Why Serena Williams is Amazing (Both On & Off the Court)As Wimbledon approaches, we prepare to be reminded yet another year of how amazing Serena Williams is.
From her incredible athletic talent to her sheer strength, grace and character...there are so many reasons we love her. And it seems like each year she gets better and better - not just as a tennis player, but as an all-round pretty cool person.
Here are just some of the reasons we’re crushing on Serena.
1. She’s won 23 major singles titles.
Yup, Serena is perhaps known as one of the greatest tennis players (if not THE greatest) after she won her 23rd singles Grand Slam title in 2017.
By doing this, Serena set an Open Era record for both men and women’s tennis, and we have no doubt she’ll go on to break even more records in the near future.
2. She’s pretty awesome at doubles matches, too.
As well having the singles part covered, Serena has also won 14 doubles titles in total, sharing what is perhaps one of the most successful doubles careers in sports history with her sister, Venus.
She’s also the No.1 ranked player in the world and has won four Olympic Gold medals. Sheesh.
3. She made 30 the new 20.
One of the most impressive things about Serena is probably her longevity. Since winning her first major at the age of 17, she’s now 36 and continues to dominate the sport more than ever.
Indeed, of her 23 titles, nine of them were won after Serena turned 30. Which sure gives the rest of us hope.
She also became the oldest female to be ranked No.1 in 2013, ever since computer records began in 1975. Yesssss for age.
4. She is damn resilient.
When we look back on Serena’s misfortunes, we’re amazed at how resilient one person can be.
She’s had a number of surgeries throughout her career: one to repair a partially torn tendon in her left knee in 2003; another to repair a lacerated tendon on her right foot in 2010, and stitches after stepping on broken glass, also in 2010.
She also made the news when she needed emergency surgery for a hematoma related to a pulmonary embolism (blood clot), which resulted from said broken glass.
Not only did Serena recover from these surgeries and return to the court - she also came back stronger and better than ever.
5. She’s a true fashion icon.
Serena’s on-court ensembles have truly been some of the most memorable in the history of sport - from colourful to edgy. There was the tennis skirts, the black ‘catsuit’, the trench coat...and a number of other innovative outfits that have had us saying, “Damn, girl.”
Serena has also made red-carpet appearances in stunning gowns and started her own fashion clothing line Aneres in 2004. She’s also landed the cover of various magazines, and was the first black female athlete to appear on the cover of Vogue.
6.She’s a humanitarian at heart.
Whilst rocking it on the court, Serena has made a lot of time for charitable actions throughout her career. In 2008 she founded the Serena Williams Foundation, which assists American youth touched by violent crime and underprivileged children around the world.
She’s also a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, being involved in a number of charitable and philanthropic efforts, whilst also raising money for cancer research and relief for natural disaster victims.
7. She’s a pretty successful writer.
In her ‘spare’ time (we’re wondering how she gets any), Serena has penned several best-selling books, including autobiographical titles ‘On the Line’ and ‘Queen of the Court’ and an adorable kids’ book ‘Fox & Rabbit: Unlikely Friends’.
She’s also currently in the process of developing a scripted TV show. We wonder how that woman does it.
8. She was a Sports Illustrated cover star
Serena was chosen as a Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year in 2017 - the prestigious spot revered since 1954.
In doing so she was actually the first black female athlete to appear on the magazine, after winning three Grand Slams and becoming the oldest woman to be ranked number one.
9. She summed up the meaning of motherhood.
We’d be lying if we didn’t tear up at Serena’s heartfelt letter to her mum in 2017, right after she became a mother herself to her daughter, Alexis Olympia.
The letter summed up the huge demands of motherhood pretty well, as well as praising Serena’s mother for being the role model she needed growing up. It even addressed body shaming issues, referring to how Serena had been called a ‘man’ and accused of doping because of her impressive strength.
“I have been called man because I am outwardly strong,” she wrote. “It has been said that I don’t belong in women’s sports - I belong in men’s - because I look stronger than other women do. No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and am proud of it.”
Preach, Serena, preach.
10. She worked for every part of her success.
Unlike many other athletes, Serena didn’t come from a privileged background or grow up with piles of money.
Instead she grew up playing tennis on worn-out tennis courts in Compton, California. Her’s and Venus’ father had no background in tennis; nor had the money to give his two daughters any top-of-the-line equipment or expensive coaches. Tennis is a country club sport that’s expensive to train one child to play professionally - let alone two.
However, thanks to the girls’ natural talent and sheer hard work, they were able to pursue their dreams and become the best tennis players in the world.