Serena Williams is most known for her time on the tennis court. She started playing at the early age of three. Right alongside her sister, she practiced several days a week with her father, who was also a pro tennis player.
The difference between Serena and other tennis players is the amount of work she puts into every single project she does off the court. Many athletes strictly focus on their sport—being fit and prepared to fight or play in a game. But Serena makes sure she is always ready as well as doing other things on the side, such as acting and creating clothing and nail lines. The best part about it is that she can do all this and still show ‘em how it’s done on the tennis court—being that she stayed number one on the WTA list for 250 weeks.
Nowadays, Serena is working to juggle a relatively new marriage as well as a new little one, who she welcomed into the world in September of 2017. Since then, she has been back on the court for some time, and she is determined to show her little girl how successful she can be. Her goal is to make her little one proud—always.
20 She Won 21 Grand Slam Tournaments
She won her first major in 1999 when she was just 17 years old. Although this was her first win, she got a call of congratulations from the nation’s leader at the time.
In 2002, Serena won three opens—one of which she defeated her sister to win.
Starting with 2012, the Tennis goddess won a major four years in a row, sometimes winning more than one in those years. Her last was the 2015 Wimbledon major, as reported by ESPN. Each win comes with a picture of celebration that could make anybody smile. Regardless of what she does now, she will always be a 21-time champ!
19 She’s Been Playing Tennis Since The Age Of Three
Some children grow up with a dream of what they want to do in life. Serena and her sister Venus didn’t wake up wanting to play tennis, but they practiced so much that eventually it just became a part of their everyday lives.
Venus started playing at the age of four while Serena was only three. They practiced about 6 hours a day 5-6 days a week, and this is what made them the tennis stars they are today.
These girls spent a lot of time on the court, but this didn't mean there was no time for other interests, according to Hello Magazine.
18 She’s originally From Michigan, but then they moved to Compton
Serena is originally from Michigan, but early on in her life, the entire family moved.
As reported by Notable Biographies, the Williams girls had a rough childhood in Compton; they became witness to quite a few illegal acts.
Although the city of Compton had its stigma, it will never forget that the legacies of the star tennis players Serena and sister Venus Williams are products of their city. According to CNN, a fellow citizen of Compton fondly remembers many interactions with the girls. They would stop by his stoop for water and something off the grill on their way back from tennis practice.
17 She Often Plays Against Her Sister
Both Serena and her sister Venus are pro tennis players who do a lot of winning on the court.
The two have faced each other in what is about to be their 30th match.
They have come face-to-face in 16 majors so far. Serena holds a few wins over her sister as well; she has three Open wins and six set wins while her sister only has two and five. Although she may have more wins over her sis, Venus has been around longer and has a more significant number of matches competed in altogether, according to US Open.
16 How Long Was She Ranked Number 1?
Each week there is a new list of the top tennis players within the Women’s Tennis Association, and for the last 250 weeks, Serena Williams was number one.
According to WTA Tennis, Williams admitted that she is feeling so much better—physically and mentally—when it comes to competing. She understands how important it is to be sure she is well-prepared for even the most straightforward match she competes in. Her sister has barely made it,—ranking at 11 weeks in a row at number one—and there are only three people with longer running ranks than her as of this year.
15 She met her husband in Rome
Some people pick a country to love based on its looks, or a vacation, or maybe what the city is all about. Williams has a whole different reason for her love of Rome, and that is finding the love of her life.
Williams first came across now husband, Alexis Ohanian in Rome and told him to “go away” the first time they talked.
According to Business Insider, the pair met at Hotel Cavalieri Hilton in Rome when the two sat near each other while dining. Eventually, Alexis was asked to join Williams’ table, and the rest of their love story is history.
14 She Learned Everything From Her Father
It has been made known on several occasions that Serena Williams learned everything she knows about tennis from her dad. Not only did he share an interest in tennis with his daughters, but he also became their coach. Her father wasn’t one of those dads just trying to be cool either; he knew what he was doing, which was evident after his induction into the American Tennis Association Hall of Fame, according to Heavy. He took his daughters to public courts since the early ages of three and four and taught them both everything he knew. To this day, he remains Serena’s biggest fan!
13 Bringing Home The Gold—Four Times Over
Serena Williams is known currently as the “Golden Girl,” of tennis.
She has won four different medals—the first being at just 17 years old alongside her older sister in Sydney, Australia.
Her second came only eight years later in Beijing, and she finally went on to win two different gold medals in 2012—one from singles competition and one for doubles. According to ESPN, Williams beat Maria Sharapova in Wimbledon to obtain one of her last gold medals. After the games, Williams revealed that this had been one of the best tournaments she ever competed in and that she loved every second of it.
12 The Serena Williams Fund
Not everyone gets a chance in life to put together an organization that works to help those in need. Serena Williams may be a busy bee between the tennis court, being a mom and working other jobs, but she had plenty of time to put together an amazing establishment called the Serena Williams Fund. Her goal in life is to be sure that kids everywhere get the education they need no matter how wealthy they are or the color of their skin.
After helping to build a school in Uganda, she did her best to make it so that each school had a 50-50 ratio of both males and females.
Williams wants everyone to get equal opportunity to get the education they deserve, according to CrunchBase.
11 She Loves Tigers?
Does Serena love tigers... or is this code for her friendship with Tiger Woods? It’s a little bit of both probably, according to the NY Times.
