52 Interesting Facts About Serena Williams

Last updated on July 26th, 2022

Find below 52 facts about Serena Williams, an American lawn tennis prodigy, and the sister of Venus Williams, who is a lawn tennis sensation too. You will read about her life, her love life, her sports career, hobbies, along with some fun facts too.

1. Serena, a famous American lawn tennis player is the daughter of Richard Williams and Oracene Price and the younger sister of yet another famous tennis player Venus Williams. She was born on 26 September 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan.

2. She is the youngest of five sisters: Yetunde, Isha, Lyndrea, and Venus. Her eldest sister was murdered in the fall of 2003 in Los Angeles, California. Although she was born in Saginaw, Michigan, she was raised in Los Angeles.

3. Her family moved to Palm Beach, Florida when Williams was nine years old so that she could attend Rick Macci’s tennis academy.

Serena Williams facts
Serena Williams during Rolland Garros. Image credit – Yann Caradec

4. Both Serena together with her elder sister were homeschooled by their father from elementary through high school so that they could spare more time to practice tennis. This move would pay off in the future.

5. Serena did go to college. From 2000 to 2003 she attended fashion school at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. However, this does not mean that she was not pursuing her passion for playing tennis.

6. She excelled at pattern making while at this institute, noting that she had always enjoyed mathematics and that she loved the technical aspects of the skill of pattern making. She launched a line of evening wear after graduating from fashion school.

7. Her stint at fashion making turned out to be a failure and the line fizzled out quickly. Tennis finally took precedence at this time, and Serena went back to the tennis courts, winning titles by the dozen and building up a fortune.

tennis racquet and balls. Serena Williams fact file
Image credit – Ryan Hyde

8. During this period she started a family along with Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of Reddit. The couple got married and were blessed with a baby in the year 2017.

9. In 1999, at the young age of 17, Serena won the U.S. Open. This was the beginning of her status as a major tennis star. Apart from tennis, she was also interested in fashion.

10. She began a shortened schedule on the tennis court to attend fashion school, a move that was criticized by many in the tennis community. However, Serena did not let these criticisms deter her from following her passion. She had collaborated on collections with HSN and Nike throughout her career.

11. Serena decided to launch her clothing line named Serena that debuted in the year 2018. Talking to Elle about her new venture, she described that her clothing line was for confident women. She knew that should not be playing the sport forever, and wanted a business lined up once she retired from professional tennis.

12. During an interview, the famous tennis star told reporters that she did not believe in celebrating birthdays because she was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that such celebrations displease God.

A giant tennis racquet commemorating Barellan's favourite daughter - Evonne Goolagong Cawley. fact file of Serena Williams
A giant tennis racquet commemorating Barellan’s favourite daughter – Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Image credit – Matt

13. Serena spent the majority of her time on the tennis courts. Her training started when she was just three years of age. By the time she was in her mid-teens, she was playing professional tennis.

14. Many people wonder about her heritage even though Serena grew up in the United States. Some believed that she was a Jamaican. Serena declined these rumors. Although nobody knows her actual heritage, she has hinted at her ethnic roots being in Africa.

15. The professional career of the legend began in 1995, shortly after Serena’s fourteenth birthday. Within a span of a decade, she won the 2002-2003 season as well as the U.S. Open.

Serena Williams - Grand Slam Results

YearWhereWinner Runner UpScore
1999US OpenSerena WilliamsMartina Hingis 6-3, 7-6
2001US OpenVenus WilliamsSerena Williams6-2, 6-4
2002French Open Serena Williams Venus Williams 7-5, 6-3
2002Wimbledon Serena WilliamsVenus Williams7-6(4), 6-3
2002US Open Serena Williams Venus Williams 6-4, 6-3
2003Australian Open Serena Williams Venus Williams 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4
2003Wimbledon Serena Williams Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
2004Wimbledon Maria Sharapova Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4
2005Australian Open Serena Williams Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-3, 6-0
2007Australian Open Serena Williams Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2
2008Wimbledon Venus Williams Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4
2008US Open Serena Williams Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 7-5
2009Australian Open Serena Williams Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-3
2009Wimbledon Serena Williams Venus Williams 7-6(3), 6-2
2010Australian Open Serena Williams Justine Henin 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
2010Wimbledon Serena Williams Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2
2011US Open Samantha Stosur Serena Williams 6-2, 6-3
2012Wimbledon Serena Williams Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 5-7, 6-2
2012US Open Serena Williams Victoria Azarenka 6-2, 2-6, 7-5
2013French Open Serena Williams Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4
2013US Open Serena Williams Victoria Azarenka 7-6, 6-7, 6-1
2014US Open Serena Williams Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-3
2015Australian Open Serena Williams Maria Sharapova 6-3, 7-6(5)
2015French Open Serena Williams Lucie Safarova 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-2
2015Wimbledon Serena Williams Garbine Muguruza 6-4, 6-4
2016Australian Open Angelique Kerber Serena Williams 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
2016French Open Garbine Muguruza Serena Williams 7-5, 6-4
2016WimbledonSerena Williams Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3
2017Australian Open Serena Williams Venus Williams 6-4, 6-4
2018WimbledonAngelique Kerber Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3
2018US Open Naomi Osaka Serena Williams 6-2, 6-4
2019Wimbledon Simona Halep Serena Williams 6-2, 6-2
2019US OpenBianca Andreescu Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5
Table last updated24 January 2021Grand Slam Finals Appearances: 33

Grand Slam Titles Won: 23

16. It was not long before she started adding more feathers to her cap. In what is referred to as the career Grand Slam, she won all four major tournaments, the Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the French Open, and the Australian Open.

