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June 5, 2008: "Serena Williams Escapes French Open To Party In NYC"
Serena Williams has left France for New York in the middle of the French Open after an embarrassing loss in the game.
Serena Williams, 26, was seen in the Big Apple at Prime Nightclub drinking the Saturday night away with champagne Dom Perignon.
Serena Williams initially turned down club owner JE Englebert's request for a photo. Serena Williams ordered for more champagne from him instead and partied with the patrons and models in the club that night.
Athlete World No. 1 ranked female tennis player Serena Williams picture(s)/pic(s), wallpaper and photo gallery.
Birth name: Serena Jameka Williams.
Born: September 26, 1981 Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm).
Weight: 143 lbs.
Serena Williams biography (bio):
Serena Jameka Williams is an American former World No. 1 ranked female tennis player who has won eight Grand Slam singles titles and an Olympic gold medal in women's doubles. She is the last player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slams at the same time. In 2005, Tennis magazine ranked her as the 17th-best player of the preceding forty years. She is the younger sister of another former world no. 1 professional female tennis player, Venus Williams. Serena currently resides in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Serena Williams is primarily an offensive baseline player. Her game is built around taking immediate control of rally's with her powerful serve, aggressive return of serve and powerful groundstrokes. Serena's serve is one of the best in the women's game. She often serves the ball at over 120 mph in her matches. In addition to the power she is capable of on her serve, Serena also has great placement and variety when serving. At the 2007 Australian Open she achieved 64 aces, the most of any woman in the tournament.
Due to her super aggressive "go for broke" style, she tends to make a large number of unforced errors in her matches. However, this is tempered by the fact that she often has many more winners than her opponents. Though Serena is usually thought of as an offensive player, she also has a very strong defensive game. She is very fast around the court, athletic and her physical strength gives her the ability to hit the ball efficiently from very difficult positions.
Serena's physical strength is intimidating. To build her massive arms she regularly exercises with one arm on weights that most people would struggle to even lift with both arms.
Serena is often capable of overpowering her opponents when returning serve, even off of the first serve. Her forehand is among the most powerful in the women's game, although her backhand is the more consistent shot. She tends to demonstrate much more variety in her game than the typical female offensive baseline player. Although she usually dictates play from the baseline with hard flat strokes, she will occasionally throw in a slice backhand, heavy topspin or dropshot to change the pace of the ball. Serena is also very effective at the net employing solid volly's and overhead shots. Other than her occasional inconsistency, she has no real technical weaknesses that her opponents can exploit. Serena has often been quoted as saying that when she is playing her best tennis, no woman on the WTA can beat her, although she can beat herself with unforced errors.
Serena was born in Saginaw, Michigan. When she and her four sisters were young, their parents, Richard and Oracene (also called Brandy), lived in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. Her father dreamed of making at least one of his daughters a tennis superstar, hoping that involvement in sports would give them opportunity for a better life.
When Serena was four and a half, she won her first tournament, and she entered 49 tournaments before the age of 10, winning 46 of them. At one point, she replaced her sister Venus as the number one ranked tennis player aged 10 or under in California.
In 1991, Richard Williams, saying that he hoped to prevent his daughters from facing racism, stopped sending them to national junior tennis tournaments, and Serena attended a tennis school run by professional player Rick Macci in Florida instead. Macci had already helped the careers of Jennifer Capriati and Mary Pierce, among others. Soon Richard, who had struck a deal on behalf of Venus and Serena with a major clothing company, was able to move the rest of the Williams family to West Palm Beach, to be near Serena and Venus.
Serena became a professional tennis player in September 1995 at the age of 14. Because of her age, she had to participate in non-WTA events at first. Her first professional event was the Bell Challenge in Québec, and she was ousted in less than an hour of play. By 1997, ranked number 304 in the world, she upset both Monica Seles and Mary Pierce at the Ameritech Open in Chicago, Illinois, recording her first career wins over top 10 players. She finished 1997 at No. 99 in the world.
