3, 6–0
Winner 2007 Australian Open (3) Hard  Maria Sharapova 6–1, 6–2
Runner-up 2008 Wimbledon (2) Grass  Venus Williams 5–7, 4–6
Winner 2008 US Open (3) Hard  Jelena Janković 6–4, 7–5
Winner 2009 Australian Open (4) Hard  Dinara Safina 6–0, 6–3
Winner 2009 Wimbledon (3) Grass  Venus Williams 7–6(7–3), 6–2
Winner 2010 Australian Open (5) Hard  Justine Henin 6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Winner 2010 Wimbledon (4) Grass  Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2011 US Open (2) Hard  Samantha Stosur 2–6, 3–6
Winner 2012 Wimbledon (5) Grass  Agnieszka Radwańska 6–1, 5–7, 6–2
Winner 2012 US Open (4) Hard  Victoria Azarenka 6–2, 2–6, 7–5
Winner 2013 French Open (2) Clay  Maria Sharapova 6–4, 6–4
Women's doubles: 13 finals (13 titles)[edit source]
Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1999 French Open Clay  Venus Williams  Martina Hingis
 Anna Kournikova 6–3, 6–7(2–7), 8–6
Winner 1999 US Open Hard  Venus Williams  Chanda Rubin
 Sandrine Testud 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 2000 Wimbledon Grass  Venus Williams  Julie Halard-Decugis
 Ai Sugiyama 6–3, 6–2
Winner 2001 Australian Open Hard  Venus Williams  Lindsay Davenport
 Corina Morariu 6–2, 2–6, 6–4
Winner 2002 Wimbledon (2) Grass  Venus Williams  Virginia Ruano Pascual
 Paola Suárez 6–2, 7–5
Winner 2003 Australian Open (2) Hard  Venus Williams  Virginia Ruano Pascual
 Paola Suárez 4–6, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 2008 Wimbledon (3) Grass  Venus Williams  Lisa Raymond
 Samantha Stosur 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2009 Australian Open (3) Hard  Venus Williams  Daniela Hantuchová
 Ai Sugiyama 6–3, 6–3
Winner 2009 Wimbledon (4) Grass  Venus Williams  Samantha Stosur
 Rennae Stubbs 7–6(7–4), 6–4
Winner 2009 US Open (2) Hard  Venus Williams  Cara Black
 Liezel Huber 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2010 Australian Open (4) Hard  Venus Williams  Cara Black
 Liezel Huber 6–4, 6–3
Winner 2010 French Open (2) Clay  Venus Williams  Květa Peschke
 Katarina Srebotnik 6–2, 6–3
Winner 2012 Wimbledon (5) Grass  Venus Williams  Andrea Hlaváčková
 Lucie Hradecká 7–5, 6–4
Mixed doubles: 4 finals (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)[edit source]
Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1998 French Open Clay  Luis Lobo  Justin Gimelstob
 Venus Williams 4–6, 4–6
Winner 1998 Wimbledon Grass  Max Mirnyi  Mahesh Bhupathi
 Mirjana Lučić 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1998 US Open Hard  Max Mirnyi  Patrick Galbraith
 Lisa Raymond 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 1999 Australian Open Hard  Max Mirnyi  David Adams
 Mariaan de Swardt 4–6, 6–4, 6–7(5–7)
Records and achievements[edit source]

Main article: List of career achievements by Serena Williams
These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
Records in italics are currently active streaks.
[show]Time span Selected Grand Slam tournament records Players matched
[show]Grand Slam tournaments Time Span Records at each Grand Slam tournament Players matched
[show]Time span Other selected records Players matched
See also[edit source]

 Tennis portal
List of Grand Slam women's singles champions
List of Grand Slam women's doubles champions
List of Grand Slam mixed doubles champions
Henin–S. Williams rivalry
Hingis–S. Williams rivalry
Williams sisters rivalry
Works Cited[edit source]

Morgan, Terri (2001). Venus and Serena Williams: Grand Slam Sisters - Sports Achievers Biographies. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publishing. 64pp. ISBN 9780822536840.
Williams, Venus; Williams, Serena & Beard, Hilary (2005). Venus and Serena : Serving from the Hip : 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 133pp. ISBN 9780618576531.
Williams, Serena & Paisner, Daniel (2009). On The Line. Hachette Digital. 214pp. ISBN 9780446564021.
also Williams, Serena & Paisner, Daniel (2009). My Life : Queen of the Court. Simon & Schuster. 257pp. ISBN 9781847375445.
References[edit source]

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^ a b Pucin, Diane. Serena Williams is fined $10,500 for tirade at U.S. Open Los Angeles Times (September 13, 2009)
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^ "Serena Williams returns to tennis court after lay-off". BBC Sport. April 12, 2011.
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^ a b "Serena Williams beats Sharapova in WTA Championships final". BBC Sport. October 28, 2012.
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^ "Wimbledon 2012 – Serena Williams stretched to three sets, wins 5th title". ESPN. Associated Press. July 7, 2012.
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^ "Serena Williams wins at Stanford in final Olympic tuneup". USA Today. Associated Press. July 15, 2012 (posted) July 20, 2012 (updated).
^ a b Wine, Steven (August 4, 2012). "Serena Williams Wins Gold Medal In Olympic Singles Tennis, Beats Maria Sharapova In Final". The Huffington Post. AP.
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^ http://sports.yahoo.com/news/azarenka-beat-williams-cincinnati-title-231248255.html
^ http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nadal-cruises-upsets-continue-u-open-032030226--ten.html
^ http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130902/SPORTS07/309020038/-1/rss23
^ http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2013/0903/Serena-Williams-dominates-US-Open-quarterfinal-6-0-6-0
^ "Officials apologize to Serena for bad call – U.S. Open, Aug. 30-Sept. 12- NBC Sports". MSNBC. September 9, 2004. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
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^ a b Clarey, Christopher (November 30, 2009). "Serena Williams Given Hefty Fine but No Suspension for Tirade". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2009.
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^ a b "What a match! Serena Williams gets cosy with her tennis coach on romantic stroll through French town". Daily Mail. Retrieved June 8, 2013.
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External links[edit source]

Find more about Serena Williams at Wikipedia's sister projects
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Interview with Serena Williams on Hossli.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Williams

Serena Williams
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Country United States
Residence Palm Beach Gardens, Florida[1] and
Paris, France
Born September 26, 1981 (age 31)
Saginaw, Michigan
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Turned pro September 24, 1995
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$ 47,049,995[2]
(1st all-time among women athletes and 4th all-time among tennis athletes)[

Official website serenawilliams.com

Singles

Career record 614–112 (84.57%)
Career titles 54 WTA[1] (5th in overall rankings)
Highest ranking No. 1 (July 8, 2002)
Current ranking No. 1 (August 12, 2013)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010)
French Open W (2002, 2013)
Wimbledon W (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012)
US Open W (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012)
Other tournaments
Championships W (2001, 2009, 2012)
Olympic Games Gold Medal (2012)

