Serena Williams.. From gangster neighborhoods to American tennis legend and star of generations

Serena Williams.. From gangster neighborhoods to American tennis legend and star of generations

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American tennis legend Serena Williams said Friday, after her third-round exit from the United States Championship, that she is likely heading to retire after a title-laden career, which Serena and her sister Venus began by training with their father Richard Williams in the public courts of a neighborhood controlled by gangs, so that Serena becomes a star. Generations and perhaps the greatest in the history of the game.

American moved Serena Williams From learning tennis on the public courts of a gang-controlled neighborhood, to becoming the star of generations and perhaps the greatest player in history.

And the 40-year-old legend announced on Friday, after her third-round exit at the US Championships, that she was likely heading to retire after a career packed with titles. The African-American athlete has become an icon in a white-dominated sport.

She has won 23 Grand Slam titles, broken records and achieved accomplishments with determination as strong as the energy of her shots on the court.

Serena and her sister Venus

Serena and her sister Venus, who has won seven major titles, were executive producers of “King Richard” (King Richard), which tells the story of their father, Richard Williams, who taught them tennis as they grew up on the harsh streets of Compton, California.

“I’m still that racquet girl who dreams and I play for it,” Serena said after winning the US Open in 2013. And she was already up to these dreams, winning seven Wimbledon and Australian Open titles, three titles at Roland Garros and six in the United States, and stood one title away from equaling the record for the major championships held by Australian Margaret Court.

She won her first major title in New York in 1999 at the age of 17 and her last in 2017 in Australia when she was pregnant with daughter Olympia. Olympia gave birth in September 2017 and spent six weeks bedridden with a pulmonary embolism, but struggled to return to action after five months in the Fed Cup doubles (now Billie Jean King Cup) alongside Venus.

“Serena Salam”

Williams, who is married to Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit, twice completed what has become known as “Serena Salam”, that is, winning four major titles in a row, and did so in 2002-2003, starting with the French Open and again in 2014-2015, starting with the United States Championship. open.

She had the chance to win all of the Grand Slams in one year, but she was surprised when she fell to Italian Roberta Vinci in the 2015 US Open semi-finals.

“I never wanted to focus on numbers,” Williams said. “I started playing tennis not to be the best but just because I had a racket and a dream. Now people say I might be ‘the greatest’, but for me, I haven’t made it yet.” “Players like Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf are, to me, the greatest icons in the history of women’s tennis.”

Williams brought style and strength to her performances, and her signature outfits sometimes distracted from her dazzling efforts on the field. She won her last 73 singles titles in Auckland in January 2020, her only title since becoming a mother. She had four chances to equal Kurt’s record, but lost the final at both Wimbledon and the US Open in 2018 and 2019.

Suffering and setbacks!

Williams also faced many struggles and suffering. Her sister by her mother and another father, Yetonde Price, was shot dead in 2003 at the age of 31 by a gang member in Compton. She was Serena’s personal assistant.

She suffered a foot injury after stepping on a broken glass in a German restaurant days after winning Wimbledon in 2010, so she needed two surgeries and spent 20 weeks wearing a splint, an incident that she considered the reason for her exposure to blood clots in her lungs in 2011 that threatened her life. For nearly a year, she missed three major tournaments.

In 2011, Serena said that doctors “said I had clots in the lungs. Lots of people die from it because you don’t notice… I couldn’t breathe, I honestly thought I was in bad shape… It could have ended my career.” “It’s hard for something like this to happen randomly when you’re at the top of your career, and that makes me really appreciate things.”

Williams credited her father’s success with her father’s business and stuck to it even after her parents separated. “I wouldn’t have won a single title without him and without his support,” said the player, who will celebrate her 41st birthday next month. “He’s a great coach. He’s so innovative.” She continued, “He built my style and my sister’s style. He gave us a good foundation. She was solid and wasn’t weak, so we were always able to develop.”

Richard Williams allowed the other children to harass his two daughters during exercises. In an interview with CNN in 2015, he said, “To be successful, you have to prepare for the unexpected, and I wanted to prepare for it. Criticism can bring out the best in you.”

FRANCE 24/AFP

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