Due to upcoming changes to age eligibility rules, Williams made her debut at the Bell Challenge at the tender age of 14 in September of 1985, but only won two games and was beaten in the first round of qualifying. She did not play a tournament in 1996 and while she started 1997 slowly, she soon came to prominence by reaching the semi-finals of the Ameritech Cup after beating two top 10 opponents along the way. Williams reached six quarter-finals in 1998; however, she was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon by her sister Venus. Serena went on to win the mixed double Grand Slam title at Wimbledon and another at the U.S. Open with Max Mirnyi.
Rise to the Top
The Open Gaz de France in 1999 was her first ever WTA title win and she quickly followed up with French Open and U.S. Open Grand Slams in the same year. Victories at the Australian Open in 2000 and Wimbledon in 2001 meant that Williams had completed a Career Grand Slam at the age of 19! Despite all of this success, she did not end the season as the world’s number one ranked woman tennis player, instead she had to wait until the end of 2002 to achieve that feat.
Williams then completed what is known as the ‘Serena Slam’ by winning the four Grand Slam tournaments consecutively. Unfortunately, it did not happen in the same season as the run began with a French Open win in 2002 and ended with an Australian Open triumph at the start of 2003. The period from 2004 through 2007 was considered to be ‘lean’ by Williams’ amazingly high standards and her desire to play tennis was questioned. Despite injuries and a loss of form, she did win the 2005 and 2007 Australian Open titles. She claims she was suffering from depression during this period when she fell from grace and ended up outside the top 100 rankings in 2006.
The 2007 Australian Open win was remarkable, as Williams became the first unranked player since Chris O’ Neil to win a Grand Slam. By the end of 2007, she was back to number seven after critics had claimed she was ‘washed up.’ She was to win five more Grand Slams from 2008 through 2010, but in March 2011, it was confirmed that Williams had suffered a pulmonary embolism and a hematoma. She only entered six tournaments that year and got into hot water for abusing a chair umpire in one of her matches. Her passion sometimes spills into anger and she has been in trouble many times because of her temper.
However, 2012 was to be another great year for Serena Williams as she won the Olympic Gold medal in London to complete a Golden Grand Slam along with Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles. In 2013, Williams added another French Open to go along with the U.S. Open title she won at the end of the season. Although she lost to Ana Ivanovic in the fourth round at the Australian Open at the beginning of 2014, Williams is still world number one ranked female player and by all accounts, is enjoying her tennis and appears hungrier than she’s ever been before.
Most Americans remember when Venus and Serena Williams took the Olympic spotlight at the summer 2012 games. But where are they now? Unless you follow tennis news closely, you may not have heard their names since, but that is about to change. The Williams sisters’ father, Richard Williams, has a book scheduled for release on May 6, and there has been recent news about the documentary “Serena and Venus” regarding a legal dispute. In the Media The book by the tennis stars’ father unveils the circumstances that bred the success of Serena and...read more
The 2014 tennis season has already started in earnest and fans are really looking forward to seeing if anyone can halt the runs of Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal. Although it is early in the season, we have already had a Grand Slam as the Australian Open reached its conclusion at the end of January. In this tennis update we review that tournament and look forward to the next big events on the calendar. 2014 Australian Open Review The first Grand Slam of the year took place at Melbourne Park from January 13th through 26th and both the men’s...read more
The 2013 edition of Wimbledon, one of the four Grand Slam events on the calendar, took place in London, England from June 24th through July 7th. Roger Federer was the defending men’s champion, while Serena Williams was the red hot favorite to retain the women’s title. Meanwhile, Andy Murray of Scotland was the British hopeful and carried the burden of a nation on his shoulders. It was to be two weeks of drama, action, and plenty of surprises along the way. Men’s Singles Although Rafael Nadal is arguably the greatest clay court player of all...read more