Doubles

Career record 169-22 (89.1%)
Career titles 22
Highest ranking No. 1 (June 7, 2010)
Current ranking No. 27 (May 27, 2013)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010)
French Open W (1999, 2010)
Wimbledon W (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012)
US Open W (1999, 2009)
Other Doubles tournaments
Championships SF (2009)
Olympic Games Gold Medal (2000, 2008, 2012)
Mixed Doubles
Career record 27–3 (90%)
Career titles 2
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open F (1999)
French Open F (1998)
Wimbledon W (1998)
US Open W (1998)
Team Competitions
Fed Cup W (1999)
Hopman Cup W (2003, 2008)
Last updated on: July 8, 2013.
Olympic medal record
Women's tennis
{{MedalCountry | the United States }

Gold 2000 Sydney Doubles
Gold 2008 Beijing Doubles
Gold 2012 London Singles
Gold 2012 London Doubles

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on six separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002, and regained this ranking for the sixth time on February 18, 2013, becoming the oldest world no. 1 player in WTA's history.[5] She is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money.[6] Williams is the reigning French Open, US Open, WTA Tour Championships and Olympic ladies singles champion.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time,[7][8] Williams holds the most Major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active players, male or female. She is the only player to have achieved a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. Her record of 31 Grand Slam titles ties her for eighth on the all-time list: 16 in singles, 13 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 ('02–'03) and only the fifth woman ever to do so. Her total of 16 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list,[9] and fourth in the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each).[9] She has won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam finals.[10] Serena Williams is also a three-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships.[11] Williams is only one of five tennis players all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matching Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Martina Navratilova and Frank Sedgman. The arrival of Venus and Serena Williams has been credited with launching a new era of power and athleticism in women's tennis.[12][13][14][15]
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women's singles and three in women's doubles, an all-time record shared with her sister Venus.[16][17]

Contents

1 Early life
2 Playing style
3 Professional career
3.1 1995–98: Professional debut
3.2 1999–2001: Becoming a top-10 player
3.3 2002–03: "Serena Slam"
3.4 2004–07: Injuries, depression and the comeback
3.5 2008–10: Back to Number One, back in the titles and a life threatening injury
3.6 2011–present: Oldest World No. 1 and Golden Slam
4 On-court activities
4.1 Rivalry with Venus Williams
4.2 Controversies
4.2.1 2004 US Open
4.2.2 2009 US Open
4.2.3 2011 US Open
5 Off-court activities
5.1 Personal life
5.2 Fashion
5.3 Entertainment
5.4 Miami Dolphins venture
5.5 Charity work
5.6 Writing
6 Grand Slam tournaments
6.1 Grand Slam tournament performance timeline
6.2 Grand Slam tournament finals
6.2.1 Singles: 20 (16 titles, 4 runner-ups)
6.2.2 Women's doubles: 13 finals (13 titles)
6.2.3 Mixed doubles: 4 finals (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)
7 Records and achievements
8 See also
9 Works Cited
10 References
11 External links
Early life[edit source]

Serena Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price and is the youngest of Price's five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea and Isha Price, and full sister Venus.[1] When the children were young, the family moved to Compton, California, where Serena started playing tennis at the age of four.[18][19] Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister Venus[20][21] and to this day, Serena Williams was and remains coached by both her parents.[1]

Williams' family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach[18] 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".[22] 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 factor was racial, as he had heard white parents talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments.[23] 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.[24] 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. When asked in 2000 whether having followed the normal path of playing regularly on the junior circuit would have been beneficial, Williams responded: "Everyone does different things. I think for Venus and I, we just attempted a different road, and it worked for us."[24] In 2003 sister Yetunde was fatally shot in an SUV after a confrontation with youths in Compton.[25][26]

Playing style

"She's a competitor. She doesn't like to give free points and free games. No matter the score she wants to win those games and those points, whether she's down a break point or up a break point or whatever it is."
---Maria Sharapova, on Serena Williams in 2013.[27]

Williams is primarily a baseline player, with a serve that critics, pundits and tennis experts consider the greatest serve in the history of women's tennis.[28] Her game is built around taking immediate control of rallies with her powerful and consistent serve,[29] return of serve, and forceful groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand swings. Williams' forehand is considered to be among the most powerful shots in the women's game as is her double-handed backhand. Williams strikes her backhand groundstroke using an open stance, and uses the same open stance for her forehand. Williams's aggressive play, a "high risk" style, is balanced in part by her serve, which combines great power and placement with very high consistency. In the 2013 Australian Open, she had a peak serve speed of 128.6 mph (207.0 km/h) which was the second-fastest all-time among female players (Venus recorded the fastest with 129 mph).[30] At the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Serena hit a tournament record of 102 aces which was more than any of the men hit during the two weeks.[31] Serena also possesses a very solid volley and powerful overhead which is very useful for her net game. Although many think of Williams as only an offensive player, she also plays a strong defensive game.[32]
Williams is also known for her mental toughness and her ability to come back from improbable situations.[33] [34]

She has won three Grand Slam singles titles after saving match points (2003 Australian Open versus Kim Clijsters, 2005 Australian Open versus Maria Sharapova, and 2009 Wimbledon versus Elena Dementieva), more than any other player in history, male or female.[35] In the 2012 US Open final against Victoria Azarenka, she was led 5-3 in the third set and found herself two points away from losing the match. Williams then proceeded to win the next 4 games and defeat Azarenka.[36] In recent years, Williams has shown an ability to serve aces at critical moments. One of these instances was the 2013 French Open final, where in the last game of the match, she fired three aces, including one clocked at 123 mph (198 km/h) on match point.[37] [38]

Professional career

1995–98: Professional debut[edit source]
Main article: Serena Williams' early career
Williams' first professional event was in September 1995, at the age of 14 to counteract the forthcoming changes to age-eligibility rules, at the Bell Challenge. She lost in the first round of qualifying to Anne Miller, winning just two games.[39]

Williams did not play a tournament in 1996. The following year, she lost in the qualifying rounds of three tournaments, before winning her first main-draw match in November at the Ameritech Cup Chicago. Ranked world no. 304, she upset world no. 7 Mary Pierce and world no. 4 Monica Seles, recording her first career wins over top 10 players and becoming the lowest-ranked player in the open era to defeat two top 10 opponents in one tournament.[1] She ultimately lost in the semifinals to world no. 5 Lindsay Davenport. She finished 1997 ranked world no. 99.

Williams began 1998 at the Medibank International Sydney. As a qualifier ranked world no. 96, she defeated world no. 3 Davenport in the quarterfinals, before losing to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the semifinals. Williams made her debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open, where she defeated sixth-seeded Irina Spîrlea in the first round, before losing to sister Venus in the second round in the sisters' first professional match.[40] Williams reached six other quarterfinals during the year, but lost all of them, including her first match against world no. 1 Martina Hingis at the Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne, and her second match against Venus at the Italian Open in Rome. She failed to reach the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam tournament the remainder of the year, losing in the fourth round of the French Open to Sánchez Vicario, and the third round of both Wimbledon and the US Open, to Virginia Ruano Pascual and Spîrlea, respectively. She did, however, win the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open with Max Mirnyi, completing the Williams family's sweep of the 1998 mixed doubles Grand Slam tournaments. Williams won her first professional title in doubles in Oklahoma City with Venus, becoming the third pair of sisters to win a WTA title.[1] The Williams sisters won two more doubles titles together during the year. Serena finished the year ranked world no. 20 in singles.

