Vera Zvonareva
Strong Is Beautiful
Alize Cornet

Serena Williams

Residence: Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA
DOB: September 26, 1981
Birthplace: Saginaw, MI, USA
Height: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Weight: 155 lbs. (70 kg)
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Status: Pro (September 1995)
1995 - Made pro debut at Québec City, falling in qualifying (as unranked WC, l. to world No.149 Miller 61 61 in first round of qualifying); only match of year.

1996 - Did not play.

1997 - After falling in qualifying three times, made WTA main draw debut at Moscow, falling 1r (l. to Po-Messerli); in second WTA main draw, reached SF at Chicago (as No.304 WC, d. No.7 Pierce and No.4 Seles en route; l. to No.5 Davenport); at No.304, was lowest-ranked player to beat a Top 5 player since 1990 (when unranked Rehe d. No.3 Sabatini) and lowest-ranked player ever to beat two Top 10 players in same event; rose from No.304 to No.102 afterwards on November 10, then one week later on November 17 made Top 100 debut (rose from No.102 to No.100).

1998 - First Top 20 season; SF at Sydney (l. to Sánchez-Vicario); QF six times; became fastest ever to have five Top 10 wins (in 16th pro match, d. No.10 Spirlea in Miami 2r; previous record-holder Seles did it in 33rd); all four pre-QF losses came at majors, falling 2r at Australian Open (l. to V.Williams), 4r at Roland Garros (l. to Sánchez-Vicario 46 75 63; led 64 52), 3r at Wimbledon (ret. vs. Ruano Pascual w/leg injury) and 3r at US Open (l. to Spirlea); made Top 50 debut on January 26 (after Australian Open; rose from No.53 to No.48) and Top 20 debut on June 22 (after Eastbourne; rose from No.22 to No.20); won doubles titles at Oklahoma City and Zürich (both w/V.Williams; third sisters to win a WTA doubles title together); won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and US Open (both w/Mirnyi); V.Williams won Australian Open and Roland Garros (both w/Gimelstob), a family mixed Grand Slam.

1999 - First Top 10 season, highlighted by first Grand Slam title; won first two WTA titles at Paris [Indoors] (d. Mauresmo in final) and Indian Wells (d. Graf in final), then extended streak to 16 to reach final at Miami (l. to V.Williams); made Top 10 debut on April 5 (rose from No.11 to No.9); went on 15-match win streak in summer, winning titles at Los Angeles (d. Halard-Decugis in final), US Open (d. Hingis in final) and Grand Slam Cup (d. V.Williams in final); was second African-American woman to win a Grand Slam title (Gibson won five, most recently in 1958); QF twice; four pre-QF losses came at Sydney (l. to Graf in 2r), Australian Open (l. to Testud 97 third set in 3r; held 2mp), Roland Garros (l. to Fernandez in 3r) and Filderstadt (l. to Testud 36 64 75 in 2r; led 63 42 and 5-1 third set); won doubles titles at Hannover, Roland Garros and US Open (all w/V.Williams); with V.Williams winning Oklahoma City during Paris [Indoors], first sisters to win titles in same week; with V.Williams already in Top 10 on April 5, first sisters to rank Top 10 at same time since April 22, 1991 (Manuela Maleeva-Fragnière, Katerina Maleeva); withdrew from Wimbledon w/flu and from WTA Championships w/back injury.

2000 - Another Top 10 season; won three WTA titles at Hannover (d. Chladkova in final), Los Angeles (d. Davenport in final) and Tokyo [Princess Cup] (d. Halard-Decugis in final); runner-up twice, at Paris [Indoors] (l. to Tauziat) and Montréal (ret. vs. Hingis w/left foot injury); SF at Wimbledon (l. to V.Williams); QF twice (incl. US Open); three pre-QF losses came at Australian Open (4r), Miami (4r) and Amelia Island (2r); withdrew from clay season w/knee injury (from Amelia Island) and from WTA Championships w/left foot injury; won doubles titles at Wimbledon and Olympics (both w/V.Williams).

2001 - Another Top 10 season; won three WTA titles at Indian Wells (d. Clijsters in final), Toronto (d. Capriati in final) and WTA Championships (received w/o in final from Davenport w/knee injury); runner-up at US Open (l. to V.Williams); QF in all six other events, incl. Australian Open (l. to Hingis 62 36 86; led 4-1 third set), Roland Garros (l. to Capriati), Wimbledon (l. to Capriati 67(4) 75 63; led 76(4) 53) and Los Angeles (l. to Seles 62 36 76(2); held 6mp third set); won Australian Open doubles title (w/V.Williams; fifth team to get career doubles Grand Slam).

