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By Josie Ransley
The “GOAT” Serena Williams has been making headlines in the media since her career first began. With the announcement of her retirement from professional tennis, the public continue to reminisce on her successful career. Diving into Williams’ impact, she is known for not only her remarkable tennis skills but as a role model for those around her.
Born in Saginaw, Michigan, and raised in California, Williams started her tennis journey on public courts with her father, Richard Williams. Serena Williams’ parents both supported her tennis career; however, her father was the one who coached her into the decorated athlete she is today. In addition to her father, Williams was also accompanied on the court by her older sister, Venus Williams. Venus Williams was also a force to be reckoned with, within the tennis community. Many people believe Serena would not be where she is today without Venus as her tennis role model.
Besides her athletic domination, Williams also serves as an excellent role model off the court. She is involved in numerous philanthropic causes. The main cause she dedicates her time to is YPRC, The Yetunde Price Resource Center. Started by the Williams family themselves, the organization honors lives and promotes healing for all affected by violence. The Center poses as a safe place and offers services such as counseling to families in need. In addition, Serena Williams partnered with Instacart to donate to and fight hunger in America’s communities. She donated the first 50,000 meals to the cause.
In addition to her philanthropic work, Serena Williams is someone who is seen as an inspiration for females in the world of sports. She is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and arguably one of the greatest athletes of all time. With Venus by her side, the two demonstrate the value of being a female in sports. Seeing women succeed at such a high level is truly electrifying. The duo paved the way for the younger generations of female tennis players.
There is no questioning Serena Williams’ ability on the court. At only 14 years old Williams began her professional tennis journey. Catching eyes with her dominant serve and all-around athleticism, she quickly gained attention in the community and won her first singles title in the 1999 U.S. Open. This came as a shock to many, as her older sister was picked to win her first title before Serena. Over Serena’s 27-year career, she accumulated four Olympic Gold Medals and 23 Grand Slam Titles. But it does not stop there. Alongside her sister, the duo won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and three doubles gold medals in the Olympics.
People from around the world came to support Williams in her final battle. Celebrities, athletes, family, and fans alike watched the GOAT’s outstanding tennis career come to an end. In her last match, Williams lost in a three-hour clash against Ajla Tomljanovic. This brought an emotional end to a monumental career. However, even though she is retired from the sport, her impact lives on.
There is no doubting Williams’ impact on the world of sports. On and off the court, she remains a universal role model. Even after her retirement, Serena will leave a mark on the tennis community -- and the world, forever.