Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis player ever to walk this Earth. Despite, being raised in poverty and facing several hardships throughout her life, she never gave up. Now after several years of hard work she has the most singles grand-slam titles for any woman and is tied for the most titles in any gender category. Serena is a role model to many. Even know as she continues to face medical problems, she remains determined playing tennis years after the average retirement age for a professional tennis player.
Serena Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan on September 26th, 1981. She was raised in Compton, California by Richard and Oracene Williams. She was raised among five sisters. Compton was a rough town and Richard Williams did not want his daughters to have to spend their lives in such a town. When her heard that professional tennis players were paid a lot, he decided to train all of his daughters to play tennis. Serena started her training at the age of 3. She became an outstanding athlete and she and Venus, on of her sisters, stood out like jewels from the rest.
When Serena was 8 years old her father entered her sister Venus into the USTA ten and under category. Serena also wanted to enter and begged her father to let her play. Richard and his wife Oracene had agreed that it would be catastrophic if the sisters played against each other and refused Serena time after time. After several fruitless attempts to persuade her father into letting her play, Serena decided to take matters into her own hands. She entered herself into the competition without telling anyone. Not even her sisters!
On the first game of the competition day, Venus was the main attraction of the event. This made it easy for Serena to sneak off and play her opposition. By the time her father released what she was doing, she was halfway through her match and it was too late to pull her off the court. He decided to settle in and watch her play. Serena was a strong player for her age and after making her opponent run for the balls she hit, she won the match easily. Serena and Venus kept on winning matches after matches until finally there were two players left. Venus beat Serena as she had more experience than her. During the trophy presentation Serena saw Venus’s golden trophy. She had a want for the trophy in her sister’s hands. Venus, seeing the longing in Serena’s eyes, exchanged trophies with her; an act of pure love.
Serena continued to have success after success until finally her father had given her all the tricks and tools that he had for tennis. It was time that Serena had a professional trainer. They moved to Florida where Serena was trained by a man named Rick Macci. Serena had hardly trained with Macci for a few years before her father withdrew her from Macci’s academy. No one knows why he did but there are rumors that they had disputes about how involved Richard should be in Serena’s training. Thereafter Serena’s father continued to be her coach.
Serena eventually continued to become a pro. Even though she was a pro she still hadn’t won a grand slam no matter how many she played in. She continued to play in grand slam after grand slam but still had no luck. It was 1999. After being defeated in the Australian Open she set her sights on the last grand slam of the year: the US Open. Battling through every match she one every single one of her preliminary matches. She defeat all her opponents and it was finally time for the finals. She would be playing against Martina Hingis at the time number 1 in the world. She defeated Martina in the first set 6-3. Then they tied the second set 6-6. Serena won the tiebreaker 7-4. Serena Williams had one her first grand slam title! It was the first of the 20 that would follow. It was her first step to becoming one of the greatest tennis players to ever walk this planet.
Everything had been going well for Serena after winning her first grand slam. She was in Indian Wells and in the semifinals she would be playing her sister Venus. Venus, however had hurt her ankle and would not be able to play. Their father delayed this announcement until the last minute. As the officials announced that Venus would not be playing the spectators were enraged. They had paid a lot of money to see the prime players in action. Venus’s withdrawal fueled the rumor that Richard fixed his daughter’s matches. This meant that Richard made sure a certain daughter won a certain match. Serena advanced to the finals. She lost due to pressure from the crowd’s jeering and boos. After this day she would boycott Indian Wells for 14 years.
A little while after Indian Wells Serena received a call from her mother. Serena’s sister Yetunde had not been answering Oracene’s calls for a while and Oracene was concerned. Serena consoled her mother and assured her that everything was fine. Everything, however, was far from fine. Yetunde Price had been shot and killed on September 14th, 2003. A gang member had been targeting her boyfriend, a member of a rival gang, but Yetunde became the victim instead. Serena stayed away from tennis for a while using her knee injury as an excuse but later confessed that she “didn’t think that I [she] was emotionally strong enough.”
After being a successful player for a while, Serena had a few medical problems. She had been on top of her game, but was banned from the grand slams for losing her temper on the court. She was looking forward to be able to play again but in early July, she was exiting a restaurant when she stepped on several shards of glass. She severely injured her foot and was not able to play tennis for a very long time. Later on February 27th, 2011, she was attending a party when she started to have difficulty breathing. Doctors discovered that she had a pulmonary embolism and also discovered a hematoma near her abdomen.
After recovering from her medical injuries Serena suffered many losses. After she won Wimbledon however, something happened. Serena just started winning, winning, and winning! It was a great year for her. Her highlight of the year, however, was not followed by a victory, but was followed by a loss! After losing the Qatar Open she was promoted to world rank #1. Serena Williams was now the best tennis player in the world!
Serena Williams serves as an example to us all. She is a determined person with a good heart. After undergoing many hardships and suffering many emotional blows, she kept going. She is an inspiration to young athletes all around the world. Serena defeated injury, personal losses, criticism, and racial prejudice to be the best. She always stayed positive and believed in herself. She knew she could do it. She just had to find the right key to unlock that door. She is a family person and draws much of her strength from the love of the people closest to her; because in the end, as Serena once said, “Tennis is just a game. Family is forever.”