Serena Williams from slum to legend

Zaki Othman

The story of the “legend” of women’s tennis, Serena Williams, has come to an end, after she said goodbye to her third round exit from the US Open. This is perhaps the most prominent headline in the world media during the last 72 hours, following the end of a 27-year career of brilliance for a star who has achieved many titles that are difficult to achieve in the short term in a sport considered by some to be “the hardest”.

Serena, who is one of the most prominent players in the history of tennis at the men’s and women’s level, has won 73 titles, including 23 Grand Slam titles, including 7 titles at Wimbledon, 7 in the Australian Open, 6 in the US Open and 3 titles in the French Championship. Roland Garros.” This is in addition to 4 Olympic medals and dozens of other championships. Thus, “African-American” became an icon in a sport dominated by white people with strong determination as the “energy” generated by his shots on the field, and to be the “Arthur Ashe” stadium , which was filled The audience who wanted to see Serena one last time, including a number of famous personalities, especially former US President Bill Clinton, film director Spike Lee and golfer Tiger Woods, witnessed the touching farewell of the star who bears her name “carved” with letters of “Noor”.

Serena, who moved from learning tennis on the public courts to a neighborhood dominated by gangs, to become the star of generations and perhaps the greatest player in history to a career full of titles. She and her sister Venus (who won seven major titles) were the executive producers of the movie “King Richard” (King) Richard), which tells the story of their father, Richard Williams, who taught them tennis while they were growing up. took place in the rough streets of Compton, California.

“I’m still just that racquet girl who dreams and I play for it,” says Serena, after winning the US Open in 2013.

And she was already living up to these dreams, crowning Wimbledon and the Australian Open 7 times, 3 titles at Roland Garros and six in the United States, and was one title away from tying the record for the major championships held by the Australian Margaret Court, and she won her first major title in New York in 1999 at the age of 17 and her last in 2017 in Australia when she was pregnant with her daughter Olympia, where she was bedridden 6 weeks after giving birth after a pulmonary embolism, but struggled to return to the court after 5 months in the doubles competitions in the Fed Cup (currently Billie Jean King Cup) Except Venus.

Serena, who is married to Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, has twice completed what has become known as the “Serena Slam,” that is, winning four major titles in a row, and did so in 2002-2003. starting with the French Open and again in 2014-2015, starting with the US Open. She had a chance to win all the Grand Slams in one year, but she was surprised by her fall against the Italian Roberta Vinci in the 2015 US Open Semifinals.

“I never wanted to focus on numbers,” Serena said. I started playing tennis, not to be the best, but just because I had a racket and a dream. Now people say I may be ‘the greatest’, but as far as I’m concerned, I haven’t arrived yet.”

“Players like Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf are for me the biggest icons in the history of women’s tennis.”

They greeted Serena

Apart from all the records achieved by Serena, the American has a personality that is loved by those close to her and competitors, she rarely gets into fights or verbal abuse with any player she plays against, and you rarely hear a player talk about her in a negative way, as she is loved by the fans and players. 27-year-old Silla Jarva was greeted by social media with messages from former and current athletes and others from other fields praising Serena’s achievements.

Former US First Lady Michelle Obama: “Congratulations to Serena on an amazing career. We had the great fortune of watching a young girl grow up before she became one of the greatest athletes of all time.

I’m proud of you, my friend, and I can’t wait to see your impact on the lives of others through your talents.”

Former world number one Billie Jean King: “Her phenomenal professional career has made a mark in the history of tennis, although her greatest role may not be yet to come. Thank you Serena, your journey continues.”

Retired American swimmer Michael Phillips: “Her tennis achievements speak for themselves, and what makes me admire her most is her will, strength and determination. She simply does not despair, and she is an example to us all.”

Golf star Tiger Woods: “Serena you are literally the best on and off the course. Thank you for inspiring us all and helping us achieve our dreams. I love your younger sister.”

A career full of titles

Serena Williams began her professional journey in 1995, and continued until 2022, achieving an extraordinary number of wins (858) compared to only 154 losses over 27 years, an average of 5.5 losses each year, a frightening rate that is difficult for any other. tennis player today, as The American win rate is 85%.

During her career, Serena won 73 titles in all the tournaments in which she participated, including 23 titles in the Grand Slam (Grand Slam) as follows: 7 titles in the Australian Open, 3 titles in the French Open, 7 titles in Wimbledon, and 6 titles in the French Open. Titles in the US Open.

In the doubles category, Serena won 192 and lost only 34, with a win rate of 85%. In this category, she won the Australian Open 4 times, the French Open twice, 6 Wimbledon titles and two US Open titles.

Serena is also a pioneer in the Olympics as she won the gold medal in the doubles category (Sydney Olympics, Beijing Olympics and London Olympics), while she won the singles category at the 2012 London Olympics.

* Serena shares her stay at the top of the world rankings for 186 consecutive weeks with Steffi Graf of Germany, while she topped the rankings for a total of 319 weeks, a number surpassed only by Steffi Graf and Martina Navratilova.

After Serena’s retirement, many reports revealed that the American player achieved a fortune of $270 million as she made strong investments and included 60 companies in her business.

Moments from Serena’s life

Serena brought style and power to her performances, and her signature outfits sometimes distracted from her dazzling efforts on the court.

Serena won her last 73 singles titles at Auckland in January 2020, her only title since becoming a mother.

* She had 4 chances to match Kurt’s record, but she lost the final in both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019.

She faced a lot of struggle and suffering as her mother’s sister and another father (Yetonde Price) were shot dead by a gang member in their hometown of Compton in 2003 at the age of 31, who was Serena’s personal assistant is.

* She suffered a foot injury after stepping on broken glass in a German restaurant days after winning Wimbledon in 2010. She required two surgeries and wore a splint for 20 weeks, an incident she attributed to her exposure to life-threatening blood clots in her lungs in 2011.

Acknowledging her father’s success with her father’s work and sticking with it even after her parents divorced, Serena said: “I wouldn’t have won a single title without him and his support. He’s a great coach.

It is very innovative. He built my style and my sister’s style. It gave us a good foundation. It was solid and not weak, so we could always improve.”

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