Serena Williams

Her journey to becoming a top tennis player

The Upbringing of Serena Williams

Serena Williams was born on the 26th of September in the year 1981. Her father, Richard Williams, was formerly a sharecropper in Louisiana. Determined to see Serena and her sister Venus, his two youngest daughters, succeed, Richard used what he had gleaned from tennis books to train his daughters. He began Serena's daily two hour training when she was three on a court not far from their Compton, California house. Their move to Compton was a way for Richard to show his daughters the ugly possibilities their life could hold if "they did not work hard and get an education". Serena grew up playing on courts that were sub par. She was 46-3 by 1991 on the junior United States Tennis Association and she ranked first in the 10-and-under division. Sensing that his daughters would need better training to make it professionally, Richard moved the family once again, only this time they went down to Florida.

The Journey to Becoming a Tennis Star

Serena Williams's path to becoming pretty much a tennis legend wasn't easy. A poor black girl trying to play a sport predominantly played by the rich and white was met with a lot of resistance; however, that resistance didn't last and it's hard to imagine what the world of tennis would be like without Serena and her sister Venus. In 1995 Serena turned Pro, and almost immediately after graduating high school, she was able to get a $12 million dollar shoe deal with Puma. Serena was the first in her family to win a U.S. Open title. She had her share of downs as well, ranging from medical problems to an outburst that resulted in a total of $92, 500 in fines. Serena has won numerous titles as well as a number of gold medals in both singles and doubles at the Olympics.

Serena's Impact on Society

Serena, and her sister Venus, changed tennis when they appeared on the scene. Serena has even said "Being African-American, and playing successful tennis and winning Grand Slams, that hadn't been done in a long time”. Serena and her sister also go around with Breaking the Mould to teach tennis to younger girls and to try and spread an inspiring message. She has even been named one of the top athletes gone good. The addition of both Serena and her sister have paved the way for more African-American athletes to join the sport of tennis. Their addition helped to boost the diversity of women's tennis. The Williams sisters helped to turn a sport that seemed to be played by only the rich and white into a competitive sport for people of any background and economic status.