Mar 17, 2015 03:09 AM EDT
American professional tennis player Serena Williams is a worldwide sensation after having won over 30 Grand Slam titles and several Olympic gold medals. Here are 50 interesting facts about this tennis queen.
Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan.
She is fifteen months younger than sister and tennis pro Venus Williams.
Serena was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard and Oracene Williams (now divorced).
Serena is the youngest of five girls, Serena grew up with Venus and older sisters Lyndrea, Isha & Yetunde.
She began playing tennis at age 5 at public courts in Compton, California, where they remember having to duck gunfire. Despite this difficult beginning, though, their skills developed rapidly.
She and sister Venus Williams were steered towards tennis at a very early age. Both girls were home schooled to maximize the amount of time available for practice.
Serena is a Jehovah's Witness.
She is 5'9" tall.
She faced sister Venus in the final of the 1999 Lipton Championships, making it the first time since 1884 that two sisters had faced each other in the final of a pro event (Venus won).
That same year, she won the U.S. Open women's singles title and became the first black woman to win a Grand Slam professional tennis tournament since Althea Gibson in 1958.
Her scenes of her first movie Black Knight (2001) were cut.
Williams was once known for her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, there was much talk when she wore a Lane Bryant black lycra catsuit at the US Open.
Her oldest sister Yetunde Price was murdered in Los Angeles, California in the fall of 2003.
On 25 January 2003, she won the Australian Open tennis championship, completing the 'grand slam' of women's tennis. "The Serena Slam Completed" was ranked #10 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Most Awesome Sports Moments (of the last 15 years)".
At the 2004 US Open, Williams wore denim skirts and knee-high boots-tournament officials, however, did not allow her to wear the boots during matches.
She starred with Venus in the reality TV series Venus and Serena: For Real, which debuted in 2005.
Reestablished herself as the dominant force in women's tennis by winning the Australian Open for the 3rd time. Dominated the world's top ranked player Maria Sharapova in the final 6-1, 6-2 to win her 8th major championship title.
In 2009, Serena was fined and placed on probation for allegedly threatening a lineswoman, but she quickly moved past the incident.
Two months later, she was placed on two-year probation and ordered to pay another $82,500 to the Grand Slam committee for the episode and the largest punishment ever levied against a tennis player.
By 2009, Williams had released a new autobiography, Queen of the Court, and won her place back atop the world's rankings, winning both the 2009 Australian Open singles (for the fourth time) and Wimbledon 2009 singles (for the third time).
In early 2010, Williams became a certified nail technician in preparation for her upcoming nail collection with a company called HairTech.
In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Williams, along with other ATP and WTA stars decided to forgo their final day of preparation for the 2010 Australian Open to form a charity event in which all proceeds will go to the Haiti earthquake victims.
In 2011, Serena underwent an emergency treatment for a hematoma related to a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in her lungs.
That same year, she was appointed as a UNICEF international goodwill ambassador.
At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, she won two gold medals, in women's doubles and women's singles-her first singles gold medal.
After winning her fifth Wimbledon singles title in 2012, tennis great John McEnroe declared her the greatest female player of all time.
In July 2012, she appeared in the ABC comedy improv television series Trust Us With Your Life and as a lawyer on the Lifetime television series Drop Dead Diva.
In June 2013, Williams won her second French Open title against defending champion Maria Sharapova. She picked up another U.S. Open title that September.
In 2013 at age 31, Serena WIlliams became the oldest female tennis player to be ranked number 1since computer rankings began in 1975. This is the sixth time in her career to be ranked number one.
Her favorite author is Maya Angelou.
Her hobbies are watching movies and football, reading, acting, talking on the phone, spending time with family and friends.
Both Serena and Venus Williams appeared in the Simpsons episode Tennis the Menace.
Serena was a voice on the Playhouse Disney show Higglytown Heroes.
In 2007 Williams appeared in the music video of "I Want You" by the American rapper Common, alongside performers Alicia Keys and Kanye West.
She developed her own "Aneres" (her name spelled backwards) line of clothing.
Her favorite color is purple.
In 2009 she launched a signature collection of handbags and jewelry. The collection, called Signature Statement, is sold mainly on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).
She lives in Palm Beach, Florida with her sister, Venus Williams, and two dogs, Jackie (a Jack Russell terrier) and Lauralie (a Maltese). They became limited partners of the Miami Dolphins.
She appeared in an infomercial, hosted by Vanessa Williams, for "Proactiv Solution" acne medication.
Williams owns a small stake in the Miami Dolphins franchise. Other prominent owners include: Jimmy Buffett, Gloria and Emilio Estefan (the first Cuban-American owners), and Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez and Stephen Ross.
Her net worth is $130 million.
Serena Williams has been ranked number one in the world five times and has earned more prize money than any other female player in history. As of August 2013, Serena Williams has earned more than $66 million in career prize money, making her the highest earning female tennis player in history.
She earns $15-20 million per year outside of tennis endorsing companies like Nike and Kraft Foods.
She is currently ranked the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) number one in the world.
She has has won 64 career singles titles, 22 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. This includes 34 Grand Slam titles - 19 singles titles, 13 doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles.
The sisters released the book, "Venus and Serena Williams: Athletes" by Anne M. Todd.
Some of her favorite singers include Mariah Carey and Brandy.
She dated rapper Common and reportedly broke up with him. "It was kinda eventually a mutual thing, but she initiated it. It's OK though! We've got a great understanding, and I care about her as a person. ... Most of the women that I've dealt with, I care about, so we can keep that friendship. ... You still have that respect and have love for them and still want to see them do well," Common said during an interview on the Meredith Vieira Show.
As of June 2012, Mouratoglou is the current coach of Serena Williams.
The two have also been romantically linked with paparazzi photos of them vacationing together has surfaced. However, they have not confirmed or denied the relationship.
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