Venus Williams is an American professional tennis player. A former world No. 1, Williams is generally credited with ushering in a new era of power on the women’s professional tennis tour.
Williams has been ranked world No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association on three occasions, for a total of 11 weeks.
- Full name: Venus Ebony Starr Williams
- Profession: American tennis player
- Born: 17 June 1980 (age 39 years), Lynwood, California, United States
- Height: 1.85 m
- Grand slams won (singles): 7
- Grand Slam Cup: W (1998)
- Current ranking: No. 67 (March 9, 2020)
- Siblings: Serena Williams, Yetunde Price, Lyndrea Price
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About Venus Williams
Williams was born in Lynwood, California, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price.
Her talents were apparent at the age of seven when a professional local tennis player named Tony Chesta spotted Williams and quickly identified her potential in the sport.
The Williams family moved from Compton, California, to West Palm Beach, Florida, when she was ten, so that she and her sister Serena could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci, who took notice of the sisters and who would provide additional coaching.
He did not always agree with Williams’s father but respected that “he treated his daughters like kids, allowed them to be little girls”.
Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Williams was eleven, since he wanted them to take it slow and focus on schoolwork.
Another motivation was racial, as he had allegedly heard parents of other players disparage the Williams sisters during tournaments.
At that time, Williams held a 63–0 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked No. 1 among the under-12 players in Southern California.
In 1995, Richard pulled his daughters out of Macci’s academy, and from then on took over all coaching at their home.
She first reached the No. 1 ranking on February 25, 2002, the first African American woman to do so in the Open Era, and the second all time since Althea Gibson.
Williams’ seven Grand Slam singles titles are tied for 12th on the all-time list, and 8th on the Open Era list, more than any other active female player except her sister. She has reached 16 Grand Slam finals, most recently at Wimbledon in 2017.
She has also won 14 Grand Slam Women’s doubles titles, all with Serena Williams; the pair is unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals.
Williams also has two Mixed Doubles titles. Her five Wimbledon singles titles tie her with two other women for eighth place on the all-time list, but give her sole possession of No. 4 on the Open Era List, trailing only the nine titles of Martina Navratilova and the seven of Serena Williams and Steffi Graf.
From the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2001 US Open, Williams won four of the six Grand Slam singles tournaments in that span.
At the 2020 Australian Open, Williams extended her record as the all-time leader, male or female, in Grand Slams played, with 85.
With her run to the 2017 Wimbledon singles final, she broke the record for longest time between first and most recent grand slam singles finals appearances. Williams was twice the season prize money leader in 2001 and 2017.
Williams has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women’s doubles, along with a silver medal in mixed doubles, pulling even with Kathleen McKane Godfree for the most Olympic medals won by a male or female tennis player.
She is the only tennis player to have won a medal at four Olympic Games. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Williams became only the second player to win Olympic gold medals in both singles and doubles at one Olympic Games, after Helen Wills Moody at the 1924 Summer Olympics.
With 49 singles titles, Williams trails only her sister Serena Williams among active players on the WTA Tour with most singles titles.
Her 35-match winning streak from the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to the 2000 Generali Ladies Linz tournament final is the longest since January 1, 2000. She is also one of only two active WTA players to have reached the finals of all four Grand Slams, along with sister Serena.