1999–2001: Becoming a top-10 player[edit source]
Williams lost in the third round of the 1999 Australian Open to Sandrine Testud. Williams won her first professional singles title, when she defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the final of the Open Gaz de France. With Venus also winning the IGA Superthrift Classic that day, the pair became the first sisters to win professional tournaments in the same week.[41] A month later, Serena won her first Tier I singles title at the Evert Cup, defeating Steffi Graf in the final. At the Lipton International Players Championships, Williams had her 16-match winning streak ended by Venus in the first all-sister singles final in WTA history, Serena made her top-10 debut at world no. 9. She then lost in the quarterfinals of the Italian Open and the German Open, and the third round of the French Open, where she and Venus won the women's doubles title. She then missed Wimbledon because of injury. When she returned to the tour, Williams won a Fed Cup singles match, won the JPMorgan Chase Open, beating Julie Halard-Decugis in the final, and reached the US Open final where she defeated Hingis to become the second African-American woman after Althea Gibson in 1958 to win a Grand Slam singles tournament.[1] The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at this tournament. To complete 1999, Williams won a doubles match in the Fed Cup final against Russia. Williams ended the year ranked world no. 4 in just her second full year on the main tour.

Williams started 2000 by losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Elena Likhovtseva. She failed to defend her titles in Paris and Indian Wells, although she did win the Faber Grand Prix. Williams missed the French Open because of injury. She returned at Wimbledon, where she lost to Venus in the semifinals, but they won the doubles title at the event. Williams successfully defended her title in Los Angeles, defeating Davenport in the final. She reached the final of the Du Maurier Open where an injury forced her to retire from her match with Hingis. Her defense of the US Open title ended when she lost in the quarterfinals to Davenport. Williams teamed with Venus to win the gold medal in doubles at the Sydney Olympics in September. She ended the year winning the Toyota Princess Cup. She finished the year ranked world number 6.

Williams began 2001 losing to Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals of both Sydney and the Australian Open. Serena and Venus won the doubles title at the latter tournament, becoming only the fifth doubles team in history to win all four Grand Slam women's doubles titles during their career, completing a "Career Grand Slam". Her next event was the Pacific Life Open, defeating Kim Clijsters in the final. However the final was marred by the behavior of the crowd towards Williams and her family. The crowd were incensed at the apparent match fixing of games involving the family after Venus withdrew before their semifinal. Neither Williams sister has entered the tournament since.[42] The following week at the Ericsson Open, Williams lost to Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals. She then lost in the quarterfinals to Capriati at the French Open and Wimbledon. This was the fourth consecutive Grand Slam tournament at which Williams had exited in the quarterfinals. At the North American hard-court season, she lost in the quarterfinals of Los Angeles, then captured her second title of the year at the Rogers Cup, defeating Capriati in the final. Williams reached the final of the US Open, losing to sister Venus. That was the first Grand Slam final contested by two sisters during the open era. At the 2001-ending Sanex Championships, Williams won the championship by walkover when Davenport withdrew before the start of the final because of a knee injury. Williams finished 2001 at world no. 6 for the second straight year.
2002–03: "Serena Slam"



Injury forced Williams to retire from her semifinal match at the Medibank International Sydney and to withdraw from the 2002 Australian Open. She won her first title of the year at the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic, defeating world no. 2 Jennifer Capriati in the final. She then won the Ericsson Open for the first time, becoming one of three players in the open era to defeat the world's top 3 at one tournament,[1] after beating world no. 3 Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals, world no. 2 Venus in the semifinals, and world no. 1 Capriati in the final. Her 6–2, 6–2 win over Venus was her second career win over her sister. Williams played three clay-court tournaments before the 2002 French Open. Her first tournament was at Charleston, where she was the third seed. Serena reached the quarterfinals losing to Patty Schnyder. She reached her first clay-court final in May, at the Eurocard German Open losing to Justine Henin in a third set tiebreak. Williams went on to win her first clay court title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, defeating Capriati in the semifinals and Henin in the final.[43] This raised her ranking to a new high of world no. 3. Williams was the third seed at the French Open, where she claimed her first French Open title defeating Venus in the final winning her Second Grand Slam title. Serena rose to a career high of no. 2 after the win, second only to older sister Venus. At the 2002 Wimbledon Championships, Williams won the title for the first time, defeating Venus to win a Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set for the first time in her career. This victory earned Williams the world no. 1 ranking, dethroning her sister and becoming only the third African-American woman to hold that ranking.[1] The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at the tournament, the fifth Grand Slam doubles title for the pair. Williams played just one tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open, losing in the quarterfinals of the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles to Chanda Rubin, ending a 21-match winning streak. As the top-seeded player at the US Open, Williams reached the final where once again she defeated her sister to win the title for the second time. Williams won two consecutive singles titles in the fall, defeating Kim Clijsters to win the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo, and Anastasia Myskina to win the Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig, Germany. She reached the final at the year-end Home Depot Championships, where she lost to fifth-seeded Clijsters in straight sets, ending her 18-match winning streak. Williams finished 2002 with a 56–5 record, eight singles titles, and the world no. 1 ranking. She was the first African-American (male or female) to end a year with that ranking since Althea Gibson in 1958. She was the first woman to win three Grand Slam titles in one year since Hingis in 1997.[1]

At the 2003 Australian Open, Williams went on to reach the semifinals for the first time, where she recovered from 5–1 down in the third set and saved two match points, before defeating Clijsters. She faced her sister Venus for the fourth consecutive Grand Slam final and won to become the sixth woman in the open era to complete a Career Grand Slam, joining Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, and Margaret Court. She also became the fifth woman to hold all Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously, joining Maureen Connolly Brinker, Court, Graf, and Navratilova. This feat was dubbed the Serena Slam by the press.[44][45] The Williams sisters won their sixth Grand Slam doubles title together at this event.[46]
Williams then captured singles titles at the Open Gaz de France and the Sony Ericsson Open. Williams' winning streak came to an end when she lost the final of the Family Circle Cup to Henin, her first loss of the year after 21 wins. She also lost to Mauresmo in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. Despite these losses, Williams was the top seed at the French Open, where she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Henin, marking Williams's first loss in a Grand Slam tournament since 2001. The match was controversial, as Williams questioned Henin's sportsmanship, and spectators applauded Williams's errors.[47] She was known to be dating professional football player LaVar Arrington at the time.[citation needed] Williams rebounded from the loss at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Henin in the semifinals and Venus in the final. This was Williams' second consecutive Wimbledon title and her sixth Grand Slam singles title overall. This was her last tournament of the year after pulling out of three events in the USA, Williams underwent surgery on the quadriceps tendon in her knee at the start of August. Initially she was expected to be out for six to eight weeks.[48]

2004–07: Injuries, depression and the comeback[edit source]

