via ABC News
Serena Williams is a professional American tennis player. She is the second African American to win a Grand Slam single title, and third African American to be a part of the top 10 rankings for singles. Born in Saginaw, Michigan, Serena William’s interest in tennis started when she was only three years of age. Her father had loved tennis, so he was Serena and her older sister’s coach. At first, most people only knew about Serena’s older sister, Venus. However, when they looked more closely, Serena was actually not much worse than Venus. Soon, the sisters started competing for the ultimate goal on who would get the Grand Slam single title first in their family.
In 1991, Serena Williams won first place on the junior United States Tennis Association tour in the 10 and under division. Because their father wanted his kids to have a better education, he moved his family to Florida, where his father sought out professional coaches. However, as his kids advanced fastly, more and more derogatory statements were directed toward them for being an African American, so their father quit their classes for tennis and began to coach tennis for Serena and Venus himself again.
From 1995 to 1998, Serena Williams went to many small and big tennis events. Though many times she failed to win, such as one of the games played at the Bell Challenge in the September of 1995 versing Annie -Miller, Serena Williams still never gave up on her career. The following year after that, Serena Williams was ranked No. 304 in the United States tennis association women’s singles. However, with great determination, she won against Mary Pierce and Monica Sales, which were both ranked in the Top ten women tennis players. In 1998, Serena Williams played against many international champions, which resulted in her new ranking by the end of the year- No. 96 in women singles.
Throughout the years 1999 to 2001, Serena William’s main goal was to get to the top 10 players. She won her very first professional singles title in 1999 when she won against Amelie Mauresmo. During this year, Serena and her sister Venus played in many tournaments, and became the first sisters to win professional tennis tournaments in the same week. As she slowly approached all of the tournaments, Serena had a 16- match winning streak, only to lose in the quarterfinals. With many wins and losses, Serena Williams managed to rank No. 4 by the end of 1999. As the next few years came by, her world rank slowly went down to No. 6, due to an injury which forced her to stop playing until 2002. During this year, Serena Williams made many accomplishments, of those includes that she defeated her sister, Venus, a second time. She then competed at Eurocard German Open, though losing, and won her first clay court title at the Italian Open, which brought Serena Williams to her new ranking- No. 2.
Though her ranking never did falter, she suffered a lot in 2008, which brought her ranking to a 139. In 2003, she went through a knee surgery, and her half sister, Yetunde Price was murdered in Los Angeles. Many times after in the following years, she was targeted for threatening other players, and was fined a $10,000. Serena also had to go through health care because her doctors had found a blood clot in her lungs. Even with all the misfortunes that continuously happened to her, she still managed to get put them aside and win 20 Grand Slam titles, and many gold Olympic medals in the end. Erika L., a 7th grade Kraemer Middle school student states, “Serena Williams really did suffer a lot. But even with that, she still won many medals. “