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American professional tennis player Serena Williams has won 27 Grand Slam titles, including five Wimbledon and five Australian Open championships, and several Olympic gold medals.
Arthur Ashe - Mini Biography (3:35)
Serena Williams was only 3 years old when she and her sister, Venus, started playing tennis. Since turning pro, she's won countless Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals.
Arthur Ashe was the first African-American male to win men's single titles at Wimbledon. Off the court, he became an anti-apartheid activist and brought attention to HIV/AIDs before succumbing to the disease in 1993.
A short biography on Althea Gibson, the first African-American to win a Grand Slam tournament. After retiring, she became the first African-American on the Ladies Professional Golf Association circuit.
A full biography of Martina Navratilova.
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Serena Williams, born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan, began playing tennis early, enduring daily two-hour practices with her father at age three. In 1995, Serena turned pro, and, along with her sister Venus, enjoyed a run of high-profile victories. In 2009, Serena was fined and placed on probation for allegedly threatening a lineswoman, but quickly moved past the incident. After a series of health scares in 2011,
"I'm a perfectionist. I'm pretty much insatiable. I feel there's so many things I can improve on."
Williams beat Agnieszka Radwanska at Wimbledon 2012, claiming her fifth Wimbledon singles title. At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Williams won two gold medals, in women's doubles and women's singles—her first singles gold medal. Throughout her career, Williams has captured 15 Grand Slam singles and 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, as well as four Olympic gold medals.
American tennis player Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan. The youngest of Richard and Oracene Williams's five daughters, Serena Williams, along with her sister Venus, would eventually dominate the sport at various times throughout her career, capturing 15 Grand Slam singles and 13 Grand Slam doubles titles.
Serena's father—a former sharecropper from Louisiana determined to see his two youngest girls succeed—used what he'd gleaned from tennis books and videos to instruct Serena and Venus on how to play the game. At the age of 3, practicing on a court not far from the family's new Compton, California, home, Serena withstood the rigors of daily two-hour practices from her father.
The fact that the family had relocated to Compton was no accident. With its high rate of gang activity, Richard Williams wanted to expose his daughters to the ugly possibilities of life "if they did not work hard and get an education." In this setting, on courts that were riddled with potholes and sometimes missing nets, Serena and Venus cut their teeth on the game of tennis and the requirements for persevering in a tough climate.
By 1991, Serena was 46-3 on the junior United States Tennis Association tour, and ranked first in the 10-and-under division. Sensing his girls needed better instruction to become successful professionals, he moved his family again—this time to Florida. There, Richard let go of some of his coaching responsibilities, but not the management of Serena's and Venus's career. Wary of his daughters burning out too quickly, he scaled back their junior tournament schedule.
In 1995, Serena turned pro. Two years later, she was already No. 99 in the world rankings—up from 304 just 12 months before. A year later, she graduated high school, and almost immediately inked a $12 million shoe deal with Puma. In 1999, she beat out her sister in their race to the family's first Grand Slam win, when she captured the U.S. Open title.
It set the stage for a run of high-powered, high profile victories for both Williams sisters. Over the next decade, Serena alone would win 23 Grand Slam titles—including 10 doubles championships with her sister, Venus Williams.
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