Serena Williams, a Champion on and off the Tennis Court

Serena Williams won the French Open finals on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France.  Again, from the brink of defeat, she summoned her will not to lose to her opponent, Lucie Safarova, who played brilliantly.

In a heartfelt and gracious address to the world, in French and English, she demonstrated a special sincere thanks to her father, Richard Williams. She said, “I love you dad, from the bottom of my heart.” Those words inspired and motivated me to write this article. In my opinion, I think that Serena was expressing gratitude to her father for the many successes she has had since her youthful days in Compton, California to the halls of greatness; and Grand Slam number 20 was a special gift to him for Father’s Day.

At age 14 Serena Williams played her first professional event in September 1995. She lost in the first round, winning just two games. She did not play in a tournament in 1996. In 1997 she lost in the qualifying rounds of three tournaments, before winning her first main-draw match in November at the Ameritech Cup Chicago, ranked world No. 304. Today she is the world’s No. 1 and has been for a long time.

Serena Williams - 2015 French Open

Serena Williams found enough answers in the French Open final Saturday to top Lucie Safarova. Photo credit – AP /David Vincent

Serena — the Queen of the Court for many years — has the record for the most major singles, doubles, and mixed doubles titles combined (35 Grand Slam titles) amongt all active female and male tennis players. She has a career record of 716 -121— an amazing 85% winning percentage. 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.

Her total of 20 Grand Slam singles titles is third on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24 titles) and Steffi Graf (22 titles), and second in the Open Era, behind only Graf.

Grand Slam titles won: Australian Open— (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009,2010, 2015)
French Open W (2002, 2013, 2015)
Wimbledon — (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012)
US Open W (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)

“She is the only female player to have won over $60 million in prize money, and is the reigning Australian Open, French Open, US Open, WTA Tour Championships and Olympic ladies singles champion.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serena_Williams

Serena is also a champion for the least among us

In 2008 Williams she helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya. She received a Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation in 2003 for work in breast cancer. Williams has also been involved in a number of clinics at schools and community centers, particularly those which have programs focusing on at-risk youth.[1] She has also won the “Young Heroes Award” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland (2003) and the “Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award” (2004).[1] In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Williams, along with other ATP and WTA stars decided to forgo their final day of preparation for the 2010 Australian Open to form a charity event in which all proceeds will go to the Haiti earthquake victims. Learn more here: https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/serena-williams

Work in Africa

Serena in Africa

Photo credit: http://thoughtfulness.org/serena-williams/

“Serena’s trips to Africa changed her way of thinking. She notes that she met children that could not get an education because the family couldn’t pay the small fee of $1.00 per week. This experience drove Serena to ask herself what she could do to help the children who didn’t have the benefit of an education. In response to the great need she saw in Africa, Serena started the Serena Williams Foundation. Her first endeavor after creating the foundation was to partner with Build African Schools and HP, building the Serena Williams Secondary School in Kenya. The school offers children a free education,” http://thoughtfulness.org/serena-williams/

Lionel Messi and Serena Williams team-up for charitable campaign ‘1 in 11’ as they seek to improve education for children.

• The 1 in 11 campaign aims to help children achieve their potential
• It aims to do this by raising funds for education programmes
• UNICEF, Reach Out To Asia and the FC Barcelona foundation are behind it
• Lionel Messi and Serena Williams are ambassadors for the campaign

Learn more here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2903694/Lionel-Messi-Serena-Williams-team-charitable-campaign-1-11.html

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