|Height:||5 ft 10 in|
Serena Williams is one half of the famous Williams sister and she has now outranked her sister in the singles. But together they make a formidable doubles pairing and Team Williams.
There was never a doubt she would be a tennis champion, her parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price made sure of that. She is the youngest daughter in the family of five daughters, half sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea and Isha Price and older sister Venus.
The girls were brought up as Jehovah's Witnesses and although she was born in Michigan the family moved to Compton, a crime-ridden suburb of Los Angeles when she was young. Her father wanted the girls to see "real life" and at the age of 5 she started playing tennis on the cracked public courts. She was home schooled by her father and coached by both her parents.
When she was 9 years-old the family moved again to West Beach in Florida so she could attend Rick Macci's academy to give her additional coaching. At the age of 10 years-old her father stopped sending her to national junior events saying he wanted her to concentrate on her schooling. But it was really because he had heard parents of white players making derogatory remarks about his daughters during tournaments. In 1995 he removed his daughters from the academy and became their full-time coach and they are still coached by their father today.
Serena is known for her flamboyant and controversial outfits on court. At the 2003 US Open she wore a black lycra catsuit and two years later she wore denim skirts and knee-high boots but officials would not allow her to wear the boots during her matches. At Wimbledon in 2008, despite hot and sunny weather, she wore a white trench coat for the warm up before her match.
In 2009 she published her frank autobiography, "Queen of the Court" in which she talks about her jealousy of Venus when she was a youngster and the deep depression she suffered following her half-sister Yetunde's murder on September 14th 2003.
Yetunde, or Tunde as she was affectionately known, was Serena's rock, always there when she was injured or needing help. When Serena jealously thought that Venus was receiving preferential treatment as a child tennis prodigy Tunde told her "Your day will come and it will be better and bigger," and Serena never forgot those words.
Tunde was a 31 year-old single mother when she was shot in the head and pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. She was sitting in a white sport utility vehicle outside a house known to be connected with drugs with her drug-dealing boyfriend when there was a gang confrontation. The house was in Compton, a few streets away from the tennis courts where Serena started playing tennis. It is not known why Tunde was there and her boyfriend was not hurt.
Serena lost all her motivation after the murder and it was only her faith that pulled her through. She was ready to quit tennis but a trip to the slave castles in Ghana helped restore her self-esteem and re-ignited her will to win.
On court the sisters have described as unfeminine but off court Serena is very glamorous Press reports in America said that that this year Serena had broken up with her boyfriend, the rapper Common, aka Lonnie Rashied Lynn Junior. And it is rumoured she has a new boyfriend. In August she was photographed coming out of a restaurant with an unknown man. Paparazzi reported that he had his arm affectionately round her waist but jumped apart when he saw them.