2002 - First No.1 season, winning eight WTA titles (incl. three majors), at Scottsdale (d. Capriati in final), Miami (d. No.3 Hingis, No.2 V.Williams and No.1 Capriati in QF, SF and final; only second woman at the time to beat Top 3 at same event, after Graf at 1999 Roland Garros), Rome (d. Henin in final), Roland Garros (d. V.Williams in final), Wimbledon (d. V.Williams in final), US Open (d. V.Williams in final), Tokyo [Princess Cup] (d. Clijsters in final) and Leipzig (d. Myskina in final); Roland Garros final marked first time in 10 Grand Slam matches between sisters that younger one prevailed; QF or better at all five other events, reaching SF at Sydney (ret. vs. Shaughnessy w/right ankle injury then withdrew from Australian Open), QF at Charleston (l. to Schnyder 26 64 75; held mp) and runner-up at Berlin (l. to Henin), Los Angeles (l. to Rubin) and WTA Championships (l. to Clijsters); rose to No.3 on May 20 (after Rome), No.2 on June 10 (after Roland Garros) and No.1 on July 8 (after Wimbledon); was 11th player (second African-American, after V.Williams) to reach No.1; held it for 57 straight weeks (would lose it to Clijsters in 2003); on June 10, were first ever siblings to rank Top 2 at same time (V.Williams No.1); won doubles titles at Wimbledon (w/V.Williams) and Leipzig (w/Stevenson).

2003 - Finished at No.3 (after Henin, Clijsters); went 38-3 to start, winning titles at Australian Open (d. Clijsters 46 63 75 in SF, having trailed 5-1 third set and 2mp down 5-2; d. V.Williams in fourth straight Grand Slam final to play each other), Paris [Indoors] (d. Mauresmo in final), Miami (d. Capriati in final) and Wimbledon (d. V.Williams in final), finishing runner-up at Charleston (l. to Henin) and falling in SF at other two events, Rome (l. to Mauresmo) and Roland Garros (l. to Henin 62 46 75; led 4-2 third set); Australian Open was fourth straight Grand Slam title, fifth woman all-time to do that (after Connolly, Court, Navratilova, Graf) and ninth woman all-time to get career Grand Slam; won Australian Open doubles title (w/V.Williams); Clijsters ended her 57-week reign at No.1 on August 11; had left knee surgery on August 1, withdrawing from all events after Wimbledon (incl. US Open, WTA Championships).

2004 - Returned to WTA after eight-month knee injury lay-off and had fourth straight Top 10 finish; won titles at Miami (first tournament back; d. Dementieva in final) and Beijing (d. Kuznetsova 46 75 64 in final; saved 2mp down 64 54); runner-up three times, at Wimbledon (l. to Sharapova in final), Los Angeles (l. to Davenport in final) and WTA Championships (l. to Sharapova 46 62 64 in final; led 4-0 third set); SF at Rome (l. to Capriati); QF four times, incl. Roland Garros (l. to Capriati), San Diego (withdrew w/left knee inflammation) and US Open (l. to Capriati); two pre-QF losses came at Charleston (withdrew prior to 3r w/left knee inflammation) and Linz (l. to Jidkova in 2r); withdrew from Australian Open w/left knee rehabilitation.

2005 - After impressive run to sixth Grand Slam title, injury-plagued season resulted in first non-Top 10 finish since 1998; won Australian Open (d. Sharapova 26 75 86 in SF, saving 3mp; d. Davenport in final); having saved mp vs. Clijsters in 2003 Australian Open SF en route to title, became first player in Open Era to save mp en route to two majors (duPont did it at Roland Garros and US Open in 1942 and 1948); QF or better at next four events, at Paris [Indoors] (withdrew before QF w/GI illness), Dubai (ret. in SF vs. Jankovic w/right shoulder strain), Miami (l. to V.Williams in QF) and Amelia Island (ret. in QF vs. Farina Elia w/left ankle sprain); pre-QF losses came at last five events, incl. Wimbledon (l. to Craybas in 3r) and US Open (l. to V.Williams in 4r); withdrew from Roland Garros w/left ankle injury; did not qualify for WTA Championships for first time since 1998.

