Serena Williams is now the star of her own HBO reality TV show. It's called, "Being Serena". This show just started and it takes us inside of the mind of one of the world's most exciting and successful elite athletes. If you're a tennis fan, you may want to tune into "Being Serena", which begins with an inside look at Serena's recent pregnancy. The pregnancy culminated in (SPOILER ALERT) an emergency C-section.
Serena was born on the 26th of September, 1981. She's currently 36. Age takes a toll on every A-list athlete sooner or later, but Williams is still going strong in the world of top-tier tennis. Her bounce back from childbirth was lightning-fast, despite a very rough labor where, according to Serena herself, "everything went bad".
Her baby girl was born healthy and Williams worked hard to overcome serious health issues which were triggered by labor. Serena Williams played an exhibition tennis match in Abu Dhabi just four months after giving birth. She lost, but what a warrior she is! She was just happy to be back on the court where she belongs!
Serena is a subject of fascination because she's an exceptionally gifted, strong and sometimes-controversial tennis player. In terms of Serena Williams controversy, her on-court tantrums are the stuff of legend. She hasn't melted down on the court lately, but it could happen again. Perhaps becoming a mother has tamed her temper.
Now, let's look at 20 reasons why Serena Williams is the only athlete worth watching...
20 She’s Working On a Big Comeback
Watching a big athlete stage a big comeback is always a thrill. So much is at stake for the elite athlete. The best athletes want to stay on top and that isn't easy. Every year, there are new competitors rising through the ranks, who are young, hungry and eager to win tournaments. There are also old rivals out there who may still be tough to beat.
Serena took time off to have a baby. She didn't leave the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) circuit because she didn't love the sport anymore or wasn't successful anymore. For this reason, she has every chance of moving back up to the top. In tennis, a comeback takes a little time.
Serena's rival, Maria Sharapova, is also working on a comeback right now, after getting busted for using performance enhancers, and Sharapova is making good progress, but it's not possible to become the number one WTA queen without winning a lot of matches.
Serena had big health problems after her baby girl was born. Imagine yourself giving birth, then dealing with a severe health issue. After that, you need to care for a newborn as you heal. Then, it's time to start conditioning your body for long and grueling tennis matches. Sound exhausting, doesn't it? I'm sure it was, but this woman is driven to achieve. Her hard work is an inspiration.
19 She May Be the GMOAT
Is Serena the GMOAT? Her adoring husband, Alexis Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit, definitely thinks so! In a grand romantic gesture which was, frankly, really cute, he paid for a bunch of billboards that proclaimed Serena the "G.M.O.A.T" - Greatest Mother of All Time. It's safe to say that Alexis thinks his lady is the greatest tennis player of all time, too. Serena may just agree with him! Lots of people do and with good reason.
The billboards appeared right before Serena was slated to hit the court in Indian Wells, California. Their baby daughter, Alexis Olympia, appeared on the billboards.
Serena’s track record in tennis is astounding. She’s probably the best female player of all time, or very close to it. Let's look at the stats for a second. She's won $84,525,911 in prize money. She's only racked up about 65k so far this year from WTA competition, but give her time! She WILL make more.
She's set the Open Era record for Grand Slam victories (she has 23). In order to set this record, she had to beat 11 players who have all hit number one in the WTA rankings. One of them was her sis, Venus Williams. Serena has won 92 WTA career finals. She has 4 Olympic gold medals.
18 She’s Just Had a Baby
Serena is loving motherhood and motherhood has changed her, just like it changes every other woman. I've noticed she’s not losing her temper on the court anymore (at least, not yet) and her daughter may be the reason why.
Serena is a Libra is they need balance. Before her daughter was born, Serena was all about tennis. Now, she's a married woman with a devoted husband and a very cute baby girl. She life is more balanced (and probably really hectic) because there is more to it than tennis.
Despite the new addition to her family, she's still laser-focused on winning tennis matches. She's not content to remember past glories. She wants more glory. It might be tough for her to watch other female tennis players win all of the tournaments and accolades that she used to win. Being a Mom wouldn't make that much easier.
In February, there was some controversy when a newspaper called Serena's very successful husband a "babysitter". The Nigerian newspaper seemed to denigrate her husband, Alexis Ohanian, for choosing to parent the baby while Serena worked. The Web got angry.
Serena may find it easier to pursue tennis glory because she has excellent backup at home, from a man who sincerely enjoys spending time with his baby. She deserves nothing less. Alexis co-founded Reddit, so he's already made a big mark in his own career. Serena and her hubby are a power couple, not a tennis player and a babysitter.