1998 was the first year that Williams finished in the WTA top 20. She began the season in Sydney as a qualifier, ranked no. 96, and beat world no. 3 Lindsay Davenport in a quarterfinal. With her top 20 ranking, Williams was then expected to do well in her first Grand Slam tournament. However, she lost in the second round of the Australian Open to sister Venus. Also at the Australian Open that year, the Williams sisters boasted that they could beat a man ranked past 200 in the world. As it happened, German Karsten Braasch (then ranked 203) was in attendance and took them up on the offer. He beat Serena and Venus back to back by the score of 6-1 and 6-2. Braasch noted that the morning of the "matches", he had played a round of golf and consumed several beers. Afterwards the sisters revised their statement and stated they could beat men ranked past 350 in the world. Humorously, due to the expiring nature of ATP points, Braasch was slated to lose a significant number of points in the following few weeks and would drop below 350.
Williams reached six other quarterfinals during the season. She won the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open with Max Mirnyi, completing the Williams family's sweep of the 1998 mixed doubles Grand Slams. Williams won her first pro title in doubles at Oklahoma City with sister Venus, becoming the third pair of sisters to win a WTA tour women's doubles title. She earned U.S. $2.6 million in prize money during the year.
In 1999, Serena defeated Amélie Mauresmo in a final the same day that Venus won in Oklahoma City, marking the first time in professional tennis history that two sisters had won titles in the same week.
Ranked number 21, Williams defeated three top 10 players at the Indian Wells tournament: world no. 2 Lindsay Davenport in the second round, world no. 8 Mary Pierce in a quarterfinal, but lost to her sister Venus Williams in the final.
Williams became the focus of many ad campaigns, including one with shoe and clothes maker Puma, which signed her to a U.S. $12 million agreement.
On September 11, 1999, Williams won her first Grand Slam tournament when she became U.S. Open champion, becoming the second African American woman to win a Grand Slam singles tournament after Althea Gibson in 1958. The next day, she and sister Venus won the doubles championship. She finished 1999 ranked no. 4 in just her third full season.
Serena also went 1-0 in the United States 4-1 win in the final of the 1999 Fed Cup against Russia giving the U.S. its 16th title. She teamed up with sister Venus Williams to defeat Elena Dementieva and Elena Makarova 6-2, 6-1.
2000-2002 Period of Dominance:
In 2000, Williams won the doubles gold medal at the Sydney Olympics with her sister Venus.
Williams finished 2001 in the top ten for the third consecutive year. She reached her first Grand Slam singles final in two years, losing to her older sister Venus at the U.S. Open 6-2, 6-4. Later that year, Serena won the WTA Tour Championships after saving eight match points in the semifinals against Jennifer Capriati.
In 2002, Serena won the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open (where she wore her famous black catsuit) by defeating Venus in the finals of all three. She also reached the final of the WTA Tour Championships for the second time, where she lost to Kim Clijsters. She finished the year with a 56-5 record, eight singles titles, and the World No. 1 ranking. She also won the Wimbledon doubles title with Venus for the second time.
This season was arguably one of the most dominant performances by any female tennis player in recent years.
Williams beat her sister Venus to win the 2003 Australian Open, her fourth straight Grand Slam singles title, becoming only the ninth woman ever to win all four Grand Slam events, and only the fifth woman in the Open era, joining the ranks of Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navrátilová and Steffi Graf. She named the feat of winning all 4 Grand Slams consecutively as the "Serena Slam". This was only the sixth time that a woman had held all four of tennis' major championships within 12 months. This accomplishment was also remarkable in that Williams faced off against her sister each time. The Williams sisters are the only two siblings in Grand Slam history to square off in four consecutive finals.
"Serena Slam" almost didn't happen, as twice she was a point away from losin in the semifinals to Kim Clijsters. The Belgium player had stunned Serena in the Year-End Championships of 02 in straight sets, and she seemed well on her way for another upset victory. Kim was leading 6-4, 3-6, 5-1 when Serena fought back and ran off six straight games, saving two matchpoints along the way.
