The professional world is saying farewell Serena Jameka Williams. She is a 40-year-old American professional tennis player, about to move on from professional tennis. She is the greatest women’s tennis player of all time who is chosing family over her career.
In Serena’s own words, “Women athletes can be themselves. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. Women can wear what they want and say what they want. They can kick butt and be proud of it all. Women can be strong, yet beautiful.”
Farewell To Serena Williams The Inspirer
Serena Williams is a black woman who has inspired millions and has a message for women in all walks of life. She has brought the world of tennis into high profile on the world stage, and continues to break stereotypes in sport and business.
Serena followed Billie Jean King’s example of pioneering gender equality in sport. Both Billy Jean King and Serena Williams both transcended their sport. Both women pushed boundaries.
Serena is the only tennis player to be known globally by a single name, ‘Serena’. Serena Williams is a brand and a national treasure, as is Queen Elizabeth II.
Serena held the rank of No. 1 position for 319 weeks. She has been a professional tennis player for 25 years.
Serena and sister Venus are the only tennis players in history to hold four Olympic gold medals. The sisters are also the only female tennis players in the Open Era to win the Olympic Gold in both singles and doubles.
Serena was only 17-years old when she won her first Grand Slam title, the US Open title, in 1999. At 32-years old, Serena held the record of the longest span of 18-years between her first and next Grand Slam title, the US Open in 2013. Chris Everett, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf all had 12-year time spans between their first and last Grand Slam Titles.
At 21, Serena won the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Only five women have simultaneously held all four Grand Slam single titles. Sereina is unsurpassed in having won 10 Grand Slam titles since turning 30-years-old. She is a 23-time Grand Slam champion.
Serena won 34 matches in her longest winning streak. She also had a 27-match winning streak from the end of 2014 to May 2015. At 37-years and 346 days old, Serena became the first and oldest woman to reach a Grand Slam final.
Farewell To Serena The Profosseional
It may be farewell to Serena Williams, but she gained a well-earned reputation for being ferocious and intense on the court. Her power, strength and speed have pushed women’s sport to a higher level. She is one of the greatest servers in women’s tennis. Serena’s personal-best is 24 aces during a Wimbledon semi-final, in 2012. She also hit 23 aces in the third round of the same event, against China’s Jie Zheng.
Serena loves the challenge and battle and enjoys entertaining. For her, tennis had a performance aspect to it, interacting with the energy of the crowd. She had no greater pleasure than hitting an ace on a set point.
Inequality In A Man’s World
Serena’s incredible career shows the inequality between men and women in a ‘man’s world‘. Roger Federer earned $186 million in prize money, while Serena earned $58.4 million. Male athletes receive more publicity and funding than female athletes.
Serena’s incredible 2013 season saw her take home $12,385,572 prize money. It was the highest amount earned in a single season by a player in WTA history. Ash Barty came closest to breaking it when she won $11.3 million in 2019.
Farewell to Serena, who is the only women to rank in the top 100 highest-paid athletes. Serena was 28th on Forbes’ list of highest earning athletes in the world, in 2021.
Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova came from very different backgrounds, but both women had strong fan bases. However, Serena dominated on the court in hard-won victories. She beat Maria 20 times out of their 22 matches. This included Serena winning 19 matches in a row.
The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena have met 31 times on the WTA Tour. Both women are incredible tennis players. Serena has beaten Venus 19 times.
“Venus was the stoic and classy tennis player,” Serena said in an interview with Vogue. “I was never one to hold my emotions.” Serena is a perfectionist, never quitting until she gets things right. She always demands the best from herself and loves proving people wrong. “I have won matches because something made me angry, or someone counted me out.”
Wonderful Sense Of Humour
Serena is known for her wonderful sense of humour, and a good mimic. These are two attributes Serena shares with Queen Elizabeth.
Serena’s retirement from the sport she loves is causing a lot of pain. Serena says, “It all started as a little black girl who just wanted to play tennis.” As youngsters, Venus was the better player, according to Serena. For Serena, mistakes are learning experiences.
Serena picked up her first tennis racket when she was three-years old. She worked hard and has built a career on channeling anger and negativity by turning it into something good. She is an inspiration and will be missed in the world of tennis.
Tennis may farewell Serena Williams, but she is an inspiration to all hard-working mums. She is a woman devoted to raising a family, so is retiring from tennis.
Serena was 36-years old when she returned to the WTA Tour, after giving birth to her first child, Olympia. Despite her athletic fitness, it was a difficult birth. Serena had a C-section and a secondary pulmonary embolism. She played in a Grand Slam final while breastfeeding and also played through postpartum depression.
Serena was not just a professional tennis player and mother, but also a successful businesswoman. She started Serena Ventures nine years ago. Serena had discovered that 98% of all venture capital went to men in the ‘old boy’ system.
Her company has successfully invested in numerous companies. In 2020, the company has already raised $111 million of outside financing. 78% of their portfolio, are companies started by women and people of colour. Serena’s business is womanomics in action in a man’s world. Until recently, Serena Ventures has been an all-female business.
In 2018, Serena launched her own fashion line, called S by Serena.
Farewell Serena Williams
When Serena plays in the US Open, it will be her last professional game. Win or lose, it will be a highly emotional match. The world will be sitting on the edge of their seats, willing Serena to make the one great last win.
Goodbyes are never easy, but Serena deserves the right to move on after 25 years on the tennis spotlight. Serena will continue to be a high-profile person, whatever course her life continues on.
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