17 She’s Married to the Reddit Guy
Serena used to be all about tennis. Now, she’s married to a powerful man and her relationship with him gets tons of press coverage. Serena and Alexis are still in the proverbial "honeymoon" phase of the relationship, where everything seems like sunshine and roses. Fifty percent of American marriages fail, so we'll see how this marriage of two powerful and well-known people works out. Hopefully, it'll last forever.
Serena has dated powerful guys in the past, including disgraced director, Brett Ratner, who has been accused of misconduct with women. Actress Olivia Munn was one of the women who accused the director of wrongdoing.
Alexis hasn't been a target of the visionary and timely #metoo movement. He seems quite content to be a typical hubby and he's clearly deeply in love with the charming GMOAT that married him while wearing a frothy bridal gown by Sarah Burton by Alexander McQueen.
Serena actually had three wedding dresses, but that's a whole other story!
Alexis shares cute details about his wife sometimes. According to the Daily Mail, Alexis has to make a night run to a local grocery store to pick up the veggies that Serena craved while she was pregnant. Alexis thought it was funny that his wife was craving healthy stuff. His wife didn't want pickles and ice cream. She wanted asparagus, artichokes, and zucchini.
He seems like a wonderful husband so far. Good for her for finding a great guy.
16 She’s a Powerful Role Model
Serena has inspired a generation of girls to get out there and master tennis. She inspired current tennis ace, Naomi Osaka, who hails from Japan, to get into the game. Naomi had the chance to play against her childhood hero recently and she actually beat Serena at the 2018 Miami Open.
Naomi was very gracious after winning against Serena. She said in a post-match interview that she had walked onto the court wanting to "impress" her hero. She also admitted to feeling nervous before the game.
Naomi considered the opportunity to play against Serena Williams to be a dream come true. This shows just how powerful of a role model Serena really is. Osaka is very cool under pressure and extremely talented. She's a star on the rise. Maybe she reminds Serena of herself at the same age.
Naomi was just twenty years old when she beat Serena. Serena was 36 during the game. That's a big age gap and it shows what Serena is up against during her comeback.
According to the Teen Vogue website, Serena wants to inspire "every woman". She's also very vocal about supporting racial equality and gender equality. Another reason to like Serena is the fact that she's committed to encouraging young women to love themselves. She believes that young women should accept themselves and see the beauty in themselves.
15 She’s a Philanthropist
Serena leverages her tennis fame to earn money for worthy charities. Her most recent charitable gambit was a golden "S" pin, which she encouraged fans to buy and wear during her matches in Miami, Florida and Indian Wells, California. Serena's return to tennis happened at the same time as International Women's Day.
The gold "S" pins were a great gimmick. The pins were sold at Serena's booths at the tennis tournaments, so they were pretty exclusive. Proceeds from the pins went to the Yetunde Price Resource Center.
According to the Center's official website, it honors the legacy and life of Yetunde Price by helping children, individuals and families to heal from trauma. Those who need help are able to access free or cheap services in the community, as well as community education and art therapy.
Williams has also helped Unicef. In 2010, she let the public know about the Schools for Asia campaign that Unicef was preparing to put into action. The goal of the charity campaign was to educate twenty-six million needy kids in Asia by 2015. When Serena partnered with Unicef, she brought a lot of valuable publicity to the campaign. It's nice that Serena knows how to give back and pay it forward.
14 Serena Competes Against Her Own Sister
When Serena and her sister, Venus, face off on the court, the sparks fly. Serena says that she feels bad when she beats Venus. When Serena played Venus at Indian Wells in March 2018, it was the twenty-ninth match against her own sister!
For twenty years, these siblings have had to compete against each other. That's a strange situation that they've had to get used to and adjust to! The first time that they played each other, Venus was victorious in straight sets. It's rare for a set of parents to produce two world-class WTA stars, rather than just one. Actually, it's rare for a set of parents to produce even one tennis legend. Clearly, the Williams sisters are genetically blessed and also had the right sort of upbringing for tennis success.
Overall, Serena wins in the Serena Vs. Venus statistics. She leads 17-2 in head-to-head matches. Both women have had number one rankings worldwide. Venus held the coveted number one position for eleven weeks in 2002 and Serena was once number one for a staggering 316 weeks, starting in summer of 2002.
Serena and Venus are close. Their on-court competitions haven't pushed them apart. They have played doubles together and done very well (what else would you expect?). They've earned 22 doubles titles, including a trio of Olympic gold medals and 14 Grand Slam titles.