For the first time since January 2002, a Grand Slam final did not read Williams-Williams. Venus lost to Vera Zvonareva in the fourth round of the French Open. Among boos and catcalls, Serena lost to Justine Henin-Hardenne in an acrimonious and controversial semifinal match. With Serena leading 4-2 (30-0) in the third set, she hit her first serve into the net (whether intentional or not the subject remains undisputed, though Serena claimed she intentionally dumped the ball into the net). Henin-Hardenne had raised her hand during Serena's service motion to indicate to hold the serve, but the chair umpire ruled that Serena should be allowed only a second serve. The crowd then booed and hissed in response to Serena's protests, and continued throughout Williams's service motion. Serena went on to lose the next 5 of 6 games, and eventually the match, snapping her 33 Grand Slam match win streak. In her post-match interview, Serena expressed disappointment in Henin-Hardenne's behavior during the third set incident, and broke down in tears from the crowd siding with Henin.
Williams successfully defended her Wimbledon title by defeating her sister for the 5th straight major in which they met. She also gained revenge on Henin, easily defeating her in straight sets in the semis.
Williams's older sister, Yetunde Price, was murdered on the morning of September 14, 2003, by gunshots as she passed by in a car driven by a man in the Compton area.
Williams withdrew from the 2004 Australian Open to continue rehabilitating her left knee. After eight months away from the tour, Williams began her comeback in Miami, where she defeated Elena Dementieva in the final 6-1, 6-1. She then lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Jennifer Capriati 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. She reached the final of Wimbledon but in one of the most shocking upsets in the tournament history, the 17-year old Russian player Maria Sharapova played with nothing to lose and stunned Serena 6-1, 6-4.
On July 30, Williams withdrew from her quarterfinal match in San Diego against Russia's Vera Zvonareva with another left knee injury. On August 1, she announced her withdrawal from the Rogers Cup due to the same injury. The injury also forced her to pull out of the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Williams's next tournament was the U.S. Open, where she lost a quarterfinal match to Capriati. The match was plagued by controversial calls from the umpire that all seemed to go against Serena. One in particular was the first game of the third set, where Serena hit a backhand winner that landed a 2-3 inches inside the line. The point was rewarded to her, but was then overuled by the umpire as she gave the point to Capriati. It lead to a shell-shocked Serena, who argued with the umpire, but didn't get the point back. Instant replays (challenges weren't available at the time) on TV clearly showed the ball bouncing at least 2-3 inches within the sideline. It was enough to even cause John McEnroe to call it the "worst he's ever seen at the Open". Serena protested later in a press conference by wearing a bright orange shirt with white capital letters, stating "THE BALL WAS IN!"
At the China Open in Beijing, Williams defeated the newly crowned U.S. Open champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova, in the final. Williams was down 4-6, 4-5 with a couple of championship points against her. She was able to save them both, and came back 4-6, 7-5, 6-4. Williams earned enough points there to reach the WTA Tour Championships, where she again lost to Sharapova in the final. Williams suffered a stomach muscle strain during the match after leading 6-4, 2-1. Clearly hampered by this injury, Serena began delivering serves barely reaching the 100 mph mark. It was enough for Sharapova to run off 5 games in a row to take the second set. Realizing now that her strongest weapon was disabled, Serena began going for winners on practically every shot. The gamble led her to a quick 4-0 lead, surrendering only one point. However, the injury took its toll as Serena could now barely serve up to 80 mph, and a disappointed Serena watched as her young opponent ran off six straight games to win the match, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. Despite the loss, Serena finished at No.8 in the world.
In 2005, she won her seventh Grand Slam event, winning the Australian Open. She defeated three of the tournament's top 4 seeds (#2 Amélie Mauresmo, #4 Sharapova, and #1 Lindsay Davenport) en route to the title. Like her 2003 Australian Open title where she saved two matchpoints after being down 1-5 in the third set to Kim Clijsters, Williams saved a remarkable three match points against Sharapova in the semifinals, two of them coming off her own winners.
