Serena Williams: Early life, career, age, husband and records of the tennis superstar

Serena Williams is a professional tennis player from the United States and a former world number one in women’s singles.

Source: Getty Images

Early life

Source: Wikipedia

Serena Jameka Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan on September 26, 1981, to Oracene Price and Richard Williams. Serena and her sister, Venus, were homeschooled by their father.

Williams and her family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach, Florida, when she was nine years old, so she could attend Rick Macci’s tennis academy. Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Williams was 10 years old because he wanted them to take it slowly and focus on their studies.

Williams had a 46–3 record on the  United States Tennis Association junior tour at the time, and she was ranked first among under-10 players in Florida.

Career overview

Photo by David Gray

Williams is widely regarded as one of the all-time great female tennis players. Williams has won the most Grand Slam singles titles of any player in the Open Era and the second-most of all time, trailing behind Margaret Court (24). Between 2002 and 2017, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her world No. 1 in singles eight times.

Williams has 14 Grand Slam doubles titles to her name, all with her sister Venus, and the pair is unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals. She is the only male or female tennis player to have won a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles.

In 2021, she was ranked 28th on Forbes’ list of the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes.


Professional Career


Source: USA Today

William competed in her first professional event in October 1995, at the Bell Challenge in Quebec, where she used a wild-card entry to avoid age restrictions. She was defeated in the first round of qualifying by then-18-year-old American Annie Miller, and won only two games.

Williams did not compete in any tournaments in 1996. She lost in the qualifying rounds of three tournaments the following year before winning her first main-draw match in November at the Ameritech Cup Chicago. She defeated No. 7 Mary Pierce and No. 4 Monica Seles while ranked No. 304, becoming the lowest-ranked player in the Open Era to defeat two top-10 opponents in a single tournament.


Source: USA Today

Sandrine Testud defeated Williams in the third round of the 1999 Australian Open. Williams won her first professional singles title a month later, when she defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the final of the Open Gaz de France in Paris. Venus also won the IGA Superthrift Classic in Memphis, Tennessee on the same day, making the sisters the first sisters to win professional tournaments in the same week.

Williams won her first Tier I title in March of that year at the Evert Cup in California, defeating Steffi Graf in the final. Soon after, at the Miami Masters, Williams’ 16-match winning streak was broken by her sister in the first all-sister singles final in WTA history, and she entered the top-10 for the first time, at No. 9.

She then defeated Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters, Conchita Martnez, Monica Seles, and defending champion Lindsay Davenport to reach the US Open final, where she defeated No. 1 Hingis to become the second African-American woman to win a Grand Slam singles tournament, following Althea Gibson in 1958.

Williams won the Wimbledon Championships for the first time in her career in 2002, defeating Venus to win a Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set for the first time in her career. This victory propelled Williams to the top of the world rankings for the first time, dethroning her sister and making her only the third African American woman to hold that position.

Williams finished 2002 with a W/L record of 56–5, eight singles titles, and the number one ranking. She was the first African-American to end a year ranked number one since Althea Gibson in 1958, and she was the first woman since Hingis in 1997 to win three Grand Slam tournament titles in a single year.

Notable Matches

Serena vs. Venus

Source: Hurriyet Daily News

Since 1998, Williams competed in 31 professional matches against her older sister Venus. Serena has a 19–12 record against her sister. Serena has faced Venus in Grand Slam singles 15 times and in other tournaments 13 times (including 11 finals).

Serena has defeated her rival in seven Grand Slam tournament finals. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they faced off in four consecutive Grand Slam finals, marking the first time in the Open Era that the same two players competed in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals.

Williams vs. Azarenka

Source: WTA

Their rivalry dates back to the 2008 Australian Open, and their most recent meeting was in the 2020 US Open semifinals. Williams has a Grand Slam record of 10–1. Victoria Azarenka is the only person in WTA Tour history to have won four WTA Tour finals against Williams. While Williams’ rivalry is heavily favoured, their matches are known for their fierce competitiveness.

Williams vs. Sharapova

Source: Getty Images

Williams first met Sharapova in the fourth round of the 2004 Miami Open, where she defeated her 6–4, 6–3 victory. Their rivalry began in the 2004 Wimbledon final, when Sharapova defeated Williams, the two-time defending champion, 6–1, 6–4. Williams then lost in the finals of the 2004 WTA Tour Championships to Sharapova, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6.

They met 10 times in Grand Slam tournaments, with Williams leading 9–1, and they also met in 9 finals, with Williams leading 7–2. Sharapova retired in February 2020, with their final match taking place in the first round of the 2019 US Open, in which Williams defeated Sharapova 6–1, 6–1.

Personal life

Source: Tennis World USA

Serena Williams is married to Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit. Williams gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in September 2017, and she is affectionately known as “Olympia.”

Full NameSerena Jameka Williams
Birth PlaceSaginaw, Michigan, United States
Date Of Birth26 September 1981
Height175 cm
Weight101 lbs
SpouseAlexis Ohanian
ChildrenAlexis Olympia Ohanian Jr
Net Worth$225 million

Read more: Maria Sharapova net worth: How much does the Russian tennis player earn and where does she invest?

Add Comment