Serena Williams Voted 2018 AP Female Athlete Of The Year For 5th Time, AND YES, SERENA WILLIAMS IS THE GREATEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL-TIME

Serena Williams Voted 2018 AP Female Athlete Of The Year For 5th Time, AND YES, SERENA WILLIAMS IS THE GREATEST FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL-TIME
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Anastasija Sevastova, of Latvia, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Serena Williams was named The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
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Serena Williams celebrates after defeating Anastasija Sevastova, of Latvia, during the semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York.

@serenawilliams

Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her world No. 1 in singles on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. She reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time on July 8, 2002. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf. In total, she has been No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks third in the “Open Era” among female players behind Graf and Martina Navratilova. Williams holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active players. Her 39 major titles puts her joint-third on the all-time list and second in the Open Era: 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She is the most recent female player to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously (2002–03 and 2014–15) and the third player to achieve this twice, after Rod Laver and Graf. She is also the most recent player to have won a Grand Slam title on each surface (hard, clay and grass) in one calendar year. She is also, together with her sister Venus, the most recent player to have held all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles simultaneously (2009–10). Her total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles marks the record for the most Grand Slam wins in the Open Era, and is second on the all-time list behind Margaret Court (24). She has won an all-time record of 13 Grand Slam singles titles on hard court. Williams holds the Open Era record for most titles won at the Australian Open (7) and shares the Open Era record for most titles won at the US Open with Chris Evert (6). She also holds the all-time record for the most women’s singles matches won at majors with 331 matches.
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Williams has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles, all with her sister Venus, and the pair
are unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals. As a team, she and Venus have the third most women’s doubles Grand Slam titles, behind the 18 titles of Natasha Zvereva (14 with Gigi Fernández) and the record 20 titles won by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver. Williams is also a five-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships in the singles division. She has also won four Olympic gold medals, one in women’s singles and three in women’s doubles—an all-time record shared with her sister, Venus. The arrival of the Williams sisters has been credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women’s professional tennis tour. Earning almost $29 million in prize money and endorsements, Williams was the highest paid female athlete in 2016. She repeated this feat in 2017 when she was the only woman on Forbes‘ list of the 100 highest paid athletes with $27 million in prize money and endorsements. She has won the ‘Laureus Sportswoman of the Year’ award four times (2003, 2010, 2016, 2018), and in December 2015, she was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine.
She showed up in Paris wearing a black catsuit, a reminder that nobody can command the Grand Slam stage quite like Serena Williams.She reached the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, proving again how well she can play no matter how little she practices.Williams didn’t win those or any other tournaments, which in every other situation might have made for a forgettable year.In 2018, it was a remarkable one.Her rapid return to tennis after a health scare following childbirth was a victory in itself, and for that, Williams was voted The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for the fifth time.
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Williams received 93 points in balloting by U.S. editors and news directors announced Wednesday, while gymnast Simone Biles was second with 68. Notre Dame basketball player Arike Ogunbowale was third, while Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim and swimmer Katie Ledecky, the 2017 winner, rounded out the top five.
All of those players won a title or titles in 2018, while Williams had to settle for just coming close a couple of times.Now 37 and a new mother facing some players who weren’t even born when she turned pro in 1995, Williams isn’t the same person who ruthlessly ran her way to 23 Grand Slam singles titles — the last of which came at the 2017 Australian Open when she was pregnant.“I’m still waiting to get to be the Serena that I was, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be that, physically, emotionally, mentally. But I’m on my way,” Williams said on the eve of the U.S. Open final. “I feel like I still have a ways to go. Once I get there, I’ll be able to play even hopefully better.”The Male Athlete of the Year will be announced Thursday.The women’s award has been won more only by Babe Didrikson Zaharias, whose six wins included one for track and five for golf.Williams’ previous times winning the AP honor, in 2002, 2009, 2013 and 2015, were because of her dominance.This one was about her perseverance.Williams developed blood clots after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. on Sept. 1, 2017, and four surgeries would follow. She returned to the WTA Tour in March and played in just a pair of events before the French Open, where she competed in a skin-tight, full-length black catsuit .She said the outfit — worn partly for health reasons because of the clots — made her feel like a superhero, but her game was rarely in superstar shape. She had to withdraw in Paris because of a right pectoral injury and didn’t play again until Wimbledon, where she lost to Angelique Kerber in the final.Williams came up short again in New York, where her loss to Naomi Osaka in the final will be remembered best for her outburst toward chair umpire Carlos Ramos, who had penalized Williams for receiving coaching and later penalized her an entire game for calling him a “thief” while arguing.
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That loss leaves her one major title shy of Margaret Court’s record as she
starts play next year in a WTA Tour that will look different in part because of new rules coming about after issues involving Williams. Players returning to the tour may use a “special ranking” for up to three years from the birth of a child, and the exemption can be used for seedings at big events. Also, the tour says players can wear leggings or compression shorts at its tournaments without a skirt over them.Williams insists she is still driven to play and win as much if not more than before she was a mother. That drive is the focus of a Nike ad showing her in action.“Getting this far, crazy,” it says. “Stopping now, crazier.”Williams won’t.“I’m still on the way up,” she said. “There’s still much more that I plan on doing.”The rest of the top five:Simone Biles, gymnastics . The American won four golds and six medals overall in the world championships in Qatar, giving her 20 in her career to tie Russia’s Svetlana Khorkina for the most by a female gymnast.