Her participation in the 2005 Wimbledon Championships ended in the third round when she was beaten by fellow American Jill Craybas (ranked 85th in the world) 6-3, 7-6(4). Williams broke down in tears in the subsequent press conference. She had come into the tournament with a stress fracture in her ankle (which forced her to place extra strain onto her right knee) and a severe lack of conditioning. She also had not played a competitive match for six weeks, missing the French Open.
At the 2005 U.S. Open, Williams made it through the first three rounds but was defeated by her sister Venus in the fourth round 7-6, 6-2. This was the earliest the two sisters had met in a Grand Slam tournament since their first meeting at the 1998 Australian Open.
Williams then was forced to take a break for the rest of 2005 because of ankle and knee injuries.
In 2005, TENNIS Magazine put her in 17th place in its list of 40 Greatest Players of the TENNIS era.
Williams went into the Australian Open with no official warm-up tournaments. Williams was the defending champion at the Australian Open but fell to Daniela Hantuchová 6-1, 7-6(5) in the third round. In earlier rounds, Williams defeated Na Li of China and Camille Pin of France. Her early exit provoked media reports that Williams had lost her enthusiasm for the sport, which she denied. She then fell out of the top 50 for the first time in many years. She then pulled out of the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open, and the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.
After withdrawing from the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Williams fell out of the top-100 players in the world for the first time in almost a decade. Shortly after, she announced that she would miss both the French Open and Wimbledon because of a chronic knee injury. She said that she would not be able to compete before "the end of the summer," on doctors' orders.
Williams, however, made a return to the game earlier than expected, accepting wildcards into events in Cincinnati and Los Angeles. She admitted that her six-month break from competitive tennis was as much for a "mental break" as for urgent rehabilitation for her knee injury.
Ranked No. 139 due to her inactivity, Williams made a successful comeback by defeating the Cincinnati tournament's No. 2 seed and No. 11-ranked Anastasia Myskina 6-2, 6-2 in the first round before losing in the semifinals to the eventual champion Vera Zvonareva 6-2, 6-3. Williams's ranking rose to No. 108 as a result of this tournament.
In Los Angeles, Williams defeated Hantuchová in the third round, the woman responsible for her early Australian Open exit. Williams then defeated Meghann Shaughnessy to set up a semifinal match against Jelena Janković. Williams lost the match 6-4, 6-3.
Williams was granted a wildcard into the U.S. Open, as her ranking prevented her from gaining direct entry into the tournament. She was ranked 79th in the main draw and was unseeded in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 1998. Williams lost to Amélie Mauresmo in the fourth round 6-4, 0-6, 6-2.
Williams began the year by stating that she had no doubt she would be number one again. She competed in the Moorilla Hobart International in Tasmania as a warm-up for the 2007 Australian Open. However, she lost to Sybille Bammer of Austria in the quarterfinals.
At the Australian Open, the unseeded Williams defeated fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova of Russia in the third round 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. It was Williams's first win over a top 10 player since her defeat of Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Australian Open final. In the fourth round, Williams defeated the eleventh-seeded Jelena Janković of Serbia 6-3, 6-2. She then defeated sixteenth-seeded Shahar Pe'er in the quarterfinals 3-6, 6-2, 8-6 and tenth-seeded Nicole Vaidiová 7-6(5), 6-4 in the semifinals. In the final, Williams crushed top-seeded and then second ranked Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-2 in 63 minutes to take her third Australian Open singles title and her eighth Grand Slam singles title. The victory elevated her ranking from 81st to 14th in the world and it also marked the first time either Williams sister had won a Grand Slam singles title in the absence of the other's participation in the same tournament. Williams dedicated the win to her deceased sister, Yetunde Price. It was Williams's 16th career Grand Slam title, including 6 women's doubles titles and a career Grand Slam with her sister Venus, 2 mixed doubles titles, and 8 singles titles.
Williams then withdrew from her next two scheduled tournaments in February, the Sony Ericsson International in Bangalore, India and the Dubai Tennis Championships. She stated that she was unable to play either event because of the flu.
