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03.30.2009 · Posted in Recreation Articles

From being a timid suburban child in Saginaw, Michigan, Serena Jameka Williams became an outstanding tennis player that currently ranks as the world no.1 by the Women’s Tennis Association as of February 2, 2009. At 27, she holds the current titles of the US Open and Australian Open singles champion, has won 20 Grand Slam titles (10 singles, 8 women’s doubles, 2 mixed doubles) and is considered the most recent tennis player to have held all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously. With all her successes as an athlete, Serena has won more career prize than any other woman athlete in any sport. In the 2005 issue of the Tennis magazine, Serena Williams was named as the 17th best athlete of the preceding years. Along with her female tennis player sibling, Venus Williams, there is more to see for this woman in action. nnThe youngest of five children, her family moved to Los Angeles, where her father decided to begin coaching all of his children in tennis on the public courts in Compton. Serena and her sister Venus especially took to the game, with Serena willing her first tournament before the age of five! By the time she was ten, she had already won 46 tournaments.nnThe Williams children were all homeschooled; their father stopped sending his tennis playing daughters to national junior tournaments, fearing that they would have to deal with racism on the court. Instead, he sent Serena to Rick Macci’s tennis school in Florida, where she trained with Andy Roddick (who Williams actually defeated in a practice match).nnAll these years of training built Serena into an incredible player. While she is best known as a baseline player, her technique consists of taking control of the rallies and Williams is considered to be one of the more aggressive players in the sport. Her serve, return and ground strokes whether fore or backhand are known for their power. Her serves are known as among the best in tennis, winning admiration from players, sportscasters and fans at every match. She serves at a high speed, regularly meeting and even exceeding 120 mph (she broke a record with her serves of 127 and 129 mph at Charleston in 2008). Her return serve can overpower opponents; and she hits both topspin and flat serves on either corner of the service box.nnBesides her unsurpassable technique and skill on the court, she is well known for her personal style. It must run in the family, because the Williams family has founded a clothing line called Aneres. Williams has made many movie and television appearances, as well as having posed for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue in 2003. She has a number of lucrative endorsement contracts for various products and has formed a partnership with Nike to create custom sportswear. Outside of tennis and fashion, Williams actively participates in charity work, having funded the construction of a Kenyan secondary school and has won the Avon Foundation’s Celebrity Role Model Award for her help in raising money for breast cancer research.

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