Serena Williams: A Living Legend

   It certainly won’t feel the same to watch Grand Slams that don’t feature Serena Williams, but every amazing run inevitably meets its bittersweet ending. Instead of seeing her dominant serve and buttery-smooth forehand grace your TV screen, Williams will be investing more time into her personal business ventures and looking to expand her family.

   Since she first picked up a tennis racket at the age of 3, Williams was destined for greatness, as she spent countless hours polishing her forehand and backhand techniques. At 14, Williams started her career as a professional and went on to win a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, second to only Margaret Court. Nevertheless, when looking back on Williams’ career, it was not the wins or dominance that won her the admiration of tennis viewers across the world, but rather the passion and fierce determination she played with.

   “Her strength and power…is what [stood] out,” Pinewood tennis coach Craig Corfield said. “She just powered people off the court. Plain and simple.”

   Outside of her awe-inspiring performances and years of domination, Williams’ strong sense of self, unwavering confidence, and flamboyant fashion sense has empowered little girls around the world for decades.

   Through everything, Williams also remained true to her roots and where she came from. She embraced the challenges of growing up in Compton, California, and attributes her current success to her sister, Venus Williams, and her parents, Richard Williams and Oracene Price. 

   Her desire to be the best possible mother for her daughter, who she was two-months pregnant with when she won the Australian Open, likely stems from the laudable example her parents set for her.

   “I just love being a mom…[but] being a mom is not easy…I am so proud and inspired by the women who do it day in and day out,” Williams said.

   Admittedly, Williams had doubts of becoming a mother due to the implications a hiatus like that would have on her body and career, but what she gained from motherhood was far greater than what she could have imagined. Her courage to return to the game of tennis after giving birth epitomized her toughness and reaffirmed everyone’s veneration of her. It also showed other women that it was possible to be a mother, businesswoman, and world-class athlete all at once.

   While Williams will no longer be hitting aces on set point or sporting her diamond-studded leather jacket and iconic catsuit, she is still adding to her long list of accomplishments by continuing to promote Serena Ventures, her venture capital firm, and S by Serena, her clothing brand that celebrates the smart, sophisticated, and stylish qualities in every individual. To no surprise, her influence and legacy will continue to be felt for generations to come.

      “I have never liked the word retirement,” Williams said. “Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution…I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”