Serena Williams’ first children’s book, The Adventures of Qai Qai, will be published in September 2022

Alexis Ohanian, Olympia Ohanian Jr, and Serena Williams arrives at the 2021 AFI Fest: Closing Night Premiere Of Warner Bros. "King Richard"
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Alexis Ohanian, Olympia Ohanian and Serena Williams

First Serena Williams gave her daughter’s doll Qai Qai her own Instagram account. Now, she’s getting her own book!

On Thursday, the tennis star announced that she’s releasing her first children’s book, The Adventures of Qai Qai, with Invisible Universe, an entertainment technology company. The kids’ book is illustrated by Yesenia Moises and will be published by Feiwel and Friends on September 27, 2022.

“Storytime is such an important pillar of our bedtime routine, like so many others around the world,” Williams, 40, said in a statement about reading with her 4-year-old daughter Olympia, whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian, 38. (See below for art from the book shared exclusively with PEOPLE.)

“Qai Qai is a special member of our family and we hope The Adventures of Qai Qai will give others a new way to welcome Qai Qai into their own home.”

The Adventures of Qai Qai by Serena Williams
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After Williams and Ohanian gave the doll to their young daughter, the two became inseparable. The couple wanted to share Qai Qai’s fun antics with the world by creating her own Instagram account in August 2018, with the help of Invisible Universe, which brought the doll to life.

Since then, Williams and Ohanian have continued to share Olympia’s toy with fans both in-person and on Instagram. (In May, Williams posed with Olympia and Qai Qai in matching pink swimsuits. “When @nike makes a swimsuit for not just @olympiaohanian but @realqaiqai too,” the athlete captioned the photo.) Qai Qai is now an Internet celebrity and a beloved doll for thousands of children,

“I know one thing four years ago that was really important to us was to make sure that Olympia had a Black baby doll,” Ohanian, who teamed up with Adobe and Invisible Universe to create a free coloring book in honor of International Daughters Day, told PEOPLE in September.

“And have that be a very important first doll for her, if for no other reason than to just expose her to something that can hopefully break a cycle that we know exists,” he continued. “The Baby Doll Test has been used as an example for displaying the problems of societal discrimination and how hard-coded that gets into culture.

The Adventures of Qai Qai by Serena Williams
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“Very quickly we started to see this story play out online of people who were just so enamored with this doll and were really excited to hear about the stories and adventures she was going to go on,” the Reddit co-founder added. “I think there’s a lot of people who have resonated with this idea of a really mischievous, and fun, and clever, and brave, and strong little girl doll and I’m excited to see all the places she goes and I do hope it can inspire kids – boys, girls, Black, white – all over the world to just have fun and dream.”

In The Adventures of Qai Qai, the doll teaches a young girl about “the importance of believing in herself.” The book celebrates friendship and the power of imagination.

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Serena Williams‘s next serve is going to be as a children’s book author.

The tennis superstar is penning her first book aimed at kids, she announced Thursday, with the release of “The Adventures of Qai Qai.”

The tale is based on a doll, Qai Qai, which Williams created for her 4-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. The character has since garnered a large social media following, boasting more than 3 million fans on Tik Tok.

“Since realizing @RealQaiQai’s ability to spread joy to our own family and also millions of others around the world, we’ve wanted to tell her story in every way possible,” Williams said in an Instagram post. The 40-year-old athlete said the story is about “the power of friendship and imagination.”

A promotional page from “The Adventures of Qai Qai’s” publisher described the project as a “magical picture book in which a little girl learns to believe in herself with the help of her doll and best friend, Qai Qai.”