Her next tournament was the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, where she won the title in 2002, 2003, and 2004. In her third round match, a heckler allegedly hurled what Williams called "derogatory" remarks at her. Donald Winton of Cocoa Beach was removed from the stands towards the conclusion of the second set, at Williams's request. In the fourth round, Williams defeated second ranked Sharapova 6-1, 6-1, then went on to beat eighth ranked Nicole Vaidiová 6-1, 6-4 in her quarterfinal round. In the semifinals, Williams defeated Pe'er 7-6, 6-1. In the final against top ranked Justine Henin, Williams won 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 after saving two match points in the second set. With wins over top ranked Henin and second ranked Sharapova, Williams became the lowest-ranked player in history to beat the worlds top two players at the same event.
At the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Williams retired from her second round match due to a groin pull. Had she won that match, she would have played her sister Venus in the third round.
Williams played the first round Fed Cup tie against Belgium in Delray Beach, Florida. She defeated Caroline Maes 6-1, 6-4. She then withdrew from the second rubber to rest her knee.
In the fourth round of the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia tournament in Rome, Italy, Williams defeated eleventh-seeded Peer 6-3, 6-3. In the quarterfinals, Williams lost to fourteenth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5). After the tournament, however, she reentered the Top 10, moving up to number 9.
Williams next played the French Open where she was seeded eighth and drawn to meet Henin, the defending champion and top seed in the quarterfinals. However, she was tested in her first round match against Svetana Pironkova, losing the first set before winning, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Though she initially appeared sluggish and somewhat uncomfortable with her movement, her results improved during each successive match allowing her to reach the quarters to face Henin without the loss of another set. The match was the most anticipated of the women's event. Most media commentators, particularly Americans, expected an emotional rematch of the players' 2003 semifinal at Roland Garros, which featured controversy over Henin's sportsmanship as well as Williams' poor rapport with the crowd. However, William's previous sluggish form leading into the match was exposed by Henin whose own movement and comfort on clay was far more assured. Williams never appeared comfortable with Henin's constant changes of spin, pace, direction, and depth and made numerous errors, particularly off her forehand. Henin regularly exploited these openings and secured a relatively easy 6-4, 6-3 victory. Following the match, Williams was so disappointed with her lackluster performance that she proclaimed 'it's the worst match I've ever played.' She also said that she felt 'violated.'
Her next scheduled tournament was Wimbledon. During her fourth round match against Daniela Hantuchová Williams collapsed in agony on Centre Court after being down 4-2 in the second set. It took close to 7 minutes for her trainer to define what happened to Williams (an acute muscle spasm, it later emerged). Then Serena received a medical timeout taking the break in play to 10 minutes. Serena delayed her play for the rain to return to allow her to recover and after holding serve to force a tiebreak despite being barely able to walk, the rain came and play was suspended for nearly 2 hours. Next up for Williams was a quarterfinal matchup against the top-seeded and top-ranked Justine Henin. The much anticipated match-up lived up to its expectations. Williams arrived at the court with a heavily taped calf, and because an injury to her left thumb had forced her to revert to a one-handed slice. Williams lost the quarterfinal matchup 4-6, 6-3, 3-6, but drew more criticism by claiming she would have beaten Henin had she been healthy. Serena stated that her health was "only at 50% today, and that she felt she would've won if she hadn't been injured." After Wimbledon, Williams moved up to World No. 7, the highest she had been since 2005.
Serena pulled out of the doubles later, the Fed Cup semifinal against Russia, Cincinnati, Stanford, San Diego, and Los Angeles due to a thumb injury suffered in the match against Hantuchová. Williams entered the tournament in New Haven mid-way through the US Open Series, but her thumb had not recovered yet and she pulled out. Due to her withdrawals, her ranking slightly slipped to World No. 9.
