DKODING “Serena Williams” — arguably the greatest athlete of all time — the woman who changed the game forever. A titan of tennis serving greatness with nothing left to win — nothing left to lose — she has done it all. The ultimate and undisputed GOAT bids a fond and emotional farewell to the sport.
A player like no other, a career like no other, a story like no other and a woman who inspire millions. Thank You Serena.Wimbledon
The trailblazer of female Tennis, Serena Williams has bid a farewell to the sport after making its last three decades monumental. Williams took the final exit from tennis at U.S. Open 2022 after the 27 years of historical legacy that inspired millions of people worldwide. From dominating Grand Slam singles titles to retiring from tennis at 35 like an absolute queen, Williams has left an unerasable mark on tennis history.
In conversation with Vogue, Williams said: “I don’t like the word retirement.” And rightly so, it is a crude term to define the end of the era that will continue to spark passion among millions of aspiring tennis athletes globally.
Serena Williams has been an icon of resilience, strength, and beauty. She has won 23 singles titles, the most ever by any man or woman — with 39 Grand Slam titles, Williams holds the record for the most titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles amongst all active tennis players combined. She is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Serena Williams draws the curtains on her tennis career after:
- 186 consecutive weeks at No.1
- 4x Olympic gold medalist
- 23- time major champion
- 367 major match wins
- 6 US Open titles
- 73 career titles
.@SerenaWilliams, you’re an inspiration, a champion of all time.— President Biden (@POTUS) September 3, 2022
Thank you for dreaming, daring, and proving that anything is possible.
You are an Inspiration, a champion of all time. Thank you for dreaming, doing and proving that anything is possible.President Biden
Former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama led the tributes to Serena Williams. Celebrities, fellow athletes, and fans from all over the world too expressed their gratitude and bid her a glorious goodbye:
Congratulations, Serena, for your heart, skill, intelligence, dedication, and grace. Few athletes have inspired more people both in and beyond their sport” — President Barack Obama tweeted.
How lucky were we to be able to watch a young girl from Compton grow up to become one of the greatest athletes of all time former — former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted.
“I’m proud of you, my friend — and I can’t wait to see the lives you continue to transform with your talents,” she added.
American talk show host Oprah Winfrey said: “25 years. Champion. Shero. Legend forever!”
Fellow tennis superstar Billie Jean King congratulated Williams on her “incredible” career — “Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history. And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come. Thank you. Your journey continues.”
Her incredible career made its mark on tennis history.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) September 3, 2022
And yet her greatest contributions may be yet to come.
Thank you, @serenawilliams.
Your journey continues. #serena #USOpen https://t.co/0wDFfRN3Dq
“You’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!” — Tiger Woods tweeted.
.@serenawilliams you’re literally the greatest on and off the court. Thank you for inspiring all of us to pursue our dreams. I love you little sis!!!!!!— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) September 3, 2022
World Cup winning American Soccer player Alex Morgan tweeted — “Serena fighting until the last point, always. You’ve given so much to tennis, and so much to women’s sports. Thank you.”
Indian Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar tweeted — “Age is not what the body tells you, but what your mind tells the body. Teenagers can solve world’s biggest problems, adults can pick up something new & excel. Sport inspires society to push limits & achieve the impossible. Congratulations on an inspiring career.”
If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration.Serena Williams — Inspirational Quotes
Watch: Watch: Serena Williams Says Goodbye | 2022 US Open
From Compton to Wimbledon — Early Life of Serena Williams
Born in Saginaw, Michigan, in 1981 to Oracene Price and Richard Williams, Serena had to fight against many odds to become the woman she is today. She was raised in Compton, California, with four elder sisters, including Venus Williams.
Her father, Richard Williams, is to be credited for coaching Serena and her sister Venus at an early age in tennis. Known to be a strict coach, his training helped Serena and Venus develop impeccable athleticism since childhood. Consequently, the two went on to become two of the greatest tennis players in history.
Watch: The Truth About Venus And Serena Williams’ Relationship With Their Father
As a child, Serene Williams overcame many odds to reach the unparalleled fame she enjoys today. She had a complicated birth and suffered from postpartum depression. Following this, Williams had to undergo surgery due to lung blood clots. But as is the nature of great athletes, her indomitable spirit pulled her out of the challenges and set her apart for the future that would go down in the history.
I don’t know if I’ve had my share of drama, but I’ve definitely had my share of hard times.Serena Williams — Inspirational Quotes
The Tennis Career — Making of Serena Williams
Serena Williams began playing tennis professionally at the age of 14. She began at a young age and quickly rose to prominence.
In 1994, her sister Venus Williams gave a smashing play, but her father Richard had even higher conviction about Serena’s career. The biggest breakthrough in Serena’s career happened at the U.S. Open in 1999. 17-year-old Serena won her first of the total 23 Grand Slam singles titles with outstanding numbers.
However, the extraordinary triumph was just the beginning. In 2003, she went on to win Australian Open and earned all four majors. The moment was therefore called “The Serena Slam,” and rightly so.
Watch: Inspirational Words from Serena Williams
Williams Dominates Wimbledon, Becomes First Women’s Singles Champion
The first women’s singles champion in history, Serena dominated Wimbledon like none other. With 23 grand slam singles titles, including 8 Wimbledon championships, she stood at the forefront of tennis for over two decades.
While she already had earned two Olympic gold medals while partnering with Venus in Beijing and Sydney, it was in the year 2012 that she earned her Olympics singles.
The GOAT of women’s tennis holds the highest number of Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. And these are not common victories. Let us tell you why these Grand Slam titles turned her into a GLOBAL ICON.
- Serena Williams is the oldest ever Grand Slam champion.
- She has won a Grand Slam while she was pregnant. This was at 2017 Australia Open when she was eight week pregnant.
- She has won the rare Surface Slam- winning on all three court surfaces, grass, clay and hard.
More Than Just The Sport — Williams Brought Activism to Tennis
The world recognizes Serena Williams as one of the most accomplished athletes we have ever seen. However, there is a lot more than just coaching and smashing tours that make her the woman loved by one and all.
Serena Williams is not only a champion of the courts but a champion for equality.
She is the first black woman to be the No. 1 tennis player, among many other firsts. However, she is an inspiration outside court too. An advocate for the equality of black women, she invests in women of color founders. She has also been a vocal advocate for equal pay for women tennis players. Serena has also boldly stood up for the Black Lives Matter movement and body positivity.
During a press conference, she once quoted:
“The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave.”
What Serena’s Grand Success Teaches the Aspiring Athletes?
The biggest learning that one can take from William’s career is to not focus on achieving perfection from day one. Instead, Williams believes that aspiring athletes should develop a solid foundation first. This means starting with the basics, like proper training and nutrition, before moving on to more advanced techniques and strategies.
Perhaps, the most valuable thing that Serena reminds young women is that anything is possible with hard work and a good mindset. She reminds us that it’s never too late to set goals and achieve great things.
Don’t be afraid to aim high, dream big, and fearlessly pursue your dreams.
This grand success is the outcome of her unwavering determination, focus, and selflessness — all key ingredients for becoming an elite athlete. But most important is the duty to stand up for something far bigger than just success — the service to those not an equal pedestal to achieve something grand.
It is one thing to be the greatest sports person and the other to be an exemplary human being. Williams teaches how to be both.