Serena Jameka Williams, born September 26, 1981, is a retired American tennis player.
She is regarded as one of the best tennis players of all time, having held the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) world No. 1 singles ranking for 319 weeks.
Including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and finishing as the year-end No. 1 five times.
Serena won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in the Open Era and the second-most all-time.
She is the only male or female player to complete a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles.
Early life and Education
Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan, to Oracene Price and Richard Williams.
She is the youngest of Price’s five daughters, including half-sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea, and Isha Price, as well as her full older sister Venus.
When her children were little, the family relocated to Compton, California, where she began playing tennis at four.
Her father homeschooled her and her sister, Venus.
While he and her mother were their official coaches, her other mentors included Richard Williams, a Compton man who shared her father’s name.
And later formed The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis Tutorial Academy.
Williams and her family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach, Florida, when she was nine.
So she could join Rick Macci’s tennis academy, where she received extra coaching.
Macci did not always agree with Williams’ father, but respected the fact that “he treated his daughters like children, allowing them to be little girls.”
Richard stopped sending his children to national junior tennis competitions when Williams was 10 years old.
Racism had also influenced his decision, as he had overheard white parents disparaging the Williams sisters during competitions.
At the time, Williams had a 46-3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked first among under-10 players in Florida.
When Williams was in ninth grade, her father pulled his girls from Macci’s academy and took over all coaching at their house.
Serena Williams was coached by her parents, Oracene Price and Richard Williams, along with her older sister Venus.
She won her first major singles victory at the 1999 US Open after turning professional in 1995.
From the 2002 French Open through the 2003 Australian Open, she was dominant.
Winning all four major singles titles (each time over Venus in the final) to complete the ‘Serena Slam’, a non-calendar year Grand Slam and a lifetime Grand Slam.
In the following years, she won two more singles majors but suffered from injury and a drop in form.
However, beginning in 2007, she steadily regained form despite ongoing injuries, reclaiming the world’s No. 1 singles ranking.
Beginning with the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Williams reclaimed her supremacy.
Winning Olympic gold (completing the Career Golden Slam in singles) and eight of thirteen singles majors, including all four in a row from 2014-15 to complete her second “Serena Slam.”
She won her 23rd major singles title in the 2017 Australian Open, breaking Steffi Graf’s Open Era record.
She then took a break from professional tennis after becoming pregnant, and when she returned, she reached four major finals.
Williams announced her approaching “evolution” away from professional tennis in August 2022, and she played her farewell match at the 2022 US Open.
Williams has won 14 major women’s doubles titles, all with her sister Venus.
The pair was unbeaten in major doubles finals (the best unbeaten record in major finals in any discipline of the sport)
Serena Williams is married to Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit. On December 10, 2016, he proposed to her in Rome.
Williams confirmed their engagement in a Reddit post on December 30, 2016. On November 16, 2017, they married in New Orleans.
Beyoncé, Anna Wintour, Kelly Rowland, and Kim Kardashian were among the guests at the wedding.
Williams gave birth to her daughter in September 2017.
She had an emergency cesarean surgery because the baby’s heart rate dropped during labor, and she was upset at first.
After giving baby, she experienced a pulmonary embolism, which rendered her bedridden for six weeks and delayed her return to training.