13 She Wears Wild Tennis Outfits
Do you remember the scandal that erupted when Serena wore a lingerie-inspired tennis outfit at the 2010 French Open? She paired a lacy black dress with red trim with flesh-toned boy shorts and a lot of people complained that her tennis dress was just too risqué.
Serena didn't really care about the criticism. She has a strong sense of self and has said that she'd wear the same thing again because she liked it. So there, haters.
Serena is into fashion and she takes a lot of fashion chances on the court. The tennis court is her kingdom (queendom?) and there's no reason why she shouldn't express her personal style while she's out there destroying opponents, or fighting back during losing rare losing streaks.
In Indian Wells, in 2018, she flaunted her post-baby body in clinging black. Her tennis dress was accessorized with matching black armbands. She wore black leggings under her dress. She's really worn every color of the rainbow. Black isn't her default color for tennis outfits. She's rocked hot pink, white, red, neon yellow and so much more.
Her sister, Venus, has also worn some racy tennis ensembles but chose something ladylike and modest for her match against her sister in Indian Wells. Venus went for a white dress with a pretty floral print.
12 She’s Overcome Big Challenges
Serena has had health problems for years, including a pulmonary embolism. She’s always fighting to perform despite her health issues. Her sister, Venus, has also been hit with health problems. These two sisters have been so lucky in so many ways, but not with their health.
In 2011, she let the public know about her health-related ordeal. According to a Guardian.com report, Williams spent almost a year incapacitated, due to two big problems. One was a problem with her foot and the other was a problem with her lung.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the end of Serena's health problems. When she gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian, she went through a terrifying ordeal. According to a Vogue profile of Serena, the tennis player's old problems with blood clots resurfaced after her emergency C-section. She'd had a carefree pregnancy, but postpartum was awful.
One day after having her baby girl, Williams experienced shortness of breath. She recognized the symptom as something familiar and asked the doctors to run a CT scan. A range of compact blood clots were found in her lungs. For six scary days, she had severe health issues that were dangerous, but she did recover.
11 She’s Active on Social Media
It’s fun to get to know elite athletes via their social media profiles and Serena posts a lot about her life on social media. When you follow her on Instagram, you'll get to know her by seeing what she's up to from day to day.
Instagram is popular because it's so simple. Images and captions are easy to digest and fun to check out. Instagram also makes it possible for fans and haters to connect with celebrities in real time. It's safe to say that most celebrities do read most or all of the comments that are left on their Instagram posts.
Serena is one of many elite tennis players who are active on social media. Another one is Maria Sharapova. One less-successful tennis player, Eugenie Bouchard, who used to do well but has had a long losing streak, promotes products via her own Instagram and gets mocked a lot for it.
Serena does promote certain things, such as a mattress brand that she loves, but doesn't get the same shade online, because she's widely perceived as the GOAT. This isn't to say that Serena hasn't gotten her share of criticism over the years. She has and it has probably hurt her.
I've personally seen comments about her body online which are incredibly rude. Some people still don't believe that Serena has won all of these matches without a little pharmaceutical assistance and that's another type of shade that she gets online. Joe Rogan accused Serena of using steroids publicly in 2016 and the video proof of this is on YouTube.
10 She’s an Olympic Gold Medalist
She’s won a bunch of medals in Olympic competition. She's got four gold medals and that is a lot of gold medals. One of the gold medals was for women's singles. The other trio of gold medals was for women's doubles. By grabbing so many gold medals for women's doubles, she set an all-time record. She shares this impressive record with Venus Williams.
Winning gold in the Olympics must have meant the world to Serena. She gave her daughter the middle name, Olympia, perhaps to honor her successful Olympic experience. She actually calls her daughter Olympia in her social media posts, although the baby's first name is Alexis, after her father, who has the very same name.
Serena was victorious in the Australian Open while she was pregnant. Interesting how her daughter's initials are A.O. Serena has given her daughter a powerful name. Perhaps Serena expects her first child to become a tennis star too. Time will tell if Olympia becomes an athlete like Mom or a tech wizard like Dad, or both, or neither.
It's crazy how much Serena has achieved in her career. She's obviously one of the greatest athletes who has ever lived. It's beyond gender. She is one of the greats, period.