Arike Ogunbowale, women’s basketball . She hit one jumper to knock off previously unbeaten Connecticut in the Final Four, then a 3-pointer in the championship game to lift Notre Dame over Mississippi State.

Chloe Kim, snowboarding . At 17, the Californian won the halfpipe Olympic gold medal in South Korea, where her parents were from before they immigrated to the United States.

Katie Ledecky, swimming . The 21-year-old U.S. Olympian tuned up for the 2020 Games in Tokyo by winning five medals in the city at the Pan Pacific Championships.

In the early 2000s, Williams wore Puma apparel and footwear on court. She used the Wilson Hammer 6.4 Stretch Power Holes racket. Today, she is endorsed by Nike and uses the Wilson Blade 104.

Williams also has endorsement deals with Gatorade, Delta Air Lines, Audemars Piguet, Aston Martin, Pepsi, Beats by Dre headphones, Mission Athletecare, Berlei bras, OPI Products, OnePiece, IBM, Mini, Intel, Tempur and Chase Bank.

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Williams is the current CSO (Chief Sporting Officer) for British luxury automobile manufacturer Aston Martin. She accepted the contract in June 2015. Williams then posted her first experience on social media service Twitter, and said: “I’m loving my first day on the job as Chief Sporting Officer and Director of Fun!”, stating her optimism on the job as the CSO.

Williams is also on the Board of Directors at SurveyMonkey.

Fashion

Williams has been noted for her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, there was much talk when she wore a black lycra catsuit at the US Open.  At the 2004 US Open, Williams wore denim skirts and knee-high boots—tournament officials, however, did not allow her to wear the boots during matches. At the 2008 Wimbledon, the white trench coat she wore during warm-up for her opening match was the subject of much discussion since it was worn despite sunny weather. Some social scientists have argued that the most negative reactions to Williams’ on-court fashion statements, especially in newspaper coverage of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, combines with writers’ fixation upon her muscular body to distract from her on-court accomplishments and fit this commentary within centuries-old narratives of the “pornographic eroticism” and “sexual grotesquerie” of African and African-American women.

Williams formerly had a special line with Puma. In April 2004, she signed a deal worth US$40 million for a line with Nike. Since 2004, she has also run her own line of designer apparel, “Aneres”—her first name spelled backward. In 2009, she launched a signature collection of handbags and jewelry. The collection, Signature Statement, is sold mainly on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

In early 2010, Williams became a certified nail technician in preparation for her upcoming nail collection with a company called HairTech. In 2015, she became the first black female athlete to have a picture by herself on the cover of Vogue, which she did for the April 2015 issue. In 2015, she also presented her HSN Signature Statement collection for the second time at the New York Fashion Week Show‍—‌a clothing line exclusively made for the retailer HSN.

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In May 2018 she wore a skin-tight catsuit at the 2018 French Open that was likened to a superhero outfit and helped promote her new clothing line, Serena. The outfit was subsequently banned by the French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli, with the explanation: “It will no longer be accepted. One must respect the game and the place.” Williams expressed no hard feelings towards the French, then she wore a black tutu to her first match at the 2018 US Open on August 27, 2018 against Magda Linette which she dominated in straight sets.

Activism

Williams has become more involved in social change as her career has progressed, primarily using social media as a medium of expressing her views. In 2016 she posted her support of Black Lives Matter on her Facebook page, voicing her concern about her young nephew being in danger from police officers due to his skin color.

Entertainment

Williams has appeared on television and also provided voice work on animated shows: in a 2001 episode of The Simpsons Serena joined the animation along with sister Venus, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.[350] She has also provided guest voice work in a 2005 episode of Playhouse Disney’s animated kids show Higglytown Heroes and a 2007 episode of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, which she has described as her “favorite show”.

Williams has posed for the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In April 2005, MTV announced plans to broadcast a reality show around the lives of Serena and Venus, which was eventually aired on ABC Family. Williams has appeared twice on MTV’s Punk’d and in 2007, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race. In 2002, she played Miss Wiggins in the season 3 episode “Crouching Mother, Hidden Father” of My Wife and Kids; she has also guest-starred in episodes of The Bernie Mac Show, ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2007, Williams appeared in the music video of “I Want You” by the American rapper Common, alongside performers Alicia Keys and Kanye West.

