When you hear the name Serena Williams, what comes to mind is tennis, champion, or even her sister, Venus Williams. But Serena is more than just a great athlete- she is a role model to young girls and women everywhere.
Serena started playing tennis at just the age of three. THREE! From then on, she and her sister were put in tennis academies to better their skills and to compete in matches. Serena’s first professional tennis match was in 1995 when she was just 14. Unfortunately she didn’t win the match, nor won any in the next couple of years, but she didn’t let that stop her. She kept practicing and kept competing to better improve herself and for the love of the game. With this perseverance, Serena earned her first professional singles title in 1999 when she defeated Amélie Mauresmo in the final of the Open Gaz de France. Now, at the age of 35, she has earned 23 out of 29 Grand Slam singles title, all 14 of the women’s doubles competitions with her partner and sister, Venus, and is 2 for 2 in mixed doubles.
Not only is Williams dominating on the court, but she is also dominating off the court with her philanthropic mission, inspirational clothing line, and her heartwarming relationship she has with her sister, Venus.
- Since 2011, Serena has been the UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador
- In 2012 she helped launch UNICEF’s Schools for Asia Campaign. This campaign is to help minorities in Asia and the Pacific get and keep young children in a safe, environmentally friendly school. Education played an important part in Serena’s life and she wants to make sure others can get access to education in a positive atmosphere as well
- She created the Serena Williams Foundation/Fund to help youth whose parents and families have been affected by violent crimes, and also to assist underprivileged youth around the world in receiving an education by providing grants and scholarships.
- She also helps provides college scholarships to students in the U.S.
- She partnered with Build Africa Schools and Hewlett Packard to create the Serena Williams Secondary School in Kenya.
Not only does Serena tends to wear eye-popping tennis outfits when she’s on the court or just warming up before a match; she also contributes to the world of fashion with creations and collaborations!
- She has a special line with Puma
- In April 2004, she signed a deal for a line with Nike.
- She has her own line of designer apparel called “Aneres” (her first name spelled backwards).
- She has a Signature Statement collection of handbags and jewelry sold on the Home Shopping Network.
- In 2010 she became a certified nail technician to prepare for her upcoming nail collection with HairTech.
- In 2015 she was the first black female athlete to have a picture by herself on the cover of Vogue.
- She has presented her HSN Signature Statement Collection in the 2015 and 2016 NY Fashion Week.
SISTERHOOD AND FAMILY
But none of what she does wouldn’t even be possible or exist if it wasn’t for her loving older sister, Venus. They support each other even through their sibling-rivalry on the court. Just recently they played against each other once again in the 2017 Australian Open Grand Slam Singles Tournament and once again Serena came out the winner. Instead of being angry and jealous or bragging about the win.
Although, her career hasn’t always been a smooth one, as she was plagued with injuries, Serena continues to put herself back on the court and play. Serena Williams is an amazing example of how practice, selflessness, motivation, and determination go a long way.
Can’t get enough of Serena? Read up more on her website!
(Feature photo courtesy of Fader Magazine)