17. It was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Serena would go on to become among the greatest female tennis player of all time. During her illustrious career, she won 23 Grand Slam titles, racking up prize money and sponsorship.

Serena Williams and Simona Halep. facts about Serena Williams
Serena Williams and Simona Halep shake hands at the net after the match. Image credit – mirsasha

18. Serena was also amongst the highest-paid athletes in the world. Despite her fortune and fame, she is well known for giving back. Apart from donating money to numerous causes, she has partnered with multiple non-profit organizations and charities. She was the co-founder of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Kenya that opened in November 2008.

19. Serena has also donated a lot of money to help build schools in Jamaica and Africa. It goes to show that she never let fame and fortune get into her head. 

20. She was not afraid of getting her hands dirty. When she traveled to Jamaica to help build schools in underdeveloped areas, she shared a snap on Instagram showing her build the frame of a wall, while donning work gloves and a hard hat.

21. Charity apart, the tennis superstar has been spotted in Jamaica multiple times, often staying at the $20,000 per week beachfront villa. She is fond of traveling around the world, with Jamaica being a favorite spot for her and her team.

22. Few people are aware of the fact that Serena speaks fluently in French too. She learned this language when she was a teenager. However, only a handful of people outside her inner circle were aware of it until Williams won the French Open in 2013.

Serena Williams and Evander Holyfield
Serena Williams and Evander Holyfield. Image credit – Brecht Bug

23. Serena claimed that she was not from Jamaica when asked why she was learning French. Her quick reply was that many people in Africa speak French outside the native languages. However, she has done lots of work for the underprivileged in Jamaica and Africa.

24. Although Serena was fluent in the French language, she was nervous about sharing this fact with the world. She had once revealed to the press that talking in French was more nerve-racking than playing tennis.

25. Her passion for the French language apart, Serena loves French culture too. She purchased an apartment in Paris that is in close proximity to the famous Eiffel Tower, in which she stays whenever she visits Paris for professional or personal reasons.

26. Serena follows a vegan diet. The tennis titan relaxes her diet during the off-season to include protein. However, she strictly adheres to a plant-based diet when she is training and competing. Serena went vegan after her sister, Venus, was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an auto-immune disease.

Victoria Azarenka vs Serena Williams. Serena Williams facts for kids
Victoria Azarenka defeated Serena Williams 6-4, 6-4 in a women’s final at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Image credit – mirsasha

27. In 2015, Serena was named as the Sportsperson of the Year and her image adorned the cover of Sports Illustrated. This led to some controversy with many individuals claiming that her cover shot was too sexy.

28. Serena continued to remain the supreme female tennis star on the tennis courts after her first Grand Slam. During this period she found success in her personal life and founded The Serena Williams Foundation as well.

29. Although both Serena and Venus are well established and famous in the tennis fraternity, Serena is the leader based on the number of titles won. Venus has won 49 singles titles whereas Serena has won 73.

30. Despite their rivalry, both the sisters have excelled when playing in the doubles. They have won 22 double titles when playing together, which includes three Olympic gold medals and 14 Grand Slam titles.

31. Considered as amongst the most dominating and the most talented female tennis player ever, Serena has achieved everything a tennis player can dream of. Apart from her four Olympic medals, she has won 36 Major titles. She is the sole female tennis player to have won in excess of $50 million in prize money.

Serena Williams in an after match conference.
Serena Williams in an after match conference. Image credit – mirsasha

32. All of us think about the “tennis star” whenever the name Serena Williams is mentioned but how many of us know that she is a dog lover too. She has two dogs: Christopher Chip Rafael Nadal and Lauralei. The tennis legend also lovers tigers.

33. Serena is unarguably a nail enthusiast. She was seen flaunting a koala-bear nail art as she played against her Russian rival Anastasia Potapova in the court in Melbourne Park.

34. Keeping the above fact in mind, it is not surprising that her daughter, Ohanian, would remain far behind. A video posted when Ohanian was two years old shows Serena’s daughter painting her father’s nails with paint.

35. Serena had admitted that Pizza was one of her favorite foods. However, ever since she became a vegan, she now splurges on vegan pizza to accommodate her raw vegan lifestyle.

36. Her vegan diet and her strenuous workout routine apart, Serena admits that she has two non-negotiable strategies. It does not matter whether she is training for tennis or not, she drinks lots of water per day. To be precise, she drinks more than one gallon of water daily.

37. Despite her hectic schedule, Williams always finds a way or two to rejuvenate her mind. It might be watching a TV program that has nothing to do with anything. She also depends on the companionship of her daughter for clearing her mind.

38. Considering that she is a powerhouse athlete, Serena loves to ravish on vegan food. She loves to eat smoothies along with lots of raw fruits. However, even though she learned to eat leafy greens, she was not so strict with her vegan diet and would occasionally take a little fish or chicken.

39. When she is training, plants make up most of her diet. Her breakfast consists of almond butter, fruit, and oats. She prefers a light salad for lunch. For dinner, she takes vegetables with brown rice and chia and hemp seeds.

. . . continue reading on the next page