9 She’s Got a Lot of Famous Friends
Serena’s girl squad is impressive, and the soon-to-be-royal Meghan Markle is rumored to be a part of it. Serena met Meghan while they both participated in a 2004 flag football game which was called the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl. Apparently, Meghan felt a strong connection with Serena right away. Serena must have felt the same way, because Meghan has said that they spent time laughing, taking pics and getting to know each other during the sports special event.
Meghan posted about the meeting with Serena at her now-defunct website, which was called The Tig. Meghan is rumored to have shut her website down because she was going to join the royal family and needed to share less personal information online. Blogging is really not a royal activity.
After the celebrity flag football match, the two women maintained their friendship and Meghan reportedly sees Serena as a confidante. They text and generally support each other through thick and thin.
So, will Serena be at the royal wedding to watch Meghan become a duchess? Well, it looks like Serena was invited, but the wedding day coincides with a tournament, so Serena isn't sure that she'll be able to make it. It would be fun if Serena showed up. Serena is also friends with Whoopi Goldberg and Taylor Swift, to name just two more of her famous BFFs.
8 She’s So Confident
This woman is fierce. She will not give up. She is goal-oriented and a gifted athlete. I looked up some quotes from Serena to get more insight into her confident mindset. It's interesting to see how a successful athlete thinks. Confidence is needed to compete and win at the highest level. Winning is about more than technique and grit. An athlete needs to believe in herself or himself.
Some of Serena's quotes verge on the egotistical, but, in light of her achievements, this makes sense. One quote, "I'm really exciting. I smile a lot, I win a lot and I'm really s*xy" basically sums up her more-than-healthy self-esteem.
She's also said that losing pushes her. It functions as extra motivation to win the next time. Athletes do have to deal with psychological turmoil. Athletic careers have their ups and downs. That's why a lot of athletes see sports psychologists who help them to learn coping skills that make it easier to roll with the punches. But Serena doesn't seem to rely on sports psychologists. A coach of hers, Patrick Mouratoglou, doesn't think tennis players and psychologists should work together. He thinks that sports psychologist introduce doubt into the minds of tennis players.
7 She’s Comfortable with Being Muscular
Serena has major body confidence, despite carrying a lot more muscle than most women. She believes she is beautiful and that's so important. She's surely heard the critiques of her muscular figure and she dismisses the haters. Her strength is part of the reason why she wins matches. She has the raw power to put into every serve and shot.
Serena body type is very different from her sister's. We all have our body types and they are the product of genetics. Serena has the ability to put on and maintain a lot of muscle. She works out aggressively to make the most of her body and she uses her strength to set records and vanquish her opponents.
Detractors who don't think that a woman can put on muscle like Serena's without resorting to illegal substances are everywhere online. They don't think that Serena builds her strength the natural way. However, Serena passes her tests.
According to SI.com, Serena and two other athlete's "therapeutic use exemptions" and test results were hacked from the WADA database via phishing. Serena had the therapeutic use exemption for a medication called prednisone, which she said was prescribed to help her calm down coughing when she was ill. It's perfectly legal to compete with a therapeutic use exemption.
6 She’s a Reality TV Star
Her new show, Being Serena, is currently airing on HBO. This documentary series features wonderful cinematography, as well as compelling narration by Serena herself. Since the show is new, it's getting tons of press and loads of buzz online and offline. It's a show that takes viewers into the heart and mind of a great champion.
People who don't have access to HBO will probably be able to see a lot of clips of the series at video sharing websites. The trailer is already available for everyone to watch. I haven't seen the show, although I'd really enjoy watching it, just because I don't have HBO.
It's a five-part series, so it won't run for too long. A lot of information about the show spills out after every episode. Apparently, the first episode ends with Serena being moved into an operating room for a C-section. Serena told the TV audience that she felt terrified as she was being wheeled into the OR.
Serena is so famous. This show is going to make her even more famous. Plus, it should make her more relatable. She doesn't live a typical life, but she has the same emotions and good and bad days as everyone else. The show will make people feel closer to her.
5 She Loves to Dress Up Off the Court
Serena is very into fashion and wears some exciting designer creations at special events. She’s a fashionista. She loves to dress up and it's such a Libra thing to be into hair, makeup and clothes. Gwen Stefani is another Libra who adores dress-up. Libras care about image and take pleasure in staying fit to look attractive. They then adorn their fit bodies with the best clothes that they can get!
Does Serena have fave designers? Well, she's worn Atelier Versace and Oscar de la Renta to a couple of Met Ball Galas. She also has her own fitness line, EleVen.