In late 2009, Williams became the first active female professional athlete to appear in a feminine hygiene product advertising campaign. A series of online videos and print advertisements for Tampax Pearl tampons showed her hitting balls at Mother Nature, played by Catherine Lloyd Burns, to prevent Mother Nature giving her a red-wrapped gift, representing her menstrual period. In the online videos, the two have dueling press conferences over the “bad blood” between them. “A lot of celebrities are not open to working with our brand, and we’re thrilled that Serena is”, said a brand manager for Tampax at Procter & Gamble.

In July 2012, she appeared in the ABC comedic improv television series Trust Us with Your Life and as a lawyer on the Lifetime television series Drop Dead Diva.

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Pac-Man, Williams made a cameo appearance in the movie Pixels, which starred Adam Sandler and Kevin James, and premiered on July 24, 2015.[358]

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Williams is known to be close to Beyoncé and made a cameo appearance dancing in Beyoncé’s music video for the song Sorry in the hit album Lemonade. Williams said the director told her, “We would love for you to be in this particular song. It’s about strength and it’s about courage and that’s what we see you as.”

Language fluency

In addition to English as her native language, Williams also speaks conversational French, and knows some Spanish and Italian. At the 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018 French Open she gave her on-court interviews in French, much to the crowd’s delight.

Miami Dolphins venture

In August 2009, Williams and her sister Venus became minority owners of the Miami Dolphins after purchasing a small stake in the team. They live near each other in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, which is about an hour’s drive from the Dolphins’ stadium. They are the first Black women to hold any amount of ownership in an NFL franchise.

Charity work

In 2008, as part of the Serena Williams Foundation’s work, Williams helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya. The Serena Williams Foundation also provides university scholarships for underprivileged students in the United States. In 2016, the Serena Williams Fund partnered with Helping Hands Jamaica to build the Salt Marsh Primary School for Jamaican youth in Trelawny Parish. 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. 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). 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. Serena, along with her sister Venus, is a supporter and contributor of First Serve Miami, a foundation for youth who want to learn tennis but are socially and economically challenged. She has been an International Goodwill Ambassador with UNICEF since 2011 and has helped launch UNICEF’s Schools for Asia campaign.

In addition to the Serena Williams Fund in 2016, Serena and Venus collaborated on the Williams Sisters Fund to work on philanthropic projects together. Also in 2016, in their childhood home of Compton, California Serena and Venus teamed up to found the Yetunde Price Resource Center, in honor of their late sister. The Resource Center provides services to families affected by community violence.

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Williams’s return to Indian Wells in 2015 was done in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation to those who might have been denied a fair trial.[379] EJI executive director Bryan Stevenson lauded her courage in supporting his organization. “It’s so rare when athletes at the top of their game are willing to embrace a set of issues that, for a lot of people, are edgier”, he said. “This is not aid to orphans. … She was standing when a lot of her contemporaries remain seated, speaking up when others are being quiet.”

In 2014, Williams began hosting an annual charity run named “The Serena Williams Ultimate Fun Run”. The event is in support of the Serena Williams Fund, which helps underprivileged individuals and communities that are affected by senseless violence and to ensure equal access to education of youth.

In 2017, Williams became Ambassador for the Allstate Foundation‘s Purple Purse project, an initiative to provide financial empowerment to domestic abuse victims. In a press release, Vicky Dinges, Allstate’s senior vice president of corporate responsibility, said, “we are thrilled to welcome Serena, a longtime advocate and role model for so many, to the Purple Purse family. Her voice will bring new audiences into this critical conversation.”

Other charitable organizations Williams supports include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Hearts of Gold, the Common Ground Foundation, the Small Steps Project, the HollyRod Foundation, Beyond the Boroughs National Scholarship Fund, World Education, the Eva Longoria Foundation, the Caliber Foundation and the Cure for MND Foundation.

Writing

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The Williams sisters, with author Hilary Beard, wrote a book titled Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning, which was published in 2005. During the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, Williams said that she is in the process of writing a TV show storyline, which will be converted into script form by her agency. She stated that the show will represent subject matter from a mix of popular American television shows such as Desperate Housewives, and Family Guy. Williams released her first solo autobiography entitled On the Line, following the 2009 US Open.

Williams sisters match at Mubadala World Tennis Championship is ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’, Tournament director pleased to have the women, who have 30 grand slam titles between them, competing in Abu Dhabi.

The first ever meeting of Serena Williams and Venus Williams in Abu Dhabi has been called “an once in a lifetime opportunity” by Vickie Gunnarsson, the tournament director of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC).

The match-up between the American sisters is the final match on Thursday’s opening day of the three-day tournament at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City, with the action due to start at 8pm.

Serena is back in Abu Dhabi a year after she competed in the first women’s match at the MWTC when she lost to Jelena Ostapenko, and the 23-time major winner is up against her older sibling, who has seven grand slam titles to her name.

With Serena being 37 and Venus 38, Gunnarsson, who has overseen every MWTC since its inception in 2009, believes that people should enjoy the Williams sisters taking each other on while they still can with both players in the latter days of their careers.

 

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