2006 - Nearly finished outside Top 100 for first time after injury-plagued season; fell 3r at Australian Open (l. to Hantuchova) then withdrew from all events until summer w/left knee injury (incl. Roland Garros, Wimbledon); on April 10, ranked outside Top 100 for first time since November 16, 1997; on July 10, fell to No.140 (down from No.11 at start of 2006); ended six-month layoff with three summer events, reaching SF at Cincinnati (l. to Zvonareva), SF at Los Angeles (l. to Jankovic; returned to Top 100 afterwards, having spent 18 weeks outside) and 4r at US Open (l. to Mauresmo); played four events all year (lowest in Top 100).

2007 - Seventh Top 10 season; won eighth Grand Slam title at Australian Open (ranked No.81 and unseeded, d. Sharapova 61 62 in final); fourth-lowest-ranked player to win a Grand Slam title (unranked Goolagong at 1977 Australian Open, No.111 O'Neil at 1978 Australian Open, unranked Clijsters at 2009 US Open); also won Miami (d. Sharapova in 4r and Henin 06 75 63 in final, saving 2mp down 60 54; at No.18, wins over No.2 Sharapova and No.1 Henin made her lowest-ranked ever to beat Top 2 at same event); runner-up at Moscow (l. to Dementieva); QF six times, incl. Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open (l. to Henin at all three); three pre-QF losses came at Charleston (ret. in 2r w/right groin strain), Zürich (ret. in 1r w/adductor strain) and WTA Championships (ret. in first RR match w/left knee injury then withdrew from event); having begun at No.95, returned to Top 20 on January 29 (after Australian Open; rose from No.81 to No.14) and to Top 10 for first time since September 25, 2005 on May 21 (after Rome; rose from No.11 to No.9); missed all pre-US Open summer hardcourt events w/left thumb sprain.

2008 - Finished at No.2 (after Jankovic); won first three WTA titles of season at Bangalore (d. V.Williams 63 36 76(4) in SF, saving mp down 6-5 third set; d. Schnyder in final), Miami (d. Jankovic in final; was fifth title there, tying Graf's all-time record) and Charleston (d. Zvonareva in final); won fourth WTA title of year at US Open (d. Jankovic in final); returned to No.1 afterwards on September 8 (five-year, one-month gap is longest between No.1 stints for any player ever, male or female); held it for four weeks (bringing career tally to 61 weeks); runner-up once, at Wimbledon (l. to V.Williams in final); SF once, at Stanford (ret. vs. Wozniak w/left knee injury); QF four times, incl. Australian Open (l. to Jankovic), Rome (withdrew prior to match w/back injury) and Olympics (l. to Dementieva); only three pre-QF losses of year came at Roland Garros (l. to Srebotnik in 3r), Stuttgart (l. to Li in 2r) and WTA Championships (went 1-1 in RR stage then withdrew from event w/abdominal injury); won two WTA doubles titles (both w/V.Williams) at Wimbledon and Olympics (was second Olympic doubles gold w/V.Williams).

2009 - Second No.1 season, highlighted by 10th and 11th Grand Slam titles at Australian Open (d. Safina in final) and Wimbledon (d. Dementieva 67(4) 75 86 in SF, saving mp down 5-4 third set; d. V.Williams in final); became first player to save mp en route to winning a major three times (also 2003 Australian Open and 2005 Australian Open); also won WTA Championships (went 3-0 in RR stage to qualify for SF, incl. 57 64 76(4) win over V.Williams, saving mp down 6-5 third set; d. Wozniacki in SF and V.Williams in final); runner-up once, at Miami (l. to Azarenka in final); SF five times, incl. Paris [Indoors] (withdrew prior to match w/right knee injury), and US Open (l. to Clijsters); QF twice, incl. Roland Garros (l. to Kuznetsova); had five pre-QF exits, three in Roland Garros lead-up (1r at Marbella, 2r at Rome and 1r at Madrid - ret. vs. Schiavone w/right knee injury) and other two at Cincinnati (l. to Bammer in 3r) and Beijing (l. to Petrova in 3r); won four WTA doubles titles, incl. three Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open); made Top 3 doubles debut on September 14 (after US Open; rose from co-No.9 to co-No.3 w/V.Williams - previous career-high was No.5); became first female player ever to surpass $6 million in prize money for a single season ($6,545,586).

