Serena Williams is a famous American Tennis Player, an entrepreneur, and investor. She has invested in over 30 start-ups through her venture, Serena Ventures. Her success stories have motivated several young chaps who see her as a role model and an Ambassador of Tennis. Currently, Williams is one of the World’s highest paid Athlete.
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Serena Williams Early Life
Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981 at Saginaw, Michigan. She was born to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Serena Williams have several half siblings and one full sibling: Venus. She is the youngest of her mother’s daughters.
At Age 4, Serena’s family moved to Compton, California where she started playing tennis and while being home schooled. This time, her official coaches were her parents, and a mentor in the community who was her father’s namesake, Richard Williams.
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At age 9, the family moved to West Palm Beach Florida in order for her to attend Rick Macci, a tennis academy. A year later, for Serena and Williams to focus on schooling, their father stopped them from participating in the US Tennis Association national junior tournament. The decision was also because his daughters experienced racial discrimination during the tournament.
At this time, Serena was already doing well in the junior tour while being the number one among the under 10 players in Florida. And in 1995, Richard withdrew his daughters out of the Tennis Academy, Rick Macci for home-schooling.
Serena Williams Early Career
Although, Serena’s parents wanted her to start participating in professional tournament at age 16, she delved in at 14.
Her first professional tournament was at the Bell Challenge in Quebec in 1995. She won two games but lost to Annie Miller in the first round of qualifying. She continued to play at different tournaments, wining some and losing some.
In 1997, she ranked 99th in the Ameritech Cup Chicago. After several tournament in 1998, and an ankle spraining, William won her first professional title of double, with Venus in Oklahoma City. She also won two more doubles, and finished at number 22 in singles.
As the year went by, Serena kept on rising in the world rankings. She won gold medals in doubles with her sister, Venus in 2000 at the Olympics organised in Sydney, Australia.
Also, in 2002, she won the French Open, US Open and Wimbledon, and in the following year, became one of the six women to earn a Grand slam. She calls the slam ‘Serena Slam’ and she attained this height when she won the Australian Open, defeating her Sister Venus, in the final.
Today, Serena is one of the most celebrated Tennis Players in the world and has won 23 Grand Slam and several prices.
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As a business woman, Serena Williams launched the Serena Ventures in 2014 with the aim of giving opportunities to founders across several industries. It focuses on investing in burgeoning entrepreneurs, and start-ups changing the world with their ideas and products. About 60% of the investments so far are focused on start-ups led by women, minorities and people of color. Over the past five years, the venture has invested in over 30 start-ups. Some of them include: Billie, Olly, Flora Verse, The Wing, Masterclass, Lola, Gobble, Brandless and many more.
Serena Williams ‘S’ Clothing Line
Apart from being a professional tennis player, Serena is a fashion designer. She launched her first independent clothing line called ‘S’ on May 30, 2018. Before this clothing line, she attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale for Fashion Design in 1999. Then in 2004, owned a line of designer apparel called Aneres, a backward spelling of her name. She thereafter, launched her signature collection handbags and jewelry which was sold mainly on HSN (Home Shopping Network) in 2009.
In 2010, she became a certified nail technician and in Feb, 2019, she was appointed on the Board of Directors for Poshmark, an online fashion market place.
According to her, the ‘S’ is inspired by ‘femininity and strength’ and her prices are budget friendly.
Serena Williams Other Deals
Serena Williams is endorsed by Nike and she also has endorsement deal with companies such as Gatorade, IBM, OPI Products, Berlie bras, Intel, Chase Bank, Delta Airlines and many more.
In August 2009, Serena and her sister, Venus became minority owners of the Miami Dolphins with the purchase of small stake in the team. They are the first black women to hold ownership of such in an NFL franchise.
Also, in 2015, she accepted the contract to be the Chief Sporting Officer to Aston Martin, British Luxury Automobile Manufacturer. She is also on the Board of Directors for Survey Monkey, an online survey service company.
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Serena Williams Net Worth
According to Forbes, Serena Williams net worth as at June 2019, is $29.2 million, and she is one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
Serena Williams Personal Life
Serena Williams got married to Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit on Nov. 16, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana, US. She gave birth to her daughter, Olympia Ohanian on Sept. 1 2017. She was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and she follows few of its practices.
Serena Williams speaks English language as a first language and conversational French. She also has the knowledge of Spanish and Italian.
