|Venus & Serena: For Real||2005 2004 - 2005||Actor||n/a||20057|
|Nine For IX||2013 2013||Actor||Herself||20137|
|Props||2007 2006 - 2007||Actor||Herself||20077|
|Venus & Serena||2011||Actor||Herself||20117|
|Intimate Portrait: Venus and Serena Williams||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||Interviewee||20027|
|Raising the Roof: Seven Athletes For the 21st Century||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||n/a||20007|
|The Simpsons||2001 2001||Voice||Venus Williams||20016|
|The 2002 ESPY Awards||2002 2001 - 2002||Actor||(Best Female Athlete)||20027|
|The Fake ID Club||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Interviewee||20017|
|I Love The '90s||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Interviewee||20047|
|Ladies' Home Journal Most Fascinating Women of '97||1998 1997 - 1998||Actor||n/a||19987|
|The 2009 ESPY Awards||2009 2008 - 2009||Actor||Presenter||20097|
|The 4th Annual Latin Grammy Awards||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Presenter||20047|
|Fashion Rocks||2005 2004 - 2005||Actor||Presenter||20057|
|1st Annual Laureus Sports Awards||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||Presenter||20007|
|Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year 2000||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||n/a||20017|
|The 34th NAACP Image Awards||2003 2002 - 2003||Actor||n/a||20037|
|The 2001 Essence Awards||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Honoree||20017|
|The 2003 MTV Video Music Awards||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Presenter||20047|
|VH1 Big in '03||2004 2003 - 2004||Actor||Interviewee||20047|
|The 2000 MTV Video Music Awards||2001 2000 - 2001||Actor||Presenter||20017|
|The 2000 Teen Choice Awards||2000 1999 - 2000||Actor||n/a||20007|
|With sister Serena, trained with coach Rick Macci at his West Palm Beach, FL tennis academy|
|Played her first Grand Slam tournament at French Open; reached second round|
|Won gold medal at Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia; also won gold along with Serena in women's doubles|
|Voiced herself on episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox)|
|Made professional tennis debut at Bank of the West Classic in Oakland, CA; lost match to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario|
|Became part owner of professional football team Miami Dolphins alongside her sister and other celebrities including Gloria Estefan, Mark Anthony, and Jennifer Lopez|
|Began playing tennis while growing up in Compton, CA|
|Won three of four Grand Slam tournaments – Wimbledon, U.S. Open, and Australian Open|
|Became first woman to receive same amount of prize money at Wimbledon finals as men's singles winner (Roger Federer)|
|Co-authored Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning with sister|
|Launched own clothing and footwear line called EleVen for national retailer Steve & Barry’s|
|Won fifth Wimbledon women's doubles title with Serena|
Venus Ebony Starr Williams was born on June 17, 1980 in Lynwood, CA to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. She had three half-sisters and a young sister, Serena, who shared her love for tennis. Williams began playing the game competitively after the family moved south to Los Angeles' South Central, Compton. Both she and Serena were home-schooled and coached by their parents at public courts. When she was 10 years old, the family moved to West Palm Beach, FL, where she and her sister trained with coach Rick Macci at his tennis academy. The following year, their father pulled Williams and her sister out of Macci's school so he could coach them himself. In 1994, the 14-year-old Williams made her professional tennis debut at the Bank of the West Classic in Oakland, CA, where she faced (and eventually lost to) then-No. 2 seeded player Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.
Three years after entering the professional realm, Williams competed in her first Grand Slam tournament at the 1997 French Open and reached the second round. That same year, she also made her debut at Wimbledon, considered the most prestigious tournament in tennis, where she lost in the first round. Williams fared much better at that year's U.S. Open, reaching the finals against Martina Hingis. That match made Williams the first unseeded female player since 1958 to reach the U.S. Open finals, as well as the first woman since Pam Shriver in 1978 to play in the finals on her first attempt. By year's end, Williams was ranked No. 22 in the world. In 2000, Williams won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments: Wimbledon, U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. Her agility and controlled game play were William's strong suits, while her powerful serve - clocking between 115 and 130 mph - regularly landed the athlete in the record books. She played strongest on grass courts, which helped Williams nab more Wimbledon titles in 2001, 2005 and 2007. She was also a three-time Olympic gold medalist, taking first place at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia as a singles and doubles player (with Serena), as well as nabbing another gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the doubles competition.
Williams' tennis career included competitive rivalries with some of the strongest women in her sport, from Swiss player Hingis to fellow California native Lindsay Davenport. Her main opponent at the height of her career, however, was none other than her own sibling. The Williams sisters' rivalry continued throughout the 2000s, with several face-offs in Grand Slam finals and alternating as the No. 1 and 2 seeded players in the world. They were also the only two women during the "open era" (when Grand Slam tournaments began allowing professional players to compete with amateurs) of tennis to play each in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. While the Williams sisters were fierce opponents, they were an even bigger force to be reckoned with as a doubles team. The sisters claimed their first doubles title in 2000 at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and won several more tournaments in subsequent years. They also co-authored the book How to Play Tennis: Learn How to Play Tennis with the Williams Sisters in 2004. Other than appearing in tournaments, the less flashy sister rarely appeared on television, although she did provide a guest voice along with Serena and other tennis pros in a 2001 episode of "The Simpsons" (Fox, 1989- ), and was an unsuspecting celebrity target on MTV's "Punk'd" (2003-07).
Even more so than her sibling, Williams often used her success as a platform for gender equality, most notably for female athletes' prize money. In a 2006 essay published in U.K.'s The Times, Williams criticized Wimbledon for awarding more money to male athletes than their female counterparts. After receiving the support of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Women's Tennis Association, and UNESCO, Williams became the first woman to receive the same amount of prize money at the 2007 Wimbledon finals as male singles winner Roger Federer. Off the court, Williams undertook successful ventures in media, fashion, and interior design. She was the CEO of the Florida-based design firm "V Starr Interiors," which helped her earn a spot in 2001 as one of Ladies Home Journal's "30 Most Powerful Women in America." In 2007, she launched her own clothing and footwear line called EleVen for national retailer Steve & Barry's. Two years later, she became part owner of professional football team the Miami Dolphins alongside her sister Serena and fellow big names, including Jimmy Buffett, Gloria Estefan, Mark Anthony and Jennifer Lopez. In 2010, Williams shocked the tennis world when she dropped out of the U.S. Open after being diagnosed with Sjogren's syndrome, an incurable immune system disease. Despite her ongoing health issues, however, she continued to play in exhibition tournaments both as a singles player and her sister's doubles partner.
By Candy Cuenco
|Serena Williams||Sister||Born Sept. 26, 1981; With sister, won gold at Summer Olympic Games in women's doubles (2000, 2008, 2012)|
|In 2010, Williams dropped out of the U.S. Open after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an incurable immune system disease.|
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