The Year of Serena

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Professional tennis star Serena Williams is only 30-years of age, but it seems like she has been around for a long time. Williams turned pro at the age of 13 and by the time that she was 17, she had defeated Martina Hingis who was ranked no. 1 in the world at the time for her first U.S. Open Title. Over the next few years Serena along with her older sister Venus would go on to take the tennis world by storm. From 2001 to 2003, The Williams sisters would meet six times in Grand Slam finals with Serena defeating her big sister five times.

When you’re at the top of your game, people will always look for a way to bring you down. While her critics would boast of other female tennis players, Serena would just mow them all down. Whether it was Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Kim Clijsters, or Maria Sharapova, Williams has defeated all of them when the bright lights are shining on the tennis world which included Williams defeating Davenport at the 2005 Australian Open.
Williams went through a spell from 2005 to 2009 that included mounting injuries and controversy. After her Australian Open victory in 2005, Williams would struggle with a knee injury that hampered her play. Williams was then forced to withdraw from The Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open in 2005 due to a shoulder injury. Serena also suffered an ankle injury which forced her to retire from her quarterfinal match at The Bausch & Lomb Championships that year as well. The ultra-competitive side came out of Williams at the 2009 U.S Open when she was penalized for unsportsmanlike-conduct during an on-court tirade that included her slamming her tennis racquet to the ground in a match against Clijsters. Williams would lose the match and she was fined and suspended by the Grand Slam Committee. With the injuries taking a toll on her body and the speculation being ignited by her critics that the sport of tennis had passed her by, the Serena Williams version 2.0 is once again setting the gold standard in women’s tennis.
In 2009 and 2010, Williams would go on to win two majors in each year as she won consecutive Australian Opens and Wimbledon Championships. Williams got back in the conversation as being the best in the world and by 2012 she was ready to thrust her game into fifth gear as she has now left the competition trying to catch up.
This year, Williams won her fifth Wimbledon Title as she defeated the third-seeded Agnieszka Radwaska of Poland. Williams would also win the doubles crown at Wimbledon with her sister Venus for the firth time. Williams would return to The All England Club in London at the end of July as a member of The United States Olympic Team. Williams would defeat Sharapova in straight sets for her first individual Olympic Gold medal. Williams would then hang around in England to win her third Gold Medal in doubles with Venus. Williams then capped The Grand Slam portion of the tennis year by winning her fourth U.S. Open Championship this week as she defeated Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in straight sets. 
With 15 Grand Slam Championships in singles competition, Williams is in an elite category. Only Martina Navratalova, Chris Evert, Helen Wills Moody, Steffi Graf, and Margaret Court have won more Grand Slam Titles than Williams. The native of Saginaw, Michigan who grew up in Compton, California undoubtedly has a fiery passion about tennis, but her innate ability to take her game to another level is what leaves people asking how good can she be? As she is currently ranked no.4 in the world, the book on Williams is far from the conclusion and like any other good book, it will only get better every time that it is viewed.
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