The two were close at one time when both lived in Florida, and from then on they often supported each other during tournaments.
They bonded over the fact that they both had a rough year physically in 2018. Woods was recovering from a back injury while Williams was giving birth and getting used to being a new mom alongside working on getting back into shape. Once they were both back in action, they fed off of each others’ success!
10 She Can Speak French
In this day and age, it is necessary to know more than one language. Many celebs are fluent in more than one language, and Serena Williams is no exception. Back in 2014, she was having a press conference before her French open. Most of the meeting was in English, but near the end, she was asked if she could answer a question in the native tongue. According to USA Today, she proceeded to respond to the reporter in French, letting it easily roll off her tongue. It was this that fans the understanding that Williams can fluently speak French and English.
9 She Built A School In Uganda
Not many people can say that they helped build a school, especially one in Uganda.
She put together The Serena Williams Fund and this organization got together with Helping Hands Jamaica to build an entire school in the African nation.
Williams posted multiple pictures and videos of her hard work while hammering nails into wood as well as cleaning up around the property. This isn’t the only school her organization helped fund either; there were schools built in Kenya as well, according to Global Citizen.
8 She Wrote A Book!
In 2009, Serena picked up one more specialty when she took the time to publish her first book. Simon & Schuster published My Life: Queen of the Court, which detailed the beginning of her life on the court and through each of her gold medals up until present day. Her first book did so well that she decided to publish the second one in the same year. This one was called, On The Line, according to Goodreads. This novel went all the way back to the beginning of her tennis career on the courts with her dad when she was just three years old. It’s important to document your life at all times, and Serena Williams did just that with her books. You never know who you’ll turn out to be.
7 She's Also An Actress
According to IMDb, tennis isn’t the only thing Serena Williams succeeds in. She has appeared in TV shows such as The Game, The Legend of Korra, Drop Dead Diva, ER, The Bernie Mac Show and many more. Not only has she worked on TV quite often, a few movies were graced with her presence as well, like Pixels. It’s crucial as a public figure to showcase all talents and Williams does just that. She plays tennis, acts, builds schools, and even speaks more than one language. She lives up to her family’s name very well.
6 She's A Colorful Character
Not only is Serena Williams known for her amazing skills on the tennis court, but also for the colorful outfits she rocks at the same time. Athletes are usually so focused on their sport of choice and becoming top dog that they don’t have time for much of anything else. But Serena wants to be sure that her feminism shines through even when she is kicking it on the court. To do this, she makes sure each match involves her in a never-before-seen outfit. According to USA Today, Serena showed up to Grand Slam Tennis recently in a black catsuit covering her entire body. She is always looking to make an impression on her fans.
5 She's A Certified Nail Technician
Just when we thought there wasn’t anything else the great Serena Williams could do, Nails Magazine revealed that she had become a nail technician. She did this specifically to go along with her new nail collection. After one of her Australian Opens, Williams enrolled in a nail tech class and did her 240 hours which allowed her to become certified. She proved to be a good student, reporting to Nails Magazine that she was exceptionally prepared for class with all her supplies, notebooks, a backpack and anything else she would need for school. She admitted that being a nail technician was exciting and she was very excited to learn.
4 No Shortage Of Endorsements
Fortunately, athletes make a lot of money, but sports don’t usually last all year long, and so there is always off time. During this off time, the majority of them work on many endorsements to keep the money coming in. For Serena Williams, she works with companies such as Nike, Intel, Gatorade, Wilson Sporting Goods, Beats Electronics, and Chase. Her fans can see her on advertisements, commercials and many other endorsements when she isn’t working up a sweat on the tennis court, according to Forbes Magazine. Williams takes her endorsements seriously and is 100% dedicated to each one individually; her name isn’t famous for nothing.
3 She Loves Maya Angelou
Most athletes are more into their health and working out than reading and becoming more educated in subjects that interest them. It may be hard to believe that those who focus solely on sports take the time to read, but Serena Williams loves to sink into a good book. One of her fave authors is poet, Maya Angelou. She enjoyed her poetry so much that she even recited one of her poems before the Wimbledon finals in 2016, according to The Undefeated. Williams read Still I Rise, which happens to be about an individual who continues to rise to the top despite anything in their way.
2 She Has A Clothing Line
Serena Williams never ceases to amaze us with the amount of work she does on and off the courts. In May of 2018, according to WWD, she released her clothing line! She wanted to do something that incorporated motherhood, the #MeToo movement and marriage all into one, and she did this with apparel. She tried to put clothes out there that everyone would feel comfortable wearing no matter what shape, size or age they happen to be. Williams reveals that she wants to be a motivation for other mothers, wives, and athletes out there and this is how she is going to do it.
1 She's Worth $130 Million
Serena Williams is reportedly worth a whole lot of money, according to Forbes Magazine. Her salary from the court racks up to $8 Million. With all of her endorsements, an additional $19 million is added in for a total of $27 million. This doesn’t even factor in all of her side jobs which include acting, her nail and clothing line, commercials and more. Serena Williams works hard all year long, and these days she has much more to work for being that she just brought a baby into the world with her husband. Motherhood proves to be tough, but even just a few months after giving birth Williams is back in charge on the tennis courts!
References: ESPN, US Open, WTA Tennis, CNN, Business Insider, NY Times, Hello Magazine, USA Today, Global Citizen, Heavy, Goodreads, IMDb, Nails Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The Undefeated, WWD, CrunchBase