Main articles: 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 Serena Williams tennis season




After eight months away from the tour during which her desire was questioned,[49] Williams began her comeback at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami, where she made a triumphant return as she won the title. This was the third consecutive year that Williams had won this tournament. She then played three clay-court tournaments leading up to the French Open. She lost in the quarterfinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships, at the Family Circle Cup she withdrew before her third-round match because of an injured knee. She then played the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she lost to world number nine Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals. Although ranked world number seven, she was seeded second at the French Open. She won her first four matches over players ranked outside the top 50, before Capriati beat her in the quarterfinals. This was the first time she had lost before the semifinals at a Grand Slam singles tournament since Wimbledon in 2001. She was seeded first at Wimbledon, even though her ranking had dropped to world number ten. She reached the final, where she was defeated by 13th-seeded Sharapova. This loss caused her ranking to drop out of the top 10 for the first time since 1999. Williams reached her third final of the year at the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles on hard courts where she lost to Lindsay Davenport which was her first loss to Davenport since the 2000 US Open. Williams then withdrew before her quarterfinal match at the Acura Classic in San Diego with another left knee injury. She returned for the US Open, where she was seeded third even though she was ranked world number 11. She lost there in the quarterfinals to world number eight Capriati in three sets. This match featured several missed line calls, including one that led to the suspension of the chair umpire for the remainder of the tournament. This match is commonly referred to as the impetus for the current challenge system.[50] Williams won her second title of the year at the China Open in Beijing, in which she defeated US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Williams qualified for the WTA Tour Championships. In the round-robin phase of the tournament, she defeated Dementieva and Anastasia Myskina, but lost to Davenport. She lost to Sharapova in the final where Williams suffered an abdominal injury that caused her to serve around 65 mph.[51] Williams finished 2004 ranked world no. 7, but did not win a Grand Slam singles tournament for the first time since 2001

At the 2005 Australian Open, Williams rejected suggestions that she and sister Venus were a declining force in tennis, following Venus's early exit at the tournament.[52] In the quarterfinals, Williams defeated second-seeded Mauresmo. In the semifinals, she saved three match points in defeating Sharapova 8–6 in the third set. In the final, Williams defeated world #1 and top seed Davenport to win her second Australian Open singles title and seventh Grand Slam singles title, winning 12 of the last 15 games.[53] The win moved Williams back to world number two, and she stated that she was targeting the number one spot.[54] Williams completed just two tournaments between the Australian Open and Wimbledon, losing to Venus in Miami and at Internazionali BNL d'Italia to Francesca Schiavone. Williams suffered a series of retirements and withdraws. Williams withdrew before her quarterfinal match at the Open Gaz de France;[55] she retired from her semifinal Dubai Duty Free Women's Open, citing a strained tendon in her right shoulder, and a left ankle injury forced her to retire from the Bausch & Lomb Championships.[56] The ankle injury reoccurred, causing her to miss the French Open.[57] She returned for Wimbledon as the fourth-seeded player, but was defeated in the third round by world no. 85 Jill Craybas. After Serena won her first match at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, a recurrence of her left knee injury caused her to withdraw from the tournament. At the US Open, Williams lost to her sister Venus in the fourth round. This was the earliest the sisters had met in a Grand Slam tournament since their first meeting at the 1998 Australian Open. Williams played just one more match the remainder of the year, a loss to world no. 127 Sun Tiantian at the tournament in Beijing. She failed to qualify for the year-end championship for the first time since 1998. She finished the year 2005 ranked world number 11, her first time finishing outside the top 10 since 1998.

Williams started 2006 by participating in the Australian Open. Despite being the defending champion, she lost to Daniela Hantuchová in the third round.[58] After the tournament, Williams told the press that she was injured, blaming a lack of fitness and a knee injury for keeping her off the court.[59] However, in her biography, Serena claims that she was actually suffering from depression. After she had shut herself off from the world for a period, her sisters held a type of intervention which made Williams see her therapist daily.[60] After a chance meeting with a young girl who idolized Serena, she signed up to play in Cincinnati. During her conversation with the girl, Williams felt inspired and was informed that she could be even better at tennis. Williams went home and watched some of her old matches and started to believe that she could win again.[61] She had been away from the tour for almost six months and had slipped to 139 in the world, the lowest ranking Williams had held since 1997. On her return, Williams defeated Myskina and Bethanie Mattek,[62][63] before losing in the semifinals to Vera Zvonareva.[64] She also reached the semifinals in Los Angeles, losing to Janković in straight sets. At the US Open, Williams needed a wildcard to enter the tournament, as her ranking at the cut-off time was 139th in the world, outside the automatic 102. However her ranking had improved to 79th by the time the tournament came around.[65] She lost to top-seeded Mauresmo in the fourth round.[66] She did not play again in 2006, ending the year ranked world number 95, her lowest year-end ranking since 1997.

Williams began 2007 with renewed confidence, stating her intention to return to the top of the rankings,[67] a comment former player and commentator Pat Cash branded "deluded."[68] Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Hobart, Australia, a warm-up for the Australian Open. Williams was unseeded at the Australian Open because of her world no. 81 ranking and was widely regarded as "out of shape."[69] Williams experienced a huge amount of pressure on herself prior to the tournament, coming from her fans and the press as well as Serena herself about her weight, focus and needing a good showing. But just before her first match, a representative from Nike paid Williams a visit in the players' lounge, informing her that if she didn't perform to her accustomed level, the company might drop her. Williams claimed that Nike's ultimatum meant that she would have to reach the quarterfinals at least.[70] The distraction from Nike did not put Williams off, as she lost just three games to Mara Santangelo and defeated Anne Kremer in straight sets.[71] By this point, a blister had developed on Williams' foot and she had contracted a cold. In the third round, Williams found herself two points away from going home against Nadia Petrova, but fought back to win in three sets, which was her first win over a top-10 player since defeating Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Australian Open final. Williams then made it all the way to the final, defeating Jankovic, Peer and Vaidisova. Williams described them as "good players. Strong players. Players who certainly didn't expect an overweight, out-of-shape, has been champion like me to give them a game."[72] Williams also found herself two points from going out against Peer before turning it around.[73] By the time Williams had reached the final, the cold and blister had gone, but Tracy Austin in her tournament analysis stated that Serena had a great tournament, but the ride was over and that Sharapova would have no trouble with Williams. Serena thought it was mean and unnecessary and used it as motivation with all the other criticism.[74] In the final, Williams lost just three games against Maria Sharapova winning her first title at any tournament since winning the 2005 Australian Open.[73] Williams became the first player since Chris O'Neill to win the title whilst not being seeded; and claimed her third Australian Open and eighth Grand Slam singles title overall.