2010 - Sixth Top 5 season (finished No.4); won 12th and 13th Grand Slam titles at Australian Open (d. Henin in final; first player in Open Era to win five Australian Opens) and Wimbledon (d. Zvonareva in final; now No.6 all-time for Grand Slam titles); played only four other events, finishing runner-up at Sydney (l. to Dementieva in final), reaching SF at Rome (l. to Jankovic 46 63 76(5); held mp at 5-4 third set), QF at Roland Garros (l. to Stosur 62 67(2) 86; held mp at 5-4 third set) and 3r at Madrid (l. to Petrova); missed three months early in season w/left knee injury (withdrawing from Paris [Indoors], Dubai, Miami, Marbella and Charleston) and all post-Wimbledon events w/right foot injury (withdrawing from Istanbul, Cincinnati, Montréal, US Open, Tokyo, Beijing, Linz and WTA Championships); spent most of season at No.1 until being replaced by Wozniacki on October 11 (career tally is now 123 weeks: 57 weeks from July 8, 2002 to August 10, 2003; four weeks from September 8 to October 5, 2008; 11 weeks from February 2 to April 19, 2009; two from October 12 to 25, 2009; and 49 weeks from November 2, 2009 to October 10, 2010); w/V.Williams, won 11th and 12th Grand Slam doubles titles (Australian Open, Roland Garros - now 12-0 together in Grand Slam doubles finals) and another title at Madrid; rose to No.1 in doubles on June 7 (co-No.1 w/V.Williams; third pair ever to occupy Top 2 spots in both singles and doubles, after Hingis/Novotna and Hingis/Davenport).

2011 - Sensational summer results after year-long injury and illness lay-off (finishing No.12); missed first half of year w/right foot injury and PE (withdrew from Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Charleston, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros) but returned in June, going 4-2 during grass court season (reaching 2r at Eastbourne and 4r at Wimbledon) then compiling 18-1 record during summer hardcourt season, winning 38th and 39th WTA titles at Stanford (d. Bartoli in final) and Toronto (d. Stosur in final), reaching 2r at Cincinnati (withdrew prior to match vs. Stosur w/right toe injury aggravation) then reaching 17th Grand Slam final at US Open (l. to Stosur; now 13-4 in Grand Slam finals); withdrew from Tokyo and Beijing w/medical reasons.
Winner (39): 2011 - Stanford, Toronto; 2010 - Australian Open, Wimbledon; 2009 - Australian Open, Wimbledon, WTA Championships; 2008 - Bangalore, Miami, Charleston, US Open; 2007 - Australian Open, Miami; 2005 - Australian Open; 2004 - Miami, Beijing; 2003 - Australian Open, Paris [Indoors], Miami, Wimbledon; 2002 - Scottsdale, Miami, Rome, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open, Tokyo [Princess Cup], Leipzig; 2001 - Indian Wells, Toronto, WTA Championships; 2000 - Hannover, Los Angeles, Tokyo [Princess Cup]; 1999 - Paris [Indoors], Indian Wells, Los Angeles, US Open, Grand Slam Cup.
Finalist (15): 2011 - US Open; 2010 - Sydney; 2009 - Miami; 2008 - Wimbledon; 2007 - Moscow; 2004 - Wimbledon, Los Angeles, WTA Championships; 2003 - Charleston; 2002 - Berlin, WTA Championships; 2001 - US Open; 2000 - Paris [Indoors], Montréal; 1999 - Miami.

Winner (20): 2010 - Australian Open, Madrid, Roland Garros (all w/V.Williams); 2009 - Australian Open, Wimbledon, Stanford, US Open (all w/V.Williams); 2008 - Wimbledon, Olympics (both w/V.Williams); 2003 - Australian Open (w/V.Williams); 2002 - Wimbledon (w/V.Williams), Leipzig (w/Stevenson); 2001 - Australian Open (w/V.Williams); 2000 - Wimbledon, Olympics (both w/V.Williams); 1999 - Hannover, Roland Garros, US Open (all w/V.Williams); 1998 - Oklahoma City, Zürich (both w/V.Williams).
Finalist (1): 1999 - San Diego (w/V.Williams).

Winner (2): 1998 - Wimbledon, US Open (both w/Mirnyi).
Finalist (2): 1999 - Australian Open (w/Mirnyi); 1998 - Roland Garros (w/Lobo).

