Serena Williams

Tennis Player

Born: 26 September 1981
Birthplace: Saginaw, Michigan
Best known as:

The younger half of the tennis-playing Williams sisters

Serena Williams and her sister Venus became stars of women's tennis in the late 1990s and have dominated the pro tour for many of the years since. Serena Williams was a child prodigy who began playing tennis before she reached kindergarten. She is also African-American, which was a rarity in pro tennis when Serena and Venus reached the pros in the 1990s. Serena quickly became known for her determination, powerful game, and flashy fashion sense. Serena is a year younger than Venus and (at 5'10") about three inches shorter, but she became the first sister to win a major tournament by claiming the singles title at the 1999 U.S. Open. Serena went on to eclipse Venus as the dominant women's tennis player of the early 2000s; in 2002-03 she won the "Serena Slam" by holding all four grand slam titles at once: the 2002 French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles, and the 2003 Australian Open. Her other major titles are Wimbledon in 2003, 2009, 2010, and 2012, the French Open in 2013 (a full 11 years after her only other win there), the Australian Open in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010, and the U.S. Open in 2008, 2012 and 2013. She won a gold medal in women's singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, matching the gold won by her sister Venus at the 2000 Summer Olymics in Sydney.

Extra credit:

Other women's tennis stars of Serena Williams' era include Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati, Anna Kournikova, Monica Seles and Amanda Coetzer.

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