The win elevated Williams to 14th in the rankings. Williams dedicated the title to her deceased sister Yetunde.[75] Her performance in the final was described in the press as "one of the best performances of her career" and "arguably the most powerful display ever seen in women's tennis."[69][76] In her post match interview, Williams took a swipe at her critics, stating that she had proved them wrong.[77]


After defeating Dinara Safina in the fourth round of the 2007 French Open Williams won the Sony Ericsson Open for the fourth time after defeating Justine Henin. Williams had to record a come-from-behind win after being whitewashed in the first set and saving 2 match points in the second.[78] At the Family Circle Cup, Williams retired from her second-round match because of a groin muscle strain.[79] Williams then played for her country in the Fed Cup for the first time since 2003 in a tie against Belgium. Williams won her opening match,[80] but withdrew from the her second, due to a knee injury.[81] At the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Williams lost to Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals.[82] At the French Open, Williams lost in the quarterfinals to Henin.[82]

During her fourth round match against Hantuchová at Wimbledon, Williams collapsed from an acute muscle spasm at 5–5 in the second set. After a medical timeout and holding serve to force a tiebreak, rain forced play to be suspended for nearly two hours. When the players returned, Williams won the match in three sets.[83] Williams then lost her quarterfinal match with Henin, whilst suffering from the injuries sustained in the previous round.[84] At the US Open, Williams lost her third consecutive Grand Slam singles quarterfinal to Henin.[85] Williams reached the final of Kremlin Cup, losing to Elena Dementieva and retired from her first match in Zurich with a thigh injury. Williams qualified for the WTA Championships, but retired from her first match with Anna Chakvetadze with a knee injury and subsequently withdrew from the tournament.[86][87] Williams finished 2007 as World number seven and the top-ranked American for the first time since 2003.[82]
2008–10: Back to Number One, back in the titles and a life threatening injury[edit source]

Main articles: 2008, 2009, and 2010 Serena Williams tennis season

Williams started 2008 by participating on the U.S. team that won the Hopman Cup with Mardy Fish.[88] At the Australian Open she lost in the quarterfinals to Jelena Janković.[82] This was her fourth straight loss in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament. In the women's doubles event, She and Venus lost in the quarterfinals. Williams then withdrew from three tournaments because of an urgent need for dental surgery.[89] Williams then won three consecutive singles titles at Bangalore and her fifth Miami title, tying Steffi Graf for the most singles titles at this tournament. Williams then added Family Circle Cup her first clay-court title since the 2002 French Open. Her 17-match winning streak was ended by Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals of Berlin.[82] Williams then withdrew in Rome in the quarterfinals against Alizé Cornet because of a back injury. Williams was the only former winner of the French Open in the draw, but lost in the third round to Katarina Srebotnik.


Stretching for a ball in her first round match against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia at Wimbledon in 2008
At Wimbledon, Williams reached the finals for the first time in four years. She lost the final to her older sister Venus in straight sets, in their first Slam final since 2003. Serena and Venus then teamed to win the women's doubles title in their first Grand Slam women's doubles title since 2003. Williams played at Stanford, but retired 6–2, 3–1 down with a left knee injury from her semifinal match against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak, the injury forced her to withdraw from Los Angeles. At the Olympics, Williams lost to Dementieva in the quarterfinals. Serena and her sister Venus won the gold medal in doubles, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual in the final. Williams at the US Open, defeated sister Venus, Safina and Jelena Janković in the final. This was her third US Open and ninth Grand Slam singles title. This victory returned her to the world no. 1 ranking for the first time since 2003.[90] At the Year-End Championships she defeated Safina and lost to her sister Venus in her round-robin matches, but withdrew from her match against Dementieva, citing a stomach muscle injury. She ended the year ranked world no. 2 and with four singles titles, her strongest performance in both respects since 2003.

Williams began 2009 at the Medibank International losing in the semifinals to Elena Dementieva. At the Australian Open, she claimed her tenth Grand Slam singles title by defeating Dinara Safina in the final in 59 minutes. This win returned her to the world no. 1 ranking and resulted in her becoming the all-time career prize money leader in women's sports, overtaking golfer Annika Sörenstam. In women's doubles, with Venus, they captured the title for the third time. At the Open GDF Suez, Williams withdrew before her semifinal with Dementieva because of a knee injury. Williams then played at Dubai, losing to Venus in the semifinals.


At the 2009 Australian Open

At the Sony Ericsson Open, Williams hampered with ankle and quad injuries was upset in the final by Victoria Azarenka. This was the first of four consecutive losses for Williams, the longest losing streak of her career.[91] She was defeated in her opening matches at Barcelona, Rome, and Madrid. Despite not having won a match on clay in 2009 before the French Open, she lost in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. This ended her 18-match Grand Slam tournament winning streak. She rebounded at Wimbledon, saving a match point in defeating fourth seeded Dementieva in the semifinals. In the final, Serena defeated her sister Venus to win her third Wimbledon title and her 11th Grand Slam singles title.[92] Williams and her sister Venus teamed to win the women's doubles title at Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, their ninth Grand Slam title in women's doubles.
As a US Open preparation, Williams played at Cincinnati losing in the third round and in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup. At the US Open, she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kim Clijsters amid controversy involving shouting at a line judge when defending match point, an offense which cost Williams the point and consequently the match. She continued in the doubles competition, teaming up with Venus to win their third Grand Slam doubles title of the year and tenth of their career.[93] Williams won all three of her round-robin matches at the year-end WTA Tour Championships, defeating Venus, Dementieva, and Kuznetsova, saving a match point against Venus. She then advanced to the final, when Wozniacki retired from their semifinal match. In the final, Williams defeated Venus for her second singles title at this event.[94] Williams finished the year ranked world no. 1 for the second time in her career, having played in 16 tournaments, more than any other year. She also broke the record previously set by Justine Henin for the most prize money earned by a female tennis player in one year, with Williams earning $6,545,586. In doubles, the Williams sisters finished the year ranked world no. 2, despite playing only six tournaments as a pair. She won five Grand Slam titles, putting her total Grand Slam titles at 23. Williams was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.[95] She also was the ITF World Champion in singles and doubles.[96]


Williams on her way to the singles and doubles title at the 2010 Australian Open
In 2010, Williams's first scheduled tournament was the Medibank International Sydney, losing in the final to Elena Dementieva. At the Australian Open, Williams was the defending champion in both singles and doubles. Williams reached the final, where she defeated Justine Henin for her twelfth Grand Slam singles title. In doubles, Serena and Venus successfully defended their title by defeating Cara Black and Liezel Huber in the final. Williams withdrew with a leg injury from her next events. She returned at the Rome losing to Jelena Janković in the semifinals. At the Madrid, she fell to Nadia Petrova in the third round. She teamed with Venus to win the doubles title. At the French Open, she lost to Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals. She also played doubles with Venus as the top seeds, they won the title defeating Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the final to win their fourth consecutive Grand Slam women's doubles title and improved their doubles ranking to world no. 1.