Serena's next tournament was the U.S. Open. She beat Angelique Kerber 6-3 7-5 in her first round, Maria-Elena Camerin 7-5 6-2 in the second round, Vera Zvonareva 6-4 7-6 in the third, and 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli 6-3 6-4 in the fourth, setting up her third consecutive grand slam quarterfinal matchup with Justine Henin. However, she lost to Henin yet again, 6-7 1-6. Serena could not convert as the first set was brought to a tiebreaker, even after saving a set point, down 4-5, and having her own set point, at 6-5, on Henin's serve. Serena never seemed to find her form as Henin dominated the tiebreak 7-3. The first set took over an hour. In the second set, Henin quickly raced out to a 3-0 lead before Serena could win her first game. She had several chances to break for 3-2, but couldn't capitalize as Henin won the last three games of the match. The second set raced by in comparison to the first, finishing in almost half the time. It was Serena's third straight lost to Henin, third straight loss in a Grand Slam to Henin this year, as well as her third straight loss in the quarterfinals of a major this year. It was also Henin's first win over Serena on a hard court. Henin and Williams' lifetime record is now tied at 6-6. The post match press conference was rather controversial with Serena claiming that Henin had benefited from 'lucky' shots and Williams's own errors. Serena was heavily criticised in the press for not showing sportsmanship.
Despite the quarterfinal loss, Williams moved up to World No. 7 in the rankings, 2 spots ahead of her sister Venus (No. 9) who is in the top 10 for the first time since 2005.
Serena next played Stuttgart on October 1 where she reached the quarter finals.
Williams breezed through her first match in 47 minutes 6-0, 6-0 against Zuzana Ondraskova, who was a late replacement after Elena Bovina withdrew. Williams then beat Julia Vakulenko 7-6 6-2. Serena was beaten in the Quarter Finals 6-3 6-3 by Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The following week Serena played The Kremlin Cup in Moscow. After a first round bye, she struggled a little to beat Tatiana Perebiynis 7-5 6-4, before a good win over Nicole Vaidisova 6-4 7-6. Serena then got her revenge over Svetlana Kuznetsova, beating her 7-6 6-1. She lost the final to Elena Dementieva 5-7, 6-1 and 6-1. Williams' performance brought her ranking up to #6 in the world, and it guaranteed her a spot in the Year-End Championshps in Madrid.
Williams' next tournament was the Zurich Open, where she retired from her first match against Patty Schnyder while trailing 6-0, 3-0.
In 2001, Serena along with her sister, Venus appeared on The Simpsons tennis themed episode after Bart and Lisa boycott to play against each other in the family. She has also posed for a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and has had a lucrative career in advertisements.
In April 2005, MTV announced plans to broadcast a reality show around the lives of Serena and Venus Williams, but ABC Family aired the show.
Williams was the fifth victim and the ninth star ever to be on Punk'd more than once. Her first appearance was when Williams had to save a Punk'd problem kid played by Rob Pinkston until Kutcher exposed the set-up. Her second is when Serena passed the prank on her sister Venus after both Serena and Venus were fighting with a fraud during a photoshoot with some handicapped people.
In 2002, Williams played Miss Wiggins in the season 3 episode "Crouching Mother, Hidden Father" of My Wife and Kids. In 2005, Serena guest starred in an episode of the twelfth season of ER. She also guest starred on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Welsh indie band, Super Furry Animals, sang a track on their 2003 album Phantom Power called "Venus and Serena" - dedicated to the sisters.
In 2007, Williams appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race, featuring a dozen celebrities in a stock car racing competition. In the first round of competition, Williams matched up against surfer Laird Hamilton and former NFL quarterback John Elway. That same year, Serena appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, where he challenged Serena to a tennis match on the Wii video game console. Conan overcame a break point to win the match.
In June 2007, Serena was interviewed on BBC One's Friday Night with Jonathan Ross along with Iggy Pop and Russell Brand.
On the fourteenth page of a January 2007 issue of TV Guide, it is stated that "Tennis star Serena Williams will provide a guest voice on the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender next season." Serena herself has gone as far to state that Avatar is her favorite show.
Serena appears semi-nude in the July issue of Jane Magazine along with Eva Mendes, Joss Stone, and five other famous faces.