Black History Day 15: Serena and Venus Williams
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Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 1 in women's singles tennis. The Women's Tennis Association(WTA) has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on six separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002, and regained this ranking for the sixth time on February 18, 2013, becoming the oldest world no. 1 player in WTA's history. Williams is also regarded by some experts and former tennis players to be the greatest female tennis player in history.She is the only female player to have won over $60 million in prize money, and is the reigning Australian Open, US Open, WTA Tour Championships and Olympic ladies singles champion.
Frequently hailed as the Queen of the Court by the general media, Williams holds the most major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined amongst active players, male or female. Her record of 34 Grand Slam titles puts her sixth on the all-time list: 19 in singles, 13 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously (2002–03), and the fifth woman ever to do so. She is also the most recent player together with her sister Venus Williams to have held all four Grand Slam women's doubles titles simultaneously (2009–10). Her total of 19 Grand Slam singles titles is tied for third on the all-time list with Helen Wills Moody behind Margaret Court (24 titles) and Steffi Graf (22 titles), and second in the Open Era, behind only Graf. She has won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam finals. Serena Williams is also a five-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships. Williams is one of only five tennis players all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matching Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Martina Navratilova and Frank Sedgman. The arrival of Venus and Serena Williams has been credited with launching a new era of power and athleticism in women's tennis.Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in women's singles and three in women's doubles, an all-time record shared with her sister Venus.
Venus Ebony Starr Williams (born June 17, 1980) is an American professional tennis player who is a former World No. 1 and is ranked World No. 11 in singles as of February 1, 2015.She has been ranked World No. 1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association on three separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on February 25, 2002, becoming the first American black woman to achieve this feat during the Open Era. She is credited as changing the women's game and ushering a new, modern era of power and athleticism on the women's professional tennis tour. She is also regarded as the best grass court player of her generation and she is widely considered as one of the all-time greats of women's tennis.
Her seven Grand Slam singles titles ties her seventh on the all time list, and is more than any other active female player except for her younger sister Serena Williams. Her 22 overall Grand Slam titles consist of seven in singles, thirteen in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. Her five Wimbledon singles titles tie her with two other women for eighth place on the all-time list. Venus Williams is one of only four women in the open era to have won five or more Wimbledon singles titles. Between the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2001 US Open, Williams won four of the six Grand Slam singles tournaments held. She is one of only five women in the open era to win 200 or more main draw Grand Slam singles matches.
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women's doubles.She and her sister Serena have won more Olympic gold medals than any other female tennis players. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Williams became only the second player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at the same Olympic Games, after Helen Wills Moody in 1924.
With 46 career singles titles, Williams is behind only her sister Serena amongst active players on the WTA Tour. Her 35-match winning streak from the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2000 General Ladies Linz tournament final is the longest winning streak since January 1, 2000. She is also one of only three active WTA players to have made the finals of all four Grand Slams, the other players being her sister Serena Williams and Russian Maria Sharapova.
Venus Williams has played against her sister Serena Williams in 25 professional matches since 1998, with Venus winning 11 of the 25 matches. They have played against each other in eight Grand Slam singles finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they opposed each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, the first time in the Open Era that the same two players played against each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals. On the doubles side, the pair have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles playing alongside each other.