Her next tournament was Wimbledon, where she defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final without facing a break point and breaking the serve of Zvonareva three times.[97][98] She did not lose a set in the tournament.[99] After the match, Martina Navratilova said that Williams is in the top 5 of all the women's tennis players in all of history, which she said that "it's not just about how many Slams you win or how many tournaments you win—it's just your game overall. And she's definitely got all the goods."[98] Serena was the defending champion in doubles with her sister Venus, winning the last two years. They lost in the quarterfinals to Elena Vesnina and Zvonareva. In Munich on July 7, Williams stepped on broken glass while in a restaurant, and missed the rest of the year. She ended the year ranked no. 4 in singles, despite having played only six tournaments, and no. 11 in doubles after four tournaments. On March 2, 2011, she confirmed that she had suffered a hematoma and a pulmonary embolism.[100][101][102]
2011–present: Oldest World No. 1 and Golden Slam[edit source]

Main articles: 2011, 2012, and 2013 Serena Williams tennis season

Williams finally made a return to the practice court in March 2011.[103] She made her first appearance on the WTA tour in almost a year at the 2011 Aegon International in Eastbourne.[104] Williams lost in round two to Vera Zvonareva, in a match that lasted over three hours.[105] Her next tournament was Wimbledon, where she was the defending champion. She reached the round of 16, where she lost to Marion Bartoli. After the loss her ranking plummeted to no.175. Williams next competed at the Stanford where she won her first title on her comeback, beating Bartoli in the finals. This title was quickly followed by another in Toronto over Samantha Stosur. At the Western & Southern Open, Serena defeated Lucie Hradecká, only to withdraw the next day, citing a right toe injury. She then played at the US Open going all the way to the finals losing to Samantha Stosur, during a match which featured her verbally abusing the chair umpire. The US Open final turned out to be Williams' last match in 2011, and she ended the year ranked world no. 12 with 2 titles and with a 22–3 record for the season. She only participated in six tournaments throughout the season.


Williams won the singles gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2012, Williams started the year by playing her debut at Brisbane International, However, during her match against Bojana Jovanovski, she injured her left ankle when serving for the match late in the second set. As a result, Williams was forced to withdraw from the tournament.[106] Next she participated at the Australian Open where she was upset by Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round. After a month layoff Williams returned to competition in Miami losing in the quarterfinals to Caroline Wozniacki. Williams then won consecutive titles at Charleston and Madrid beating Lucie Šafářová and Victoria Azarenka respectively but withdrew from her semifinals match against Li Na in Rome citing a lower back injury. Williams suffered her first ever loss in the opening round of a Grand Slam tournament at the French Open against Virginie Razzano. Williams notched up a 33–1 record for the second half of the season winning five titles in the process.[107] Williams won her fifth Wimbledon singles title, her fourteenth Grand Slam title;[108][109] setting a serving record of 24 aces by a female in a match as well as having the most aces, male or female during the tournament(102).[110] Williams returned to America to successfully defend her title in Stanford beating Coco Vandeweghe in the finals.[111][112] Serena then returned to Wimbledon to represent her country at the Olympic Games where she became the second female player to win a career Golden Grand Slam after winning the gold medal and the first player in history, male or female, to win the career Golden Grand Slam in both singles and doubles.[112] Williams undefeated streak ended with a loss in Cincinnati to Angelique Kerber. In New York City, Williams went on to win her fourth US Open singles title and her 15th career Grand Slam title overall beating Azarenka in the finals.[107][113] She missed the Asian swing[jargon] but ended the season competing at the WTA Championships going undefeated to win the event for her third title. Serena Williams was voted WTA Player of the Year for 2012, the fourth time she has won this award.[114] Based on her brilliant show in 2012, Serena was also named International Tennis Federation World Champion.[115] Williams also returned to doubles competitions with Venus; in the pair's first tournament since 2010 Wimbledon, they claimed their fifth Wimbledon doubles title and the 13th grand slam doubles title.[116] The pair successfully defended their Olympic doubles title which meant that they became the only tennis players to win four gold medals.[16]
In 2013, Williams' first tournament of the season was Brisbane where she won the tournament without dropping a set. Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open to fellow American player Sloane Stephens. After defeating Petra Kvitova in Doha, Williams ascended to the World Number One position for the sixth time in her career and became the oldest woman in the Open Era to hold the ranking.[117] Williams lost to Victoria Azarenka in the final. In Miami, Williams lost a set to Maria Sharapova for the first time since 2008. However, this setback did not stop Williams who recorded her seventieth come-from-behind win. The win made Williams a six-time champion in Miami breaking the record she held with Steffi Graf and became only the fourth woman in the open era to have won a tournament at least six times.[118] Williams successfully defended her Charleston title winning it for the third time in all.[119] Williams' next tournament was Madrid, where she was the defending champion. Williams set up a rematch of the Miami final against Maria Sharapova and won convincingly to retain her number 1 ranking and earn her 50th singles title. Williams then played Rome, where she cruised through without dropping a set to make her first final in Rome since 2002; where she defeated Victoria Azarenka to take her second title. Williams only dropped ten games in reaching the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. There, she faced Svetlana Kuznetsova. Williams squeezed it out in three sets and then defeated Sara Errani, dropping only a game, something Chris Evert described as the finest female performance on clay she had ever seen.[120] She progressed to the final and won her second Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, defeating Maria Sharapova in straight sets.

She became the fourth woman in the Open era after Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf to win each Grand Slam title twice or more. She won the Swedish Open by defeating Johanna Larsson in the final, making it her 53rd WTA title. This win also marked her first WTA International tournaments Title. She is undefeated on clay this season, with a winning ratio of 28-0.[121] In the meantime, she got two 2013 ESPY Awards on July 17, 2013, as Best Female Athlete and as Best Female Tennis Player. The first being her second, only the fourth female athlete to do so, the latter being her sixth.[122] She won her 54th WTA title and her 3rd Rogers Cup title in Toronto on August 11, 2013 where she beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the final.[123] Her next tournament was the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, which she considers "unexpected", however she reached the final for the first time in her career but eventually lost to Victoria Azarenka in a three-set thriller. It was the second time she lost to the Belarusian in the hard court this year.[124]

In the US Open where she was the top seed, the defending champion and bidding to become the oldest woman to win the U.S. Open since tennis turned professional in 1968, she beat former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the opening round in a lopsided fashion. She then reached the quarterfinals of the last grand slam tournament of the year by ultimately defeating the 15th seeded and compatriot Sloane Stephens in straight-sets in a much anticipated fourth round match.[125] By dispatching Stephens, Serena avenged her loss to the fast-rising American star from a wobbly quarterfinal defeat in the Australian Open earlier this year.[126] She reached the semifinals in a child's play fashion by dusting 18th seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain in the quarterfinals. The dominant Williams scored an impressive "double bagel" in less than an hour. It was the first "double bagel" in a quarterfinal match at Flushing Meadows since 1989, when 18-time major title winner Martina Navratilova did it to Manuela Maleeva.[127]
On-court activities

Rivalry with Venus Williams

Main article: Williams sisters rivalry

Serena Williams has played older sister Venus in 24 professional matches since 1998. Overall Serena is 14–10 against her sister. Serena has played Venus 12 times in Grand Slam singles tournaments and 11 times in other tournaments (including 11 finals). 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.
Controversies[edit source]

2004 US Open

In her 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinal match against Jennifer Capriati, an overrule was made by chair umpire Mariana Alves in Capriati's favor, even though later video review showed this to be an error. Williams attempted to argue the call, but was not successful. Capriati won the match, but tournament officials dismissed the umpire from the tournament. The controversy renewed calls for the adoption of technology like the MacCam and Hawk-Eye systems.[128]
2009 US Open

