Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player. She has been ranked World No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association on four separate occasions. She has won 20 Grand Slam titles: 10 in singles, 8 in doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She has won two Olympic gold medals in women's doubles. She is the most recent female player to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously. She is also the only active female player to have won all four Grand Slam tournaments during her career (one French Open, two Wimbledon, four Australian and three U.S. Opens). She also has won more Grand Slams than any other active female player. Additionally, Williams has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. In 2005, Tennis Magazine ranked her as the 17th-best player in 40 years. +more
Williams is one of the most powerful baseliners on tour, equipped with an attacking all-court game. Her game is very well adapted to grass where she feels most comfortable, which is reflected in her Grand Slam results as she has five Wimbledon titles. Across her career, she has developed into a skillful volleyer and effectively utilizes her long 'wingspan' (1,85m) and agility around the net.
Already well-known in tennis circles at age 14, Williams turned professional on October 31, 1994. In the second round of her first professional tournament, the Bank of the West Classic in Oakland, Williams was up a set and a service break against top seed Arantxa Sánchez Vicario before losing the match. That was the only tournament Williams played in 1994.
Williams began to play regularly on the tour in 1997. She reached the quarterfinals of three Tier I events ? the State Farm Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California, the European Indoor Championships in Zürich, and the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. During her debut at the US Open, she lost in the final to Martina Hingis after defeating Irina Spîrlea in a semifinal famous for "the bump" in which Spîrlea and Williams collided during a changeover. Richard Williams, her father, later claimed that this incident was racially motivated.
Jul 4, 2009
Wins third Wimbledon title
In the fourth all-Williams final at Wimbledon, Serena beat her sister Venus 7-6 (3), 6-2 for her third Wimbledon title and 11th Grand Slam championship.
Jun 30, 2009
Wins fourth Australian Open title
Serena reached a series of milestones at the 2009 Australian Open where she defeated Dinara Safina in the final to win her tenth Grand Slam singles title, ranking her seventh on the list of most Grand Slam singles titles among female players. The win also moved her to the top of both the rankings and the list of career prize money leaders in women's sports.
Sep 7, 2008
Wins third U.S. Open
At the 2008 U.S. Open, Williams defeated Jelena Janković in the tournament final. The victory, her ninth career Grand Slam, also returned her to the top of the WTA rankings.
Jan 27, 2007
Wins third Australian Open title
Serena won her first title in two years when she defeated No. 1 ranked player Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2 to win the 2007 Australian Open. She was not considered a favorite at the Australian Open, unseeded because of her World No. 81 ranking and widely regarded as "out of shape." But nevertheless, she advanced to the final (defeating two seeded players en route). This win marked her third Australian Open singles title and her eighth Grand Slam singles title. Her performance in the final was described as "one of the best performances of her career" and as "arguably the most powerful display ever seen in women's tennis". Williams dedicated the victory to her deceased sister, Yetunde, whom she credited as inspiration for her win. Her ranking rose to World No. 14.
Jan 29, 2005
Wins second Australian Open
Serena, the seventh seed at the Australian Open, defeated top seed Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, to clinch the women's singles championship. The win moved Williams back to World No. 2, and she stated she was now targeting the number one spot.
Jul 5, 2003
Wins second Wimbledon title
Williams won her sixth Grand Slam singles title at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Henin in the semifinals and Venus in the final.
Jan 25, 2003
Wins first Australian Open title
Serena wins her fourth-straight major championship, defeating sister Venus at the Australian Open, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4. This marks only the sixth time a woman has held all four of tennis' major championship titles at the same time, and the first since Steffi Graf in 1994.
Sep 7, 2002
Wins second U.S. Open title
Serena easily handles Venus in the Finals of the U.S. Open, 6-4, 6-3. It is the third straight Grand Slam title for Serena -- defeating her sibling each time. It's also Serena's fourth straight win against Venus -- all in straight sets.
Jul 6, 2002
Wins first Wimbeldon title
Serena wins the third all-Williams Grand Slam final in 10 months, defeating Venus 7-6 (4), 6-3 to capture her first Wimbledon championship. It is the third major title for Serena, who has now won three straight matches against her older sister. "I wanted to win so bad," Serena says. "I kept thinking to myself, 'OK, Serena just stay calm. She already has two Wimbledons. Try to fight.' "
Jun 8, 2002
Wins first French Open title
Serena, as the third seed at the 2002 French Open, dropped just two sets en route to the final (including a victory over defending champion Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals), where she defeated sister Venus Williams in straight sets.
Sep 21, 2000
First Olympic gold medal
Serena wins her first Olympic gold medal, teaming with sister Venus to overpower the Dutch duo of Miriam Oremans and Kristie Boogert 6-1, 6-1 in just 50 minutes -- the most one-sided final in Olympic tennis history. The triumph comes as an early birthday present for Serena, who would turn 19 the following week. The sisters have now won three Grand Slam doubles titles together, but Serena says the Olympic gold "tops the list."
Oct 3, 1999
Defeats Venus for the first time
Serena defeats her sister for the first time, winning the Grand Slam Cup final in Munich, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
Sep 12, 1999
Wins first U.S. Open title
In the U.S. Open finals, Serena outthinks and outmuscles No. 1 Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-6 to win her first -- and the family's first -- Grand Slam singles title.
Jun 6, 1999
First grand slam doubles title
Serena and Venus defeat Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova at the French Open, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6, becoming the first sisters to pair up and win a doubles title in the 20th century.
Apr 5, 1999
Cracks top 10
Serena breaks into the top 10 for the first time, coming in at No. 9.
Mar 13, 1999
Wins the Evert Cup at Indian Wells
Serena wins the Evert Cup at Indian Wells, defeating Steffi Graf in the finals 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. "I'm tired of losing to people I should beat," Serena says. "Whatever my potential is, I want to reach it -- now. And if I do, I see Venus as my biggest competition."
Jun 1, 1998
Cracks top 20
Serena cracks the top 20 eight months after her pro debut by reaching the quarterfinals of the Direct Line Insurance Championships in Lastbourne. No player has ever risen so far so fast on the WTA Tour. Lastbourne also marks the first time Serena advances further than Venus in a tournament.
Nov 8, 1997
Defeats two top 10 opponents in same tournament
In her second WTA main-draw event, the Ameritech Cup in Chicago, No. 304 Serena upsets No. 7 Mary Pierce and No. 4 Monica Seles on her way to the semifinals. She is the lowest ranked player ever to defeat two top 10 players in the same tournament.
Oct 28, 1997
Makes pro debut
Williams makes her pro debut at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, losing in the first round to Kimberly Po, 6-3, 7-6.