Serena Williams Philanthropy
She has done several charitable works; she established a foundation/fund in her name in order to promote equity, through education, gender, race. Some of her charitable contributions to society include;
- Raising money for the local Ronald McDonald House charities along with her sister, Venus in 2004 & 2005.
- Funding the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya, 2008.
- Providing university scholarship funds for underprivileged students in the US.
- Built a primary school for Jamaican Youth in Trelawny Parish in partnership with Helping Hands Jamaica, 2016.
- Joined in the charity activities done by ATP & WTA for the 2010 Haiti Earth quake victims.
- She also contribute and supports the first serve Miami, a foundation for the challenged youth who are interested in learning tennis together with Venus, her sister.
- She assisted UNICEF in launching schools for Asia campaign, and has remained their International Goodwill Ambassador since 2011.
- Serena began hosting an annual charity ‘The Serena Williams Ultimate Fun Run’. To help people affected by violence, and to help youth gain access to education in 2014.
- She founded the Yetunde Price Resource Centre. Currently, the centre serves the families affected by community violence. It was created in honour of their late sister at Compton, California. She did it in collaboration with Venus in 2016.
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- She became an Ambassador of the Allstate Foundation’s purple to financially empower victims facing domestic abuse in 2017.
Some other charitable organisation she supports include:
- Elton John AIDs Foundation
- Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Hearts of Gold,
- The Common Ground Foundation
- The Holly Rod Foundation
- The Caliber Foundation
- Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund
In 2005, Serena and Venus together with author, Hilary Beard published a book: Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving And Winning.
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Serena Williams Awards And Recognitions
Williams has received numerous award – a lot from her active participation in sport and others for her charity works. They are:
Serena Williams Awards From 1999 – 2005
- Rolex Rookie of the Year, Tennis Magazine, 1999
- Player of the Year, Tennis Magazine, 1999
- Newcomer of the Year, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), 1999
- Most Improved Player of the Year, Women’s Tennis Association, 1999
- Doubles Team of the Year together with her sister, Venus, WTA, 2000
- Teen Choice Awards – Extraordinary Achievement Award, 2000
- Sportswoman of the Year for team sports with Venus Williams, Women’s Sports Foundation, 2000
- Female Athlete of the Year, Associated Press, 2002
- Player of the Year, WTA, 2002
- World Champion, ITF Women’s Singles, 2002
- Sportswoman of the Year, Gazzetta dello, 2002
- Female Athlete of the Year, United States Sports Academy, 2002
- Best Female Athlete & Tennis Player, ESPY, 2003 & 2004
- Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World, 2003
- Young Heroes Award, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. & Inland, 2003
- Celebrity Role Model Award, Avon Foundation for works in breast cancer, 2003
- President’s Award, 34th NAACP Image Awards, 2003
- Female Athlete of the Year, BET, 2003 & 2004
- Comeback Player of the Year, WTA, 2004
- Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award, 2004
- The Celebrity 100, in Forbes listicle, 2000-2005
- Harris Poll Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star, Harris Poll 2004 & 2005
- Teen Choice Awards – Female Athlete Award
- Sportswoman of the Year, Glamour Magazine, 2004
- Female Athlete of the Year, BET 2005,
- Dirty Awards – Best Sports Athlete Female, Dirty Awards, 2005
Serena Williams Awards From 2006 – 2011
- Harris Poll Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star, Harris Poll 2006 – 2009
- Comeback of the Year, Laureus World 2007
- Female Athlete of the Year, BET, 2007 & 2009
- Female Athlete of the Year, Associated Press, 2009
- Best Female Athlete of the Decade, SI.com, 2009
- Sports woman Of the Year, Laureus World, 2010
- The World’s 100 Most Influential People, TIME Magazine, 2010
- The Celebrity 100, in Forbes listicle, 2006-2010
- Female Athlete of the Year, BET Award, 2010
- Best Female Tennis Player, ESPY Award, 2010
- Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star (No.1), Harris Poll, 2010
- Forbes 30 Utterly Inspiring Role Models, 2010
- Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year (with Venus Williams), WTA, 2010
- Female Athlete Award, Teen Choice Awards, 2010
- Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women in the World (No.55), 2010
- Female Athlete of the Year, BET Award, 2011
- Forbes The Celebrity 100 (No.84), 2011