Serena has serious fashion cred, because she has designed collections of her own for Nike and HSN, too. She also went to fashion school for two years. A lot of people don't know that Serena did study fashion.
If she ever retires from tennis, and I guess that has to happen at some point, just due to the natural aging process, maybe Serena will get into fashion full-time. She has said that she's been tempted away from tennis in the past. She's thought about living in San Francisco with her hubby and just doing the Mom thing all of the time.
4 She’s a Vogue Cover Model
The editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour, loves tennis and she loves Serena Williams, too. Serena and baby Alexis Olympia appeared on the cover of USA Vogue in February 2018. I've seen Anna Wintour in the stands at Wimbledon. Anna encouraged her close fashion friend and former co-worker, André Leon Talley, to take up tennis in order to lose weight. André complied. No one says no to Anna Wintour! André wears diamonds on the court and brings along a lot of gear, including very luxurious towels.
Serena looked fab on the cover of Vogue. Her hair was in soft curls. She looked like herself, rather than some airbrushed version of herself, although there may have been some retouching. I'm sure Serena will make it onto the cover again, especially if she makes it back to #1 in the WTA rankings.
Vogue shoots are glam events. Serena was photographed by Mario Testino. Testino is known for his ultra-flattering portraits of celebs, as well as his high-fashion editorial photography. Serena looks very happy and confident on the cover. She wore a gown by Versace which surely cost a bundle. Usually, "cover dresses" for Vogue are custom-made.
3 She is Supportive of Venus Williams
The two sisters may need to compete, but they still support each other on social media and in the real world.
The love is real and it's sweet to see. It's nice that competing in tennis didn't tear these two sisters apart. Venus made an appearance at the premiere of Being Serena and both sisters looked fabulous while they posed for the media. Venus posted a shot of her and Serena on her official Instagram page, @venuswilliams.
Both ladies are so good at tennis. Serena is a little better based on statistics. Maybe she's a lot better. However, Venus has been battling a disorder for years and this means that she may have lost a little of her edge due to illness. Venus won her first title when she was seventeen. Venus has Sjögren’s syndrome and it causes joint pain and fatigue. Getting that diagnosis must have been devastating and I'm sure Serena was there with love and support when Venus did get diagnosed.
These ladies will be close forever. They've already been through so many ups and downs and they are still hanging out and looking forward to seeing each other. It's great that their relationship is not dysfunctional.
2 She’s Grooming Her Daughter to Take Her Place
Her little girl already has a toy tennis racket and loves watching tennis matches. How soon before a toddler can get out on a tennis court? I'm sure Alexis Olympia will be out there as soon as it's physically possible, but she needs to master walking first.
Serena started playing tennis when she was growing up in Compton. Her father took her out on public tennis courts and used tips he'd learned from books in order to teach her the game. By the age of ten, she was serving at a speed of one hundred miles per hour. Serena was born in 1980 and she was a pro tennis player by 1994!
It's an amazing success story, isn't it? It feels like a fairytale until you consider all of the blood, sweat, and tears. Serena made herself into an iconic athlete, practice session after practice session and competition after competition. Her father helped. It was a family effort that led the family out of rough Compton, right into the big leagues.
Serena's Dad, Richard, attracted tabloid attention when he divorced his 38-year old wife, while he was 75 years old. The woman was obviously not Serena's Mom, Oracene Price. Oracene and Richard's marriage failed in 2002.
1 She Can Be Romantic and Girly
Serena can be charmingly girly and romantic. She seems smitten with her cute hubby and she also loves filling notebooks with interior design and baby care tips. She's got so many different sides to her personality. Because she is complex, and because she's staging an epic comeback, she's always a fascinating athlete to watch.
Serena met her husband, Alexis, when he was sitting at a restaurant table alone, while she sat with friends at a nearby table. She remembers being annoyed that he'd chosen to sit so close to her group when there were a lot of empty tables available. She probably had no idea that he was the "Reddit guy".
Alexis soon managed to woo Serena. Now, they are parents together. Alex is at a lot of her matches. Sometimes, he brings the baby. He's there cheering her on and it means a lot to her that he always has her back.
Alexis says that Serena is the hardest worker around. He has total respect for his wife and that's such a good sign. Few men marry a GMOAT and he knows that she is extremely special. She was hitting thousands of backhands while pregnant. If she missed a backhand, she would begin again. She had to make it to 2500 without missing a single shot.
Sources: CNN.com, HBO.com, Eonline.com, Wtatennis.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Teenvogue.com, Guardian.com, Vogue.com, SI.com