Saturday, July 5, 2008

Serena Williams Biography

AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.Beginning in the late 1990s, Serena Williams became one of the world’s most talented and exciting tennis players. With her outgoing personality, unique fashion sense, and striking good looks, Williams would have commanded attention even if she hadn’t been a topranked professional player. But her skills on the court happen to be extraordinary, the result of years of training, natural ability, and a powerful determination to win. Williams has gained additional attention as an African American athlete in a sport generally dominated by white players. Her 1999 singles victory at the U.S. Open made her only the second black woman ever to win a Grand Slam title; Althea Gibson (1927–2003) was the first. The Grand Slam tournaments—the Australian Open, Roland Garros (better known as the French Open), Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open—are among the game’s most visible and significant events for pros.

By Williams’s side—and often across the net—has been her older sister, Venus, an equally commanding player. Both sisters spent several years at the top of the world tennis rankings, each reaching the number-one position in 2002. As of the summer of 2004, Serena Williams had won six singles titles in Grand Slam events as well as numerous doubles titles, including a gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. An ambitious, multitalented person, Williams has also, since 2002, explored acting, appearing in several television episodes and pursuing film roles as well. In addition, she has, along with her sister, studied fashion design.


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