Serena Williams - The Glittering Reign of the Tennis Queen, "Throughout my life, tennis has always been present in my mind, even when I'm not practicing."

Serena Williams - The Glittering Reign of the Tennis Queen, "Throughout my life, tennis has always been present in my mind, even when I'm not practicing."

Serena Jameka Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan, USA, to parents Richard and Oracene Williams. The youngest of 5 siblings, Serena, along with her sister Venus Williams, were destined to become illustrious tennis champions.

At this point, you might think Serena was fortunate to be born into a wealthy family. But the truth is, her parents were both hardworking farmers striving to make ends meet for the family. Her father persisted and was determined to nurture his two youngest daughters, Serena and Venus, into professional tennis players. He relied on books and instructional videos to guide his children through the arduous journey. At the age of just 3, Serena had to practice tennis for two hours a day at a nearby court in Compton, California.

The nature of the place was plagued with drugs, gangs, and guns that appeared daily. Living in such a crime-ridden place, her father wanted his children to see the darker side of life, that if they didn't strive, their future could be like those struggling individuals there. The tennis court where Serena honed her skills couldn't even be considered safe. The court was littered with small and large potholes, the net was torn, and sometimes even absent. Moreover, there were used syringes lying around from drug addicts. There were times when the ball accidentally rolled under a tree filled with syringes, but Serena still gritted her teeth and went to retrieve the ball. It was also because her family wasn't affluent, so they had to save every bit they could.

In 1991, Serena achieved notable milestones such as being ranked first among those aged 10 and under by the United States Tennis Association. Realizing that her daughter needed proper guidance to pursue a professional tennis career, her father moved the family to Florida, where the star named Serena Williams began to shine brightly.

"I've always believed that what makes a champion isn't just their shining victories but how they rise after life's stumbles."

Serena Williams officially turned professional in 1995 at the age of just 14. From that moment on, she consistently evoked awe with the phrase "Truly, youth is talented!" She took just over 12 months to rise from rank 304 to 99 in the world tennis rankings. Just a year later, when she graduated from high school, Serena successfully signed an endorsement deal with the Puma brand for nearly $12 million.

In 2002, Serena consecutively won the French Open, US Open, and Wimbledon. Interestingly, she faced her sister Venus in the first round of each tournament and emerged victorious. She made her mark at the Australian Open in 2003, a feat that propelled her into the ranks of the six female tennis players worldwide to achieve a Grand Slam title. In tennis, winning a Grand Slam means winning one of the four major tournaments — the US, French, Australian Opens, and Wimbledon — within a year. And if a player wins all four tournaments in a year, it's considered the pinnacle of their career. In the following years, Serena continued to participate in various tennis tournaments and brought home many more prestigious Grand Slam titles.

However, there's a harsh truth that no career path is entirely smooth and easy. Behind Serena Williams' dazzling triumphs lay moments of stumbling, revealing an imperfect side of herself. Like most other women of color, she endured hardships and bitterness in life, even when she had achieved fame and a certain status in society.

At the 2018 US Open women's tennis tournament, many of Serena's fans were outraged when she lost a match entirely. And naturally, like many other tennis players have done, she expressed her frustration and anger by forcefully throwing her racket onto the court. But ironically, she was the only one mocked for it. After that moment was broadcast on national television, there was an animated film depicting Serena as an overweight black woman venting her anger on her tiny racket. Behind her was an image of the match referee defending her opponent, a white woman, so Serena could win the match. This was not only a disrespectful, demeaning act but also demonstrated gender and racial discrimination.

Of course, that wasn't the only discrimination, mockery she had to endure. In 2017, after giving birth to her first child, Serena suffered from various health issues that significantly weakened her. But when she explained her condition to her treating physician, they simply said she would get better. This was because there had always been an ingrained notion that black people always had superior health and nothing could be difficult for them. It wasn't until she insisted on being diagnosed that they discovered she had a blood clot in her lungs. If this hadn't been detected, she might have had to give up her life.

"The success of every woman deserves to be an inspiration to others. What we need to do is to honor each other."

All these setbacks, difficulties couldn't defeat the female warrior Serena Williams. They only highlighted her admirable glory, turning her into a positive inspiration for many others.

Not only did she stand up for herself, but she also repeatedly showed support for her fellow female colleagues. After the match ended, the victory prize was awarded to Naomi Osaka, a promising Asian female tennis player in recent years. But it seemed the audience disagreed with the result and kept protesting against Naomi's opponent. When it was Serena Williams' turn to express her thoughts on the match, she said, "Life is a melody with ups and downs, this is just a small low note in it. So hold your head up high and be proud of yourself." This message touched the hearts of many viewers as well as other female tennis players who were facing challenges and injustices related to their ethnicity.

Each of us will face difficulties, challenges in life. But will you stumble, give up, or will you continue to rise and fight for success? Your life should be yours to decide. Every moment existing in this life is precious, so let's try to live fully, do everything we can so that we won't regret anything later.

Serena Williams' journey is not just about winning matches; it's about resilience, determination, and breaking barriers. Despite facing numerous obstacles, she continues to inspire millions around the world with her strength and grace.

In her own words, "I've had to learn to fight all my life - got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile, things will work out." Serena's story teaches us that no matter how tough the road may seem, with perseverance and a positive attitude, we can overcome any challenge.

So let Serena's journey be a reminder that success is not measured solely by victories but by how we rise after every fall. And may her story motivate us to pursue our dreams relentlessly, with unwavering courage and determination.

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