In 2009, Williams again was involved in a controversial U.S. Open match, this time against Kim Clijsters in the semifinal round. The drama began at the end of the first set, when Williams slammed her racquet on the court in frustration over losing the set. She was given a warning, with a potential second violation carrying a one-point penalty. While trailing 4–6, 5–6, 15–30, Williams's second serve was called a foot fault, resulting in two match points for Clijsters. Williams gestured with her racquet to the lineswoman who had made the call and yelled at her, with profanities and an injury threat.[129] During the subsequent on-court conference between the head judge, the lineswoman, US Open officials, and Williams, a television microphone picked up Williams saying to the lineswoman, "I didn't say I would kill you. Are you serious?"[130] The incident resulted in Williams being penalized a point for unsportsmanlike conduct — necessitated by the earlier warning for racquet abuse — meaning Clijsters won the match 6–4, 7–5. The following day, Williams was issued the maximum permissible on-site fine of $10,000 (plus $500 for racquet abuse). After further investigation, the Grand Slam Committee in November 2009 fined her $175,000 in lieu of suspending her from the 2010 US Open or other Grand Slam events.[131] They also placed her on a two-year probation, so if Williams committed another offense in the following two years at a Grand Slam tournament, she would be suspended from participating in the following US Open. If she committed no offenses in the next two years, her fine would be reduced to $82,500.[131] Williams initially refused to apologize for her outburst, both in her post-match press conference[132] and in an official statement released the following day.[93] She eventually apologized to the lineswoman in a statement two days following the incident.
2011 US Open

In the final of the 2011 U.S. Open against Samantha Stosur, Williams again generated controversy. After shouting "Come on!" as the Australian attempted to return a forehand Williams believed to be a winner, chair umpire Eva Asderaki awarded the point to Stosur based on the USTA's deliberate hindrance rule, which states, "If a player commits any act which hinders his opponent in making a stroke, then, if this is deliberate, he shall lose the point or if involuntary, the point shall be replayed."[133] As the point was 30–40 on Williams's serve, the penalty gave the break of serve to Stosur. Williams became angry with the chair umpire and made several gestures and unflattering comments toward her during the next several changeovers, warning her, "Don't look at me," and telling her that if Asderaki ever saw Williams coming toward her, she should "look the other way". She told the umpire that she was "a loser", "a hater" and "unattractive on the inside". [134] Williams initially gained momentum in the set following the penalty, breaking back in the next game, but eventually flagged and lost the match, 6–2, 6–3. At the end of the match, she declined to offer the customary handshake to Asderaki.[135][136] Williams mentioned the incident in her post-match speech as the tournament runner-up, claiming, "I hit a winner, but I guess it didn't count", but added, "It wouldn't have mattered in the end. Sam played really well."[citation needed] A writer for ESPN suggested that Williams could avoid being found to have violated the terms of the "probation" on which she was placed following her 2009 outburst, as she did not appear to have used profanity in addressing Asderaki during the match.[137] In the end, Williams was fined $2,000 and was not barred from competing in the 2012 US Open because "...Williams's conduct, while verbally abusive, [did] not rise to the level of a major offence under the Grand Slam code of conduct."[138]

Off-court

Personal life

As of 2013, Williams is dating her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou.[139] She had previously dated Jackie Long, Brett Ratner and the rapper Common, the last of whom she dated for two years until they broke up in 2010.[139]

Fashion

Williams was once known for her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, there was much talk when she wore a black lycra catsuit at the US Open.[140] At the 2004 US Open, Williams wore denim skirts and knee-high boots—tournament officials, however, did not allow her to wear the boots during matches.[141] At Wimbledon in 2008, the white trench coat she wore during warm-up for her opening match was the subject of much discussion since it was worn despite the sunny weather.[142] Off-court, Williams has also presented new designs. In November 2004, at the London premiere of After the Sunset she wore a red gown that had a near-topless effect.[143]

Williams formerly had a special line with Puma[144] and currently has a line with Nike. The deal with Nike is worth US$40 million and was signed in April 2004.[145] Since 2004, she has also been running her own line of designer apparel called "Aneres"—her first name spelled backward. In 2009 she launched a signature collection of handbags and jewelry.[146] The collection, called Signature Statement, is sold mainly on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).
In early 2010, Williams became a certified nail technician in preparation for her upcoming nail collection with a company called HairTech.[147]

Entertainment
Williams has appeared on television and also provided voice work on animated shows: in a 2001 episode of The Simpsons Serena joined the animation along with sister Venus, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.[148] She has also provided guest voice work in a 2005 episode of Playhouse Disney's animated kids show Higglytown Heroes and a 2007 episode of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender,[149] which she has described as her "favorite show".[150]

Williams has posed for the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.[151] In April 2005, MTV announced plans to broadcast a reality show around the lives of Serena and Venus, which was eventually aired on ABC Family. Williams has appeared twice on MTV's Punk'd and in 2007, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race. In 2002, she played Miss Wiggins in the season 3 episode "Crouching Mother, Hidden Father" of My Wife and Kids;[152] she has also guest-starred during episodes of The Bernie Mac Show, ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.[153] In 2007 Williams appeared in the music video of "I Want You" by the American rapper Common, alongside performers Alicia Keys and Kanye West.[154]

In late 2009, Williams became the first active female professional athlete to appear in a feminine hygiene product advertising campaign. A series of online videos and print advertisements for Tampax Pearl tampons showed her hitting balls at Mother Nature, played by Catherine Lloyd Burns, to prevent Mother Nature giving her a red-wrapped gift, representing her menstrual period. In the online videos, the two have dueling press conferences over the "bad blood" between them. "A lot of celebrities are not open to working with our brand, and we're thrilled that Serena is", said a brand manager for Tampax at Procter & Gamble.[155]
In May 2012, a minute of a new hip-hop track by Serena Williams was leaked, along with reports the sports star was planning to release an album.[156] In July 2012, she appeared in the ABC comedic improv television series Trust Us With Your Life and as a lawyer on the Lifetime television series Drop Dead Diva.

