Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player. She is one of the many names that ring a bell in the exciting game of lawn tennis. By the dint of her sheer achievements, Serena Williams is arguably the all-time great women tennis player. With an Open Era record of 23 grand slam singles titles to her name, she’s definitely one female tigress to look out for in the game. Strong, swift, and versatile. Blessed with incredible skills, every single swing of her racket is a potential winning point. We examine the indebt life, wins and defeats of this glorified sports character in our Serena Williams biography facts, childhood and personal life. Highlights include her achievements and awards.

Serena Williams Biography Facts

Full Name Serena Jameka Williams
Nickname Serena Stoutarm, The Beast of Burden, Momma smash, Meka, ReRe, The Widowmaker
Birthday September 26, 1981 (age 37)
Place of Birth Saginaw, Michigan, United States of America
Nationality American
Height 5 feet 9 inches
Shoe Size 10
Weight 185 pounds (84 kg)
Education Home-school
Parents Richard Williams (father), Oracene Price (mother)
Siblings Venus Williams, Dylan Starr Williams, Ronner Williams, Richard Williams, Yetunde Price (late), Isha Price, Lyndrea Price
Spouse Alexis Ohanian
Children Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr (daughter)
Net Worth $180 million
Occupation Tennis Player
Playing Career 1995–present
Zodiac Sign Libra

Serena Williams Childhood and Early Life

Serena Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price (now divorced). She was the youngest of five girls. She grew up in the dusty Los Angeles suburb of Compton, wherein her father was running a private security firm. She picked up her love for the sport at the tender age of three, practising on a court not far from the family’s home alongside her sister Venus. Serena had two-hour a day practices with her father. Her potential to become great in the game, could not be over-looked and soon thereafter, she started attending the tennis academy of Rick Macci, who polished her in-born skills and talent.

American tennis players and sisters Serena and Venus Williams
Classic photo of American tennis players and sisters Serena and Venus Williams pictured together in 1991

By 1991, she had scored 46-3 on the United States Tennis Association Junior tour and ranked first in the 10-and-under division. The family moved to Florida. However, her father pulled her and sister Venus out of the game, sensing his girls needed better instruction to become successful professionals and the demanding schedule of the game may burn them out quickly.

Serena Williams childhood photo
Classic photo of Serena Williams playing Tennis as a child. (Photo credit: Sports Illustrated)

Serena Williams Tennis Career

Serena went professional at the age of 14, against her parent’s wish.  At that age, she entered her first professional tournament after some setbacks by the WTA as a result of age issues in a prior event. Serena was ousted out of her first professional tournament after winning just two games.

After staying out of action in 1996, Serena return to the court was well received as she defeated prominent top 10 players, which earned her the 99th spot at the end of 1997.

1998, saw Serena and her sister, Venus, begin their journey to the peak of tennis after they won their first professional titles in doubles. At the end of 1998, Serena had catapulted to the 29th spot in the singles rank. After losing in the third round of the Australian Open, a determined Serena strove hard to secure her first Professional singles titles, the Open Gaz de France. She also went on to win the IGA Super thrift classic with her sister, becoming the first sisters to win a professional tournament in the same week.

By 2000, after series of lost and defeats, even failing to defend her titles in Paris and Indiana wells, she made up for those losses by picking up a gold medal in doubles alongside her sister at the Sydney Olympics.

Early 2002, injuries cut short her playing times as she had to retire from the semi-final match at the Medibank International Sydney and later withdrew from the Australian Open, upon returning from injury, she grabbed the Scottsdale, Arizona and her first Master title in the process becoming one of three players to defeat the world’s top 3 ranked players at one tournament, beating No. 3, Martina Hingis, in the quarterfinals, No. 2 Venus her sister in the semi-finals, and No. 1 Capriati, in the final. Later at Wimbledon, she defeated her sister Venus to win a Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set for the first time in her career which resulted in her climbing to the top spot rank of World No. 1 becoming the third African-American to hold that rank. She won three Grand Slam titles that year.

