Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is a professional American tennis player. The Women's Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002, and regained this ranking for the fifth time on November 2, 2009. She is the only female player to have won over $40 million in prize money.
Already regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, her 30 Grand Slam titles ties her for eighth on the all-time list: 15 in singles, 13 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously ('02–'03) and only the fifth woman ever to do so. Her total of 15 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list, and fourth in the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each). Among active players, male or female, she holds the most Major titles amid singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. She won her 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams and the pair is unbeaten in Grand Slam finals. Serena Williams is also a three time winner of the WTA Tour Championships
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women's singles and three in women's doubles. ==Early life== Serena Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. She is of African American heritage and is the youngest of Price's five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde (1972–2003), Lyndrea and Isha Price, and full sister Venus. When the children were young, the family moved to Compton, California, where Serena started playing tennis at the age of five. Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister Venus and to this day, Serena Williams was and remains coached by both her parents.
Williams' family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach when she was nine so that she could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci, who would provide additional coaching. Macci spotted the exceptional talents of the sisters. He did not always agree with Williams' father, but respected that "he treated his daughters like kids, allowed them to be little girls". Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Williams was 10, since he wanted them to take it slow and focus on school work. Another motivation was racial, as he had allegedly heard parents of white players talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments. At that time, Williams had a 46–3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked No. 1 among under-10 players in Florida. In 1995, when Serena was in the ninth grade, Richard pulled his daughters out of Macci's academy, and from then on took over all coaching at their home. When asked in 2000 whether having followed the normal path of playing regularly on the junior circuit would have been beneficial, Williams responded: "Everyone does different things. I think for Venus and I, we just tried a different road, and it worked for us."
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“The Catholic Church has never really come to terms with women. What I object to is being treated either as Madonnas or Mary Magdalenes.”
—Shirley Williams (b. 1930)