REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG
Serena Williams is one of the most dominating tennis players in the history of the game. She is also one half of the most dominant sports sibling duos in the world. While much of her life has been public, there is still much to learn about Serena. Listed below are 18 fascinating facts about the famous tennis star!
Some people say that being the youngest sibling can come with its own set of obstacles. Younger siblings tend to look for reasons to rebel and end up needing to stop smoking. Serena is the youngest of five children, all of whom were girls. You obviously already know of Venus but her other sisters are Lyndrea, Yetunde, and Isha.
If you add up all of the weeks that Serena has spent on top of the rankings at #1 she will have been there for 253 weeks! Serena’s prolific run on top has made her a professional darling as she now has fashion designers begging her to try out their products.
More important than her natural talent was Serena’s determination to play and get better. Serena started playing tennis at age five in Compton, California. While she was playing there would routinely be gunfire from gangs going off in the area.
Near Death Experience
One look at Serena will verify that she’s the opposite of someone with anorexia — she is robust and healthy. Still, Serena had to be treated for a blood clot in her lungs back in 2011. The surgery was sudden and done in an emergency fashion, thus saving her life.
John McEnroe Approved
Serena has a great many fans in her backlog but none more vocal than former tennis great, John McEnroe. When Serena won her fifth Wimbledon title, in singles competition, McEnroe proudly declared her the greatest female tennis player of all time.
Serena and Venus sure know how to make money quick! At the height of their fame both Serena and Venus were invited to lend their voices to The Simpsons — one of the most successful shows of all time. The episode that Serena appeared in was named, of course, ‘Tennis the Menace’.
Serena may be an intense athlete on the court but she likes to kick back and relax during her free time. Serena’s favorite hobbies include reading, watching football, and honing her acting skills. Do we sense a career in Hollywood in the future?
Despite the success of Venus and Serena, tragedy would still find a way to follow their family. Yetunde Price, Serena’s oldest sister, was murdered in Los Angeles back in 2003. Price was killed in a drive by shooting but her boyfriend, who was driving, had been the intended target.
Serena Williams stands alongside Chris Evert as being the only other female tennis players to score six U.S. open singles titles. These six titles are the most in the entire Open Era. Chris Evert is another legendary tennis player. Not bad company, indeed.
Grand Slam Dominance
If you are going to go down as an All Time great in professional tennis then you had better get your record right in the Grand Slam Finals. Serena has, of course, become one of the most dominant players in Grand Slam history. Serena is 20 – 4 in Grand Slam Finals matches. The only person to beat her twice is her sister, Venus.
Serena is the rare competitor who can dominate in both singles and doubles competition. At one point in her career Serena was ranked #1 in both singles and doubles. How often has that happened? We’re not sure but it really sounds impressive.
If you look at what Serena earned in just 2013 then you will see that she out earned the entire Top 10 field back in 1995. Yeah, anytime you out earn 10 other professionals in your sport — well, that’s good news. Serena is a constant attendant of the Forbes Highest Paid Athletes list.
When Serena hits the gym, she hits it hard. In order to get through those long work outs Serena admits that she listens to “Fame” by David Bowie. Of course, she also has some less than ‘conventionally popular’ music on her list — ‘Mmmbop’ by Hanson. Serena isn’t ashamed to admit that she jams to Hanson. Okay, maybe a little bit. When she’s done working out she likes to finish things off with Gatorade protein bars in order to start healing up right awa
Serena Williams made her professional debut back in 1995 but it wasn’t until 1999 that she began to hit her stride. 1999 was the year that Serena won her first Major Title at the U.S. Open. Serena beat Martina Hingis in the finals to seal the deal.
All Together Now
Serena Williams has been dominant in a way that most other athletes can only dream of. In fact, she is the most recent player in female tennis to have all four major single titles to herself. She is only the third player ever to accomplish this task in professional tennis – joining Rod Laver as well as Steffi Graff.
‘The Sixth Sense’
The first time that Serena Williams won a U.S. Open, The Sixth Sense was #1 at the Box Office. Who knew that one of M. Night’s only good movies would be the marking point for an unheralded career of tennis dominance. We wonder what film will be #1 at the Box Office when she finally decides to retire.
When you are the best in the world at what you do, you tend to get paid for it. Williams topped the list of all female athletes in 2016 in terms of how much money she made — earning a cool $29 million combined between prize money and endorsements. Serena doesn’t figure to be slowing down any time soon, either, as she has been pushing her endorsements more and more.
Critics of the sport tend to look at Serena and Venus as resetting the popularity of female tennis on the global stage. Serena and Venus are also credited with bringing ‘power’ back to the forefront of the female tennis game. Serena and Venus are two of the hardest hitting tennis players of all time, clocking in serves at 129 MPH and 128.6 MPH respectively. Sabine Lisicki leads the pack with fastest serves at 131 MPH.