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Serena Williams

Serena WilliamsAKA Serena Jameka Williams

Born: 26-Sep-1981
Birthplace: Saginaw, MI

Gender: Female
Religion: Jehovah's Witness
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Tennis

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Winner of 28 Grand Slam titles

Serena Williams is a world-ranked professional tennis player, one of very few African-Americans to dominate that sport. Her sister Venus Williams is also a top-ranked player. Serena is three inches shorter, 25 pounds lighter, and a year younger than Venus. Their father, Richard Williams, has coached and, some say, harangued the girls since childhood -- or even earlier. He says he was watching tennis on TV in 1978, and when he saw how much prize money could be won, he decided on the spot that tennis winnings could be his family's path to success. He started talking his wife -- already the mother of three girls from a previous marriage -- into having more children.

Venus and Serena were born two and three years (respectively) after that fateful telecast, and they were handed tennis rackets in infancy. One of their father's favored training techniques involved putting the girls against a wall, then blasting hundreds of tennis balls at them, rapid fire, to teach them to "defend" themselves with their rackets. Venus and Serena trained at tennis courts in rough Compton, California, and their father has said that gang members "watched over the girls", not as predators but as protectors, as they played and practiced. The family left California for Florida in 1991, as Venus and Serena began to dominate junior tennis competition.

Serena turned professional in 1995, at age 14. By 1997, she was ranked #304 in the world when she defeated two Top 10 players and jumped to #102. She cracked the top 100 in 1998, after defeating #2 Lindsay Davenport in Sydney, and won her first career title at the Open Gaz de France in 1999. A 2003 victory over her sister Venus gave Serena her fourth Grand Slam title in five attempts, but then she injured her knee in the finals at Wimbledon, and was sidelined for eight months. She is the first black woman to win a Grand Slam event since Althea Gibson, in 1958.

Father: Richard Williams
Mother: Oracene "Brandy" Price
Sister: Yetunde Price (step-sister, d. 14-Sep-2003 murder)
Sister: Lyndrea Price (step-sister)
Sister: Isha Price (step-sister)
Sister: Venus Williams (tennis player, b. 17-Jun-1980)
Boyfriend: Brett Ratner (film director, together mid-2000s)
Boyfriend: Common (rapper, together 2009-10)
Engagement: Alexis Ohanian (Co-Founder of Reddit, engaged 2016)

    High School: (home schooled)
    University: Fashion Design, Art Institute of Florida

    Winner, Wimbledon (mixed doubles) 1998
    Winner, US Open (mixed doubles) 1998
    Winner, French Open (women's doubles) 1999
    Winner, US Open (women's singles) 1999
    Winner, US Open (women's doubles) 1999
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's doubles) 2000
    Winner, Australian Open (women's doubles) 2001
    Winner, French Open (women's singles) 2002
    Winner, US Open (women's singles) 2002
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's singles) 2002
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's doubles) 2002
    Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 2003
    Winner, Australian Open (women's doubles) 2003
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's singles) 2003
    Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 2005
    Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 2007
    Winner, US Open (women's singles) 2008
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's doubles) 2008
    Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 2009
    Winner, Australian Open (women's doubles) 2009
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's singles) 2009
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's doubles) 2009
    Winner, US Open (women's doubles) 2009
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's singles) 2010
    Winner, French Open (women's doubles) 2010
    Winner, Australian Open (women's singles) 2010
    Winner, Australian Open (women's doubles) 2010
    Winner, Wimbledon (women's singles) 2012
    Olympic Gold Medal 2000 (women's doubles tennis)
    Olympic Gold Medal 2008 (women's doubles tennis)
    Associated Press Athlete of the Year (female) 2002
    Associated Press Athlete of the Year (female) 2009
    Mothers Against Drunk Driving National Board of Advisors (2003-05)
    Endorsement of Avon 2002
    Endorsement of McDonald's 2002

    Ocean's Eight (5-Jun-2018)
    Pixels (17-Apr-2015)
    Hair Show (15-Oct-2004)

Official Website:

Author of books:
On the Line (2009, memoir)

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