Serena Williams

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981)  is an American professional tennis player. The Women’s Tennis Association(WTA) has ranked her world no. 1 in singles on eight occasions, from 2002 to 2017. She became the world no. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002. On the sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf for the most consecutive weeks as world no. 1 by a female tennis player. In total, she has been world no. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks her third in the Open Era among female tennis players. Some commentators, players and sports writers regard her as the greatest female tennis player of all time. On 19 April 2017, she announced a hiatus from tennis until 2018 because of her pregnancy.

Williams holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined amongst active players. Her record of 39 Grand Slam titles puts her third on the all-time list and second in the open era: 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent female player to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously (2002–03 and 2014–15) and the third player to achieve this record twice after Rod Laver and Steffi Graf. She is also, together with her sister Venus, the most recent player to have held all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles simultaneously (2009–10).

Her total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles marks the record for the most Grand Slam wins by a tennis player in the Open Era, and is second on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24). She is the only tennis player in history (man or woman) to have won singles titles at least six times in three of the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the only player ever to have won two of the four Grand Slams seven times each (seven Wimbledon titles and seven Australian Open titles). She is also the only tennis player to have won 10 Grand Slam singles titles in two separate decades. She has won an all-time record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hardcourt. Williams holds the Open Era record for most titles won at the Australian Open (7) and shares the Open Era record for most titles won at the US Open with Chris Evert (6). She also holds the all-time record for the most singles matches won at the Grand Slams (man or woman) with 316 matches, tied with Roger Federer.

She has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus, and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals. As a team, she and Venus have the third most women’s doubles grand slam titles, behind the 18 titles of Natasha Zvereva (14 with Gigi Fernández) and the record 20 titles won by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver. Williams is also a five-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships in the singles division. Serena has also won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles—an all-time record shared with her sister, Venus. The arrival of the Williams sisters has been credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour. Williams was the highest paid female athlete in 2016, earning $28.9 million in prize money and endorsements. She repeated this feat in 2017 when she was the only woman on Forbes‘ list of the 100 highest paid athletes. She has won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award three times (2003, 2010, 2016), and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.

Playing style

Williams is primarily a baseline player and her game is built around taking immediate control of rallies with her powerful and consistent serve, return of serve, and forceful groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand swings. Williams’ forehand is considered to be among the most powerful shots in the women’s game, as is her double-handed backhand. Williams strikes her backhand groundstroke using an open stance, and uses the same open stance for her forehand. Williams’ aggressive play, a “high risk” style, is balanced in part by her serve, which most say is the greatest in women’s tennis history.  She consistently projects great pace and placement with her serves and in the 2013 Australian Open, she had a peak serve speed of 128.6 mph (207.0 km/h) which is the third fastest all-time among female players (only Venus’s 129 mph  and Sabine Lisicki‘s 131 mph  recorded speeds are faster). What makes her serve even more deadly is her ball placement and her ability to consistently place powerful shots with great accuracy. At the 2012 Championships at Wimbledon, she hit a women’s tournament record of 102 aces which was more than any of the men hit during the two weeks. Williams also possesses a very solid and powerful overhead. Although many think of Williams as only an offensive player,[who?] she also plays a strong defensive game. She has stated that her favorite surface is clay because it gives her extra time to set up her shots.

Williams is known for producing exceptional comebacks, particularly on the Grand Slam level. She has won three Grand Slam singles titles after saving match points, (2003 Australian Open versus Kim Clijsters, 2005 Australian Open versus Maria Sharapova, and 2009 Wimbledon versus Elena Dementieva), more than any other player in history.  She also came back from a 3–5 deficit in the third set against Kim Clijsters in the 1999 US Open and went on to win her first Grand Slam singles title. In the 2012 US Open final against Victoria Azarenka, she was down 3–5 in the third set and found herself two points away from losing the match. Williams then proceeded to win the next 4 games and defeated Azarenka. In the semi-finals of the 2015 French Open, Williams was ill and barely able to walk during changeovers, yet beat her opponent, Timea Bacsinszky, 6–0 in the third set.[50] Another improbable win occurred in the third round of the 2015 Wimbledon Championships, when she recovered from two breaks of service in the third set to defeat Great Britain’s number-one female player, Heather Watson.[51] Williams has bounced back from a set down to win in 37 Grand Slam matches.

In recent years, Williams has shown an ability to serve aces at critical moments. One of these instances was the 2013 French Open final, where in the last game of the match, she fired three aces, including one which clocked at 123 mph (198 km/h) on match point. She repeated the feat similarly against Angelique Kerber in the finals of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships to tie the Open Era record for Grand Slam singles titles. Williams fired three un-returnable serves in her final service game before winning the match and the title with a casual forehand volley on the next point.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Publisher’s Notes

Serena Williams broke tennis record having won more glam slam in women tennis in the modern era. Spring well wishes her the best in her new status as she had taken time off to be a mother. Serena has been an inspiration to African youths, especially tennis players and enthusiasts who would love to see her play some interventionist role in Africa . Black Africa has identified with her and has been with her as she strove to break the barriers in world tennis.

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