- 30 Legends of Women’s Tennis, TIME Magazine, 2011
- Best Female Tennis Player, ESPY Award, 2011
- Champion, US Open Series, 2011
- Forbes Most Powerful Black Women in the U.S. (No.10), 2011
- No. 41 on 100 Influencers and Iconoclasts, The Root 100, 2011
- Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star (No.1), Harris Poll, 2011
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Serena Williams Awards From 2012 – 2014
- Forbes The Celebrity 100 (No.77), 2012
- Sportswoman of the Year, BET Award, 2012
- Player of the Year, WTA, 2012
- Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year (with Venus Williams), WTA, 2012
- World Champion, ITF Women’s Singles, 2012
- Champion of Champions, L’Equipe, 2012
- Female Athletes of the Year Award, United States Sports Academy, 2012
- Female Athlete Award, Teen Choice Awards, 2012
- Best Female Athlete, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), 2012
- Female Athlete of the Year, Associated Press, 2013
- Forbes The Celebrity 100, Forbes (No.56), 2013
- Best Female Athlete, ESPY Award, 2013
- Best Female Tennis Player, ESPY Award, 2013
- 1st Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star, Harris Poll, 2013
- Champion, US Open Series, 2013
- Player of the Year, WTA, 2013
- World Champion, ITF Women’s Singles, 2013
- Champion of Champions, L’Équip, 2013
- No 1 Impact 10, espnW, 2013
- Best Female Athlete, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), 2013
- Sportswoman of the Year, Gazzetta dello Sport, 2013
- Sportswoman of the Year, BET, 2014
- 100 Most Influential People, TIME Magazine, 2014
- The Celebrity 100 (No.69), Forbes, 2014
- Female Athlete Award, Teen Choice Awards, 2014
- Champion, US Open Series, 2014
- 1st Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star, Harris Poll, 2014
- Player of the Year, WTA, 2014
- Player of the Year, WTA ESPN Tennis, 2014
- World Champion, ITF Women’s Singles, 2014
- Best Female Athlete, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), 2014
Serena Williams Awards From 2015 – 2018
- Female Athlete of the Year, Associated Press, 2015
- Sportswoman of the Year, BET, 2015
- Best Female Tennis Player, ESPY Award, 2015
- WTA Player of the Year, ESPN Tennis, 2015
- Sportswoman of the Year, Woman’s Sports Foundation, 2015
- 1st Top 10 Favorite Female Sports Star, Harris Poll
- 4th on the Top 10 Athletes of All-Time, Harris Poll, 2015
- 1st Top 10 Greatest Tennis Player, Harris Poll, 2015
- Player of the Year, WTA, 2015
- Post of the Year, WTA Social Fan Favorite, 2015
- Aww of the Year, WTA Social Fan Favorite, 2015
- Womance of the Year with Caroline Wozniacki, WTA Social Fan Favorite, 2015
- World Champion, ITF Women’s Singles, 2015
- Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Illustrated, 2015
- Female Athlete of the Year, United States Sports Academy, 2015
- Champion of Champions, L’Équipe, 2015
- Best Female Athlete, International Sports Press Association (AIPS), 2015
- Queen of Swag, Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards, 2015
- Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus, 2016
- BET Sportswoman of the Year, BET, 2016
- Best Female Tennis Player ESPY Award, 2016
- 4th Fashionable 50 Athletes, Sports Illustrated, 2016
- WTA Best Dressed of the Year, WTA, (Wimbledon), 2016
- 4th Most Marketable Athletes in the U.S., Nielsen, 2016
- BET Sportswoman of the Year, BET, 2017
- Best Female Tennis Player, ESPY Award, 2017
- No. 1 Most Marketable Athletes in the U.S., Nielsen, 2017
- Best Female Athlete International Sports Press Association (AIPS), 2017
- Sportswoman of the Year, Laureus World, 2018
- Female Athlete of the Year, Associated Press, 2018
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Serena Williams Quotes
“Having a pulmonary embolism is definitely easier than heart break.”
“Family’s first, and that’s what matters most. We realize that our love goes deeper than the tennis game.”
“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life – got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile things will work out.”
“Hopefully, we can build a rivalry and we’ll be able to do this a lot. Make a legacy, then retire champions.”
“Everyone’s dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard.”
“I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.”
“I think in life you should work on yourself until the day you die.”
“I just never give up. I fight to the end. You can’t go out and say, ‘I want a bag of never-say-die spirit.’ It’s not for sale. It has to be innate.”
“Growing up I wasn’t the richest, but I had a rich family in spirit. Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen. I went on a court just with a ball and a racket and with a hope.”
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.”
“Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.”
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