Miami Dolphins venture

In August 2009, Serena and Venus Williams became part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. The formal announcement was made during a press conference overlooking the practice field. The Williams are the first African-American females to obtain ownership in an NFL franchise. Other prominent owners include: Jimmy Buffett, Gloria and Emilio Estefan (the first Cuban-American owners), and Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. Stephan Ross, the majority owner of the Dolphins, said "We are thrilled to have Venus and Serena join the Dolphins as limited partners. They are among the most admired athletes in the world and have become global ambassadors for the game of tennis. Their addition to our ownership group further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem."[157]
Charity work[edit source]
In 2008 Williams helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya.[158][159] She received a Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation in 2003 for work in breast cancer.[160] Williams has also been involved in a number of clinics at schools and community centers, particularly those which have programs focusing on at-risk youth.[1] She has also won the "Young Heroes Award" from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland (2003) and the "Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award" (2004).[1] In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Williams, along with other ATP and WTA stars decided to forgo their final day of preparation for the 2010 Australian Open to form a charity event in which all proceeds will go to the Haiti earthquake victims.[161]
Writing[edit source]
The Williams sisters, with author Hilary Beard, wrote a book titled Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning, which was published in 2005.[162][163] During the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, Williams said that she is in the process of writing a TV show storyline, which will be converted into script form by her agency. She stated that the show will represent subject matter from a mix of popular American television shows such as Desperate Housewives, and Family Guy.[164] Serena released her first solo autobiography entitled On the Line, following the 2009 US Open.
Grand Slam tournaments[edit source]

Main article: Serena Williams career statistics
Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit source]
Tournament 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 SR W–L
Australian Open 2R 3R 4R QF A W A W 3R W QF W W A 4R QF 5 / 13 58–8
French Open 4R 3R A QF W SF QF A A QF 3R QF QF A 1R W 2 / 12 46–10
Wimbledon 3R A SF QF W W F 3R A QF F W W 4R W 4R 5 / 14 70–9
US Open 3R W QF F W A QF 4R 4R QF W SF A F W 4 / 13 65–9
Win–Loss 8–4 11–2 12–3 18–4 21–0 19–1 14–3 12–2 5–2 19–3 19–3 23–2 18–1 9–2 17–2 14–2 16 / 52 239–36
Grand Slam tournament finals[edit source]
Singles: 20 (16 titles, 4 runner-ups)[edit source]
Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1999 US Open Hard Martina Hingis 6–3, 7–6(7–4)
Runner-up 2001 US Open Hard Venus Williams 2–6, 4–6
Winner 2002 French Open Clay Venus Williams 7–5, 6–3
Winner 2002 Wimbledon Grass Venus Williams 7–6(7–4), 6–3
Winner 2002 US Open (2) Hard Venus Williams 6–4, 6–3
Winner 2003 Australian Open Hard Venus Williams 7–6(7–4), 3–6, 6–4
Winner 2003 Wimbledon (2) Grass Venus Williams 4–6, 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 2004 Wimbledon Grass Maria Sharapova 1–6, 4–6
Winner 2005 Australian Open (2) Hard Lindsay Davenport 2–6, 6–3, 6–0
Winner 2007 Australian Open (3) Hard Maria Sharapova 6–1, 6–2
Runner-up 2008 Wimbledon (2) Grass Venus Williams 5–7, 4–6
Winner 2008 US Open (3) Hard Jelena Janković 6–4, 7–5
Winner 2009 Australian Open (4) Hard Dinara Safina 6–0, 6–3
Winner 2009 Wimbledon (3) Grass Venus Williams 7–6(7–3), 6–2
Winner 2010 Australian Open (5) Hard Justine Henin 6–4, 3–6, 6–2
Winner 2010 Wimbledon (4) Grass Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2011 US Open (2) Hard Samantha Stosur 2–6, 3–6
Winner 2012 Wimbledon (5) Grass Agnieszka Radwańska 6–1, 5–7, 6–2
Winner 2012 US Open (4) Hard Victoria Azarenka 6–2, 2–6, 7–5
Winner 2013 French Open (2) Clay Maria Sharapova 6–4, 6–4
Women's doubles: 13 finals (13 titles)[edit source]
Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1999 French Open Clay Venus Williams Martina Hingis
Anna Kournikova 6–3, 6–7(2–7), 8–6
Winner 1999 US Open Hard Venus Williams Chanda Rubin
Sandrine Testud 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 2000 Wimbledon Grass Venus Williams Julie Halard-Decugis
Ai Sugiyama 6–3, 6–2
Winner 2001 Australian Open Hard Venus Williams Lindsay Davenport
Corina Morariu 6–2, 2–6, 6–4
Winner 2002 Wimbledon (2) Grass Venus Williams Virginia Ruano Pascual
Paola Suárez 6–2, 7–5
Winner 2003 Australian Open (2) Hard Venus Williams Virginia Ruano Pascual
Paola Suárez 4–6, 6–4, 6–3
Winner 2008 Wimbledon (3) Grass Venus Williams Lisa Raymond
Samantha Stosur 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2009 Australian Open (3) Hard Venus Williams Daniela Hantuchová
Ai Sugiyama 6–3, 6–3
Winner 2009 Wimbledon (4) Grass Venus Williams Samantha Stosur
Rennae Stubbs 7–6(7–4), 6–4
Winner 2009 US Open (2) Hard Venus Williams Cara Black
Liezel Huber 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2010 Australian Open (4) Hard Venus Williams Cara Black
Liezel Huber 6–4, 6–3
Winner 2010 French Open (2) Clay Venus Williams Květa Peschke
Katarina Srebotnik 6–2, 6–3
Winner 2012 Wimbledon (5) Grass Venus Williams Andrea Hlaváčková
Lucie Hradecká 7–5, 6–4
Mixed doubles: 4 finals (2 titles, 2 runner-ups)[edit source]
Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 1998 French Open Clay Luis Lobo Justin Gimelstob
Venus Williams 4–6, 4–6
Winner 1998 Wimbledon Grass Max Mirnyi Mahesh Bhupathi
Mirjana Lučić 6–4, 6–4
Winner 1998 US Open Hard Max Mirnyi Patrick Galbraith
Lisa Raymond 6–2, 6–2
Runner-up 1999 Australian Open Hard Max Mirnyi David Adams
Mariaan de Swardt 4–6, 6–4, 6–7(5–7)
Records and achievements[edit source]

Main article: List of career achievements by Serena Williams
These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
Records in bold indicate peer-less achievements.
Records in italics are currently active streaks.
[show]Time span Selected Grand Slam tournament records Players matched
[show]Grand Slam tournaments Time Span Records at each Grand Slam tournament Players matched
[show]Time span Other selected records Players matched
See also[edit source]

Tennis portal
List of Grand Slam women's singles champions
List of Grand Slam women's doubles champions
List of Grand Slam mixed doubles champions
Henin–S. Williams rivalry
Hingis–S. Williams rivalry
Williams sisters rivalry
Works Cited[edit source]

Morgan, Terri (2001). Venus and Serena Williams: Grand Slam Sisters - Sports Achievers Biographies. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Lerner Publishing. 64pp. ISBN 9780822536840.
Williams, Venus; Williams, Serena & Beard, Hilary (2005). Venus and Serena : Serving from the Hip : 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 133pp. ISBN 9780618576531.
Williams, Serena & Paisner, Daniel (2009). On The Line. Hachette Digital. 214pp. ISBN 9780446564021.
also Williams, Serena & Paisner, Daniel (2009). My Life : Queen of the Court. Simon & Schuster. 257pp. ISBN 9781847375445.
References[edit source]

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External links[edit source]

Find more about Serena Williams at Wikipedia's sister projects
Media from Commons
Quotations from Wikiquote
Official website
Serena Williams on Twitter
Serena Williams on Facebook
Serena Williams at the Women's Tennis Association
Serena Williams at the International Tennis Federation
Serena Williams at the Fed Cup
Serena Williams at the Internet Movie Database
Interview with Serena Williams on Hossli.com