Again she fell in the deep waters of injury and got sidelined out of action for a period of eight months. She made a triumphant return in March 2004 and clinch the NASDAQ-100 Open title in Miami. She later went on to win the China Open.

During the 2005 Australian Open, the media made up discouraging suggestions stating Serena and her sister Venus were becoming a declining force in the game due to Venus’s early exit in the tournament but that didn’t steer off a determined Serena as she proves the media all wrong and went on to win her second Australian Open title defeating top seed, Davenport in the final. This win shot her to the No. 2 spot. The rest of the 2005 season filled with injuries, withdrawals and setbacks for Serena.

2006 was much more a tough year for Serena. She suffers from depression and stayed out of pro tennis for six months. She cut off and shut herself from the world for a period, seeing a therapist daily. But after meeting with a young girl who happens to be a die-hard fan of Serena she felt inspire and returned back to the court. She returns back to claim her third Australian Open and overall eight Grand Slam singles title despite not being seeded, overcoming mental, emotional and physical obstacles to do that. She dedicated the title to her late half-sister Yetunde. She won another three singles title at Bangalore and a fifth Miami title tying Steffi Graf for the most singles title won at this tournament. She picks up the gold medal in doubles alongside her sister at the Beijing Olympics.

She won her 10th Grand Slam singles title at the 2009 Australian Open in just 59 minutes a rare feat which returned her to the No. 1 spot and her becoming the all-time career prize money leader in women’s sport. She was named best female athlete of that year.

In 2015 at the Miami Open, she recorded her 700th match win in her career by defeating Sabine Lisicki and became the eight woman in the Open Era to do so. She completed her famous “Serena Slam” i:e winning all four Grand Slams in a row at the 2015 Wimbledon Championship, winning her sixth Wimbledon and 21st Grand Slam singles title overall.

The year 2016, she lost in the Australian Open and French Open finals. But she bounces back winning the Wimbledon singles tournament. She lost her No. 1 ranking.

Serena Williams at the 2016 U.S. Open
Serena Williams of United States contesting at the 2016 U.S. Open, Day 6. She defeated Johanna Larsson of Sweden in the Women’s Singles round three matches which took place in Arthur Ashe Stadium. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

2017 started on a promising note for Serena as she defeated her sister Venus Williams to win the Australian Open. It was the 23rd Grand Slam singles title of her career. She was eight-weeks pregnant when she won the Australian Open. On account of her pregnancy, she took a break from the court.

In early 2018, she pulled out from the opening Grand Slam tournament, stating she wasn’t ready yet to return to the court after the birth of her daughter in September. However, she returned to competition on February 11, one year after giving birth and made it to finals of the 2018 US Open. She lost the final match to Japan’s Naomi Osaka. Osaka won the match 6-2 6-4.

Serena Williams playing in her 2018 US Open outfit
Serena Williams of the United States against Magda Linette of Poland during their 2018 US Open Women’s Singles match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, New York – August 27, 2018. (Photo credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams against Anastasija Sevastova on Day 11
Serena Williams defeated Sevastova 6-3, 6-0 to reach her 9th singles final in Flushing Meadows on September 7, 2018.

Serena Williams Personal Life

In 2010, she broke up with rapper common and put an end to their romantic relationship.

2016, she announces her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. She gave birth to a girl on September 1, 2017. She named her Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

November 17 2017, she walked down the aisle and tied the knot with longtime fiancé Alexis Ohanian.

Serena Williams and her daughter, Olympia
Serena Williams and her daughter, Olympia

Serena Williams Awards and Achievements

Serena has 39 Grand Slam titles to her name: 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles.

Grand Slam Single Wins

  • Australian Open (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017)
  • French Open (2002, 2013, 2015)
  • Wimbledon (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • US Open (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

Grand Slam Doubles Wins

  • Australian Open (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010)
  • French Open (1999, 2010)
  • Wimbledon (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016)
  • US Open (1999, 2010)

Serena holds the record of winning the most women’s singles matches at the Grand Slams.

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