As the other half of the Williams sisters, Serena is already a legend in the world of tennis. She initiated a revolution in the sport with her style of play and holds the most number of Grand Slam singles titles among tennis players in the open era.
The young Serena Williams first learned to play tennis in the public courts of Los Angeles. Her father was her mentor. In 1995, she went pro, following the footsteps of her sister, Venus.
Serena slowly rose up to the ranks with her powerful serves and ground strokes. Her excellent athleticism also caught the attention of fans around the world. And although her sister was predicted to be the first Williams to win the Grand Slam, Serena shocked the world and won the US Open in 1999.
Aside from being a champion singles player, Serena is a great team player, especially when playing with her sister Venus. They won the doubles event in the 1999 US Open and followed this achievement with another 14 Grand Slam doubles titles.
THE BEST OF WILLIAMS
Serena might already have a whole shelf of her trophies, but some of her wins stand out among others. For instance, the whole world watched when Serena went head on again her sister, who was the two-time defending champion at Wimbledon in 2002. Serena defeated her sister, following their previous battle (where Serena also won) at the 2002 French Open. In the same year, Serena managed to reach the world #1 ranking.
Maria Sharapova is another great tennis player, and Serena truly had a hard time in their 2005 Australian Open Semifinals match. Serena already lost a couple of times to Sharapova before this tournament, and it how hard Serena must work to defeat an already great and iconic player. However, with her motivation, despite a lost set and an unfavorable second set, Serena snatched the glory from Sharapova in the third set of their match.
A GRAND SLAM CHAMPION IN LIFE
Serena is a force to behold inside the court, and even when not playing, she just keeps on inspiring people and showing her strong stance on her beliefs, especially regarding equal pay to women of color. Her passion in promoting her advocacies is evident not only through the words coming out of her mouth but also her actions. Serena has been known to invest and support businesses owned by women, especially those owned by black women.
Especially in her sport, Serena is just not up for inequality of any form. She has been known to critic the double standards in tennis and to call for equal pay for women athletes. Serena also recognizes deserving players during their moment and promote body positivity despite receiving negative comments and being banned for her choice of sportwear.
MORE THAN A PLAYER, GREATER THAN A LEGEND
There is no doubt that Serena Williams is one of the best tennis players in the world, but she proved that more than playing great in the court, being a champion involves inspiring and lifting other people, voicing out societal issues for those who are ignored, and staying true to one’s self even when all eyes are watching.