Fans of Qai Qai, however, will have to wait for her first literary escapade — the book is poised to be released in September 2022.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams
Serena Williams at 2013 US Open.jpg
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Williams at the 2013 US Open
Full name Serena Jameka Williams
Country (sports)
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United States
Residence Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, U.S.[1]
Born September 26, 1981 (age 40)
Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
Height 5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[1]
Turned pro October 1995
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach
Prize money US$ 94,518,971[3]

Official website www.serenawilliams.com
Singles
Career record 855–152 (84.9%)
Career titles 73 (5th in overall rankings)
Highest ranking No. 1 (July 8, 2002)
Current ranking No. 41 (October 4, 2021)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2017)
French Open W (2002, 2013, 2015)
Wimbledon W (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016)
US Open W (1999, 2002, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Other tournaments
Grand Slam Cup W (1999)
Tour Finals W (2001, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Olympic Games W (2012)
Doubles
Career record 190–34 (84.8%)
Career titles 23
Highest ranking No. 1 (June 21, 2010)
Current ranking No. 430 (November 22, 2021)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open W (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010)
French Open W (1999, 2010)
Wimbledon W (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016)
US Open W (1999, 2009)
Other doubles tournaments
Tour Finals SF (2009)
Olympic Games W (2000, 2008, 2012)
Mixed doubles
Career record 27–4 (87.1%)
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open F (1999)
French Open F (1998)
Wimbledon W (1998)
US Open W (1998)
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (1999), record 17–3
Hopman Cup W (2003, 2008)
Medal record
Representing
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United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place
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2000 Sydney Doubles
Gold medal – first place
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2008 Beijing Doubles
Gold medal – first place
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2012 London Singles
Gold medal – first place
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2012 London Doubles
Last updated on: November 22, 2021.

Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player, fashion designer, philanthropist, and movie producer. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time behind Margaret Court (24). The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her singles world No. 1 on eight separate occasions between 2002 and 2017. On her sixth occasion, she held the ranking for 186 consecutive weeks, tying the record set by Steffi Graf. In total, she has been WTA No. 1 for 319 weeks, which ranks third in the Open Era behind Graf and Martina Navratilova. She is the only American player, male or female, to win more than 20 slams.

Williams is widely regarded to be one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She holds the most Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined among active players. Her 39 Grand Slam titles put 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 female player to have won a Grand Slam title on each surface (hard, clay and grass) in one calendar year (2015). She is also, together with her older sister Venus, the most recent player to have held all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles simultaneously (2009–10).

Williams has won a 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 records for the most women’s singles matches won at majors with 365 matches and most singles majors won since turning 30 years old (10). She is the only tennis player, male or female, to have won three of the four Grand Slams at least 6 times. Williams is also a five-time winner of the WTA Tour Championships in the singles division.

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. She and Venus are the only tennis players in history with four Olympic gold medals, as well as the only ones to win Olympic gold in the same event on three occasions. She and Venus are the only Open Era female tennis players to win Olympic Gold in both the singles and doubles categories. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, Williams became only the third player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at one Olympic Games, after Helen Wills Moody at the 1924 Summer Olympics and Venus at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Williams is the only player, male or female, to accomplish a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. 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 world’s 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. In 2021, she was ranked 28th on Forbes World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list. In terms of career prize money, she stands as the highest-earning female athlete of all time.

Early life

Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan to Oracene Price and Richard Williams. She is the youngest of Price’s five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde, Lyndrea, and Isha Price, and full older sister Venus. She also has at least seven paternal half-siblings. When the children were young, the family moved to Compton, California, where Williams started playing tennis at the age of four. Her father home schooled Serena and her sister, Venus. While he and subsequently her mother have been the official coaches, other mentors who helped her learn the game included Richard Williams, a Compton man who shared her father’s name and would go on to found The Venus and Serena Williams Tennis/Tutorial Academy.

Williams sisters in Baltimore, 1993

When Williams was nine, she and her family moved from Compton to West Palm Beach, Florida, so that she could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci; Macci began to provide additional coaching. Macci did not always agree with Williams’s father, but respected that “he treated his daughters like kids, allowed them to be little girls”. Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Williams was 10 since he wanted them to go slowly and to focus on school work. Experiences of racism also drove this experience, as Richard Williams had heard white parents talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments. At that time, Williams had a 46–3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked number one among under-10 players in Florida. In 1995, when Williams was in the ninth grade, her father pulled his daughters out of Macci’s academy and, from then on, took over all coaching at their home. When asked in 2000 whether having followed the normal path of playing regularly on the junior circuit would have been beneficial, Williams responded: “Everyone does different things. I think for Venus and I, we just attempted a different road, and it worked for us.”