Full Name: Serena Jameka Williams
Date of Birth: September 26th, 1981
Place of Birth: Saginaw, Michigan
Height: 5ft 9in
Turned Professional: 1995
Photo of Serena Williams by sufw
Serena Williams has been ranked WIA World Number One on five separate occasions during her career. She is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money and is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She has amassed 30 Grand Slam titles, fifteen of them in singles and is the most recent player of either sex to simultaneously hold all four Grand Slam titles. She has won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus and has also won the WTA Tour Championships on three occasions. She also has one Olympic singles gold and three doubles gold medals.
Williams burst on to the scene in 1997 when, ranked 304 in the world, she defeated Mary Pierce and Monica Seles in a single tournament. By the end of the year she had broken into the top 100. Williams made her debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open in 1998, losing to sister in the second round. She won the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open with Max Mirnyi and finished the year ranked world number 20 in singles.
In 1999, she won her first professional singles title at the Open Gaz de France in Paris. One month later, Serena won her first Tier I singles title at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells with victory over Steffi Graf in the final and was soon in the top 10. Williams won her first Grand Slam at the US Open, beating Seles, Davenport and Hingis to become the second African-American woman to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. Williams ended her second year on tour ranked world number 4.
In 2000, Williams reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time, losing to Venus. Her defence of the US Open title ended when she was beaten in the quarter-finals by Davenport. She reached her second Grand Slam final at the US Open the following year, losing to her sister once again and finishing 2001 at world no. 6.
Injury forced her to withdraw from the Australian Open but she dominated the women’s game in 2002-2003, holding all four Grand Slam titles. Serena beat Venus in two sets to claim her second Grand Slam tournament title at the French Open. She beat her elder sister again in the final of Wimbledon to overtake her at number 1 in the rankings for the first time. It was the same story at the US Open, giving her a fourth Grand Slam title and her third of the season. Williams finished 2002 with a 56–5 record, and eight singles titles.
At the 2003 Australian Open, Williams beat Venus in the final for the fourth consecutive Grand Slam. Her incredible run in Grand Slam’s finally ended in the semi-finals of the French Open when she lost to Justine Henin. Williams defended her Wimbledon title successfully before knee surgery brought her season to an end.
Williams was comprehensively beaten by Maria Sharapova in the Wimbledon final of 2004 but collected her seventh Grand Slam at the 2005 Australian Open, defeating Davenport in the final. She was plagued with a knee injury throughout the next couple of seasons and it was not until 2007 that she picked up her eighth Grand Slam, again in Melbourne. Despite starting the tournament unseeded, Williams defeated top-seed Sharapova in the final.
Serena was beaten in the final of Wimbledon 2008 by her elder sister but won the US Open with a hard-fought two-set victory over Jelena Janković. It was her third US Open and ninth Grand Slam singles title, taking her back to the top of the world rankings for the first time since 2003. In 2009, Williams was back to her very best, claiming her tenth Grand Slam with victory over Dinara Safina in the final of the Australian Open, a win that made her the all-time career prize money leader in women's sports. Serena again defeated her sister for a third Wimbledon title and was now in possession of three of the four Grand Slam singles titles.
She reached her fifth final in Melbourne and her fifteenth Grand Slam singles final in 2010, beating Henin. She claimed her fourth Wimbledon title the same season, beating Russian Vera Zvonareva in the final without dropping a set in the tournament. A freak foot injury brought her 2010 season to a premature end.
She did not win a Grand Slam in 2011, reaching the final of the US Open before losing to Samantha Stosur. By the end of the year she had dropped to number 12 in the rankings having only managed to compete in six tournaments. 2012 brought yet another revival in her fortunes, winning two more Grand Slams to take her haul to fifteen. In the final of Wimbledon she defeated third-seeded Agnieszka Radwańska to equal the five Wimbledon titles won by her sister. Williams won the Gold Medal in singles at the London Olympics with victory over Maria Sharapova in the final. At the US Open, Serena beat Victoria Azarenka in three sets to win her 4th US Open and later won her third WTA Championships Finals.
Williams began 2013 with victory in Brisbane before reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, losing to Sloane Stephens. She was now ranked second in the world behind Azarenka.