American Fed Cup Team, 1999, 2003, 2007; American Olympic Team, 2000, 2008.
Coached by father Richard Williams and mother Oracene Price; trainer is Esther Lee; previously coached by Rick Macci ... Began playing tennis at age 5 at public courts in Compton, California ... Is youngest of five girls: Lyndrea, Isha, Yetunde (deceased September 14, 2003), Venus ... Has participated in many clinics; makes numerous appearances at schools and charitable and community organizations, particularly those which target programs for at-risk youth ... Interested in fashion and acting; opened her own clothing line (Aneres) and often wears her own designs ... Favorite author is Maya Angelou ... Hobbies are watching movies and football, reading, acting, talking on the phone, spending time with family and friends ... Self-described as humorous with a great personality ... Favorite place to visit is Italy ... Likes to listen to Mariah Carey, Brandy ... Debuted custom-designed Nike apparel line in Paris in May 2004.
- Awards received for tennis accomplishments include Tour Most Impressive Newcomer Award (1998); Tennis Magazine/Rolex Rookie of the Year (1998); Tour Most Improved Player, Tennis Magazine Player of the Year (1999); Tour Doubles Team of the Year w/V.Williams (2000); Tour Player of the Year (2002); ITF Women's Singles World Champion (2002); ESPY Female Athlete of the Year, Female Tennis Player of the Year (2003); honored at 2003 Charleston for becoming fifth in history to complete non-calendar year Grand Slam (after winning 2003 Australian Open; nicknamed Serena Slam); Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year (2003); Tour Comeback Player of the Year, ESPY Best Female Tennis Player (2004); Laureus World Comeback of the Year (2007); Tour Player of the Year (2008); Tour Player of the Year, Tour Doubles Team of the Year w/V.Williams and Tour Fan Favorite Doubles Team of the Year w/V.Williams (2009); and Fan Favorite Doubles Team w/V.Williams (2010); also in April 2003, Shock Absorber presented her $66,800 to equal men's prize money.
- Charitable work includes donating $10,000 to Clarendon (South Carolina) School District 1 (where Althea Gibson was born) - $8,000 for computer laptops and $2,000 for the Serena Williams Scholarship; participated in Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in October 2003 issues of Vogue, Essence, Lucky and Self; designing shoe for Stuart Weisman charity auction; and co-founding the Serena Williams Secondary School in Kenya (opened in November 2008).
- Accolades received for charity work include Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation in 2003 (for work in breast cancer); Young Heroes Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland (2003); Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference in 2004 (for outstanding contributions of time/energy to worthy causes).
- TV appearances include Venus and Serena: For Real (reality show that followed Serena and Venus off the tennis courts for ABC Family); Fast Cars and Superstars (June 2007); Law and Order: SVU (NBC crime drama); E! True Hollywood Story (May 2004: The Williams Sisters); CNN (People in the News); ESPN (one-hour special in February 2004: All Exclusive with Ahmad); My Wife And Kids (Damon Wayans sitcom); Street Time (on Showtime); The Simpsons (as guest voice w/Venus); ER (NBC drama); appeared in rapper Memphis Bleek music video; also made cameo in Martin Lawrence's Black Knight movie.
- Magazine appearances include Forbes Magazine (July 2004 Celebrity 100 list), 2003 and 2004 SI Swimsuit Issue, Vogue Italia, Upscale, Lifetime, Parade, ESPN Magazine, SI, Ebony, Vogue, InStyle, Tennis Magazine, Jet, Savoy, New York Post, USA Today, SI For Kids and Biography.
- Other honors include ranking No.1 on 2003 Top 10 Most Marketable Female Athletes in Sports Business Daily (from a poll of 60 marketers, sponsorship consultants and members of media); ranked No.7 among A&E and Biography Magazine's Top 10 most significant people (2002); named by People Magazine in Top 25 Most Intriguing People (2002); named by Ebony as one of 57 Most Intriguing African-Americans (2002); was one of BBC's Sports Personalities of the Year (2002); named by Time as one of the People Who Mattered (2002); voted best female athlete in the world by AP and Spanish news agency EFE (2002); one of the 12 Coolest Girls in Sports in SI For Women (November 2001); in People's 25 Most Intriguing People (1999).
- Has many sister milestones w/V.Williams, incl. first to have each won a Grand Slam singles title, first to meet in a Tour final, first to win Grand Slam doubles title together; S.Williams was also fifth all-time to win four straight majors.
- Tour mentor was Zina Garrison in the Partners for Success Alumni program.