September 26


September 26, 1981 Serena Jameka Williams, top ranked female professional tennis player, was born in Saginaw, Michigan. Soon after her birth, Williams’ family moved to California where she started playing tennis at the age of four. Williams started playing professional tennis in 1995, but did not win her first professional singles title until 1999. Also in 1999, she became the second African American woman, after Althea Gibson in 1958, to win a Grand Slam singles tournament at the U.S. Open. She has gone on to win 45 Women’s Tennis Association titles, including 30 Grand Slam titles, 15 in singles, 13 in doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. Williams has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Williams has won the Gold medal in women’s doubles, with her sister Venus, at the 2000 Sydney, 2008 Beijing, and 2012 London Olympic Games. She also won the Gold medal in women’s singles at the 2012 games. She has also won numerous awards, including the 1998 WTA Newcomer of the Year, 1999 Tennis Magazine Player of the Year, the 2002, 2008, and 2009 WTA Player of the Year, 2003 ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete, and 2003 and 2010 Laures World Sportswoman of the Year. In 2008, Williams helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya. In 2009, she and her sister Venus became part owners of the Miami Dolphins professional football team, the first African American females to obtain ownership in an NFL franchise. Also in 2009, she released her autobiography, “On the Line.”

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is Professional Tennis Player.  The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has ranked her world number one in singles on eight occasions from 2002 to 2017.  She became the world number one first time on July 8, 2002.  On the sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf for the most consecutive weeks as world number one by a female tennis player.  In total, she has been world number one for 319 weeks, which ranks her 3rd in the Open Era among female tennis players.  Williams’ accomplishments and success in professional tennis have led some commentators, players and sports writers to regard her as the greatest femail tennis player of all time.

Williams holds the most major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined amongst active players.  Her record of 39 major titles puts her third on the all-time list and second in the open era 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 2 inmixed doubles.  She is the most recent player to have held all four singles titles simultaneously (2002 – 03 and 2014) and the third player to achieve this record twice after Rod Laver and Steffi Graf.  She is also the most recent player, together with her sister Venus Williams, to have held all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles simultaneously (2009 – 10).

Her total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles marks the record for the most Major wins by a tennis player in the Open Era and is second on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24). She is the only tennis player in history (man or woman) to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slams tournaments, and the only player ever to have won two of the four Major’s seven times each (seven Wimbledon titles and seven Australian Open titles). She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades.  She has won an all-time record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt.  Williams holds the Open Era record for the most titles won at the Australian Open (7) and shares the Open Era record for most titles won at the Grand Slams (man or woman) with 316 matches (through the 2017 Australian Open).

Serena has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus, and the pair is unbeaten in Gran Slam doubles finals.  As a team, they have the third most women’s doubles grand slam titles, behind the 18 titles of Natasha Zvereva (14 with Gigi Fernandez) and the record 20 titles won by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver. Williams a five-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships in the singles division.  Serena has also won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singlesd three in women’s doubles – an all-time record shared with Venus.  The arrival of the Williams sisters has been credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour.  Williams was the highest paid female athlete in 2016, earning $28.9 million in prize money and endorsements. She won the Laureus Sportswoman of the the year; three times 2003, 2010, 2016, and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.



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