Williams at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Residence||Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, U.S.|
June 17, 1980 |
Lynwood, California, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Turned pro||October 31, 1994|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Prize money||US$34,153,187 (As of August 29, 2016)|
|Career record||731â€“202 (78.35%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (February 25, 2002)|
|Current ranking||No. 13 (October 3, 2016)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||F (2003)|
|French Open||F (2002)|
|Wimbledon||W (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008)|
|US Open||W (2000, 2001)|
|Tour Finals||W (2008)|
|Career record||174â€“30 (85.29%)|
|Career titles||22 WTA|
|Highest ranking||No. 1 (June 7, 2010)|
|Current ranking||No. 32 (August 29, 2016)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (2001, 2003, 2009, 2010)|
|French Open||W (1999, 2010)|
|Wimbledon||W (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2016)|
|US Open||W (1999, 2009)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Tour Finals||SF (2009)|
|Career record||28â€“7 (80%)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1998)|
|French Open||W (1998)|
|US Open||QF (1998)|
|Other mixed doubles tournaments|
|Fed Cup||W (1999), Record 21â€“4|
|Hopman Cup||RR (2013)|
I think nowadays it's so easy as an athlete to become a statistic whether or not you lose everything or having trouble or whatever it may be.
I always thought of it like, 'What can my body do for me?' and not, 'How do I look?'
I contribute my best in my sport and I also have a ton of respect for myself and my family.
The message I like to convey to women and girls across the globe is that there is no glass ceiling.
My mom didn't want us to go to the candy house, she didn't want us to go to the ice cream truck, she didn't want us to go to the… There was actually a donut truck, if that makes sense.
Growing up, I'd just be at home, playing tennis, spending my allowance on an ice-cream truck.
The thing is, it's not good anyway for eight-year-olds to be out there playing tennis tournaments so soon in their lives. But when I did get to play in a tournament, when I was nine, I was overjoyed.
I think women athletes who have been successful need to help other sports, those sports that are just emerging. That's what I've been thinking about and looking forward to.
I always like to win. But I'm the big sister. I want to make sure she has everything, even if I don't have anything. It's hard. I love her too much. That's what counts.
My style is kind of eclectic and I don't like to do the same thing over and over again. I like to have fun and explore myself so you won't see the same design.
I spent my whole life playing sports and training and pushing myself to the limits.
I'm a collaborator. I know I don't know everything. I don't want to know everything.
The big push for me is the Olympics this year. If I'm healthy, I'm not worried about my ranking. I think I can hit the ball. It's just about my body cooperating. It's about being able to play matches in a row. Right now, I'm not sure how much I can do with that, but we'll see.
Sometimes when you're making more errors you want to pull back, but I just need to keep going forward.
I knew my destiny was to be in the winner's circle. There were times along the way where I didn't make it there. But I felt my destiny was definitely to win big titles, win lots of titles.
I think I've been fortunate to be at the top of the game and in the media for years, and a lot of times, people want to be your friend when you're on the top. You know, there have been times when I've been injured and I never got a phone call. So that's the way it is.
If I don't wear something I feel confident in, I don't play as well.
Sjogren's is something you live with your whole life. The good news for me is now I know what's happening after spending years not knowing… I feel like I can get better and move on.
I'm always in search for perfection. If it's not perfect, I'm back to the drawing board.
Athletes, like everyone else, at times take supplements but just have to consult your doctors and work on that. It's a process, but it's achievable… It's my job to be healthy.
'Oh and Oh' is a tennis term… It's a nice way of saying you took your opponent to pieces.
I don't think anyone feels older. You have this infinity inside you that feels like it could go on forever.
Sometimes women who are taller aren't comfortable with it, but I love being tall.
No one goes into the office for fun. You go, and even if you love it, you're there to work.
Tennis has been around for so long – women have been playing the majors since the 1800s. Other sports have not had professional leagues for women for as long.
One thing I've done is surround myself with people who are as good as me or better.
It wasn't like I was self-motivated. My dad started me. It was his dream before it was mine.
The thing about tennis is if you stay off for two weeks, or just for three days, you can lose your rhythm quickly. So it's just a question of constant diligence and vigilance.
Since I started playing at the Olympics in 2000, I have always wanted to do a dress based on Wonder Woman. It should be interesting to wear. And hopefully, it will get me a gold medal.
You have to do things right to stay in business, and that's not easy, and that's a choice on a daily basis, the choices you make in how to run your business and how to have a point of differentiation and how to be true to your brand, how to offer something that people want and to offer something that you love.
In the sports arena I would say there is nothing like training and preparation. You have to train your mind as much as your body.
If you look at me, I'm very tall but I'm not huge or muscular. I tend to be slim and you know, I actually can lose weight quicker than I can gain it.
My motto has always been that you can't say, 'Oh, it won't happen to me.' You have to say, 'That can happen to me.' So always be aware that things can happen.
For me, being part of the WTA tour is a privilege. Every day I wake up, it's a privilege to be able to go outside and do what I love. It's a privilege to be able to make my own hours, even though they're long, but I make them.
Early in the morning, it's super tough for me to eat right away, but I still need energy for practice. I try to start out with a protein smoothie, a green juice, or some sort of fruit.
My dresses are designed to win, so going through it, I think about, what do I want to represent? So, definitely, Vera Wang has been an inspiration for me.
I have been recently diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease which is an ongoing medical condition that affects my energy level and causes fatigue and joint pain.
When you lose, you're more motivated. When you win, you fail to see your mistakes and probably no one can tell you anything.
I want my opponents to look at me across the net and just not want to play me because I look so fit and amazing and strong. So that's always my goal.
My ambition is to enjoy my life and to do exactly what I want to do. And I'll do that. I will be free.
If I have to work hard or think hard or just copy somebody else that's doing it better – whatever it takes, I'm going to find that solution. That's the drive that keeps me going.
I always show up to the office sweaty! I'll come in between workouts in a tennis skirt drenched in sweat. The only time that I actually look presentable is at meetings.
As an athlete and as a woman, I get my confidence from playing sports because it shifts your focus from what your body looks like to what your body can do for you. That's what we all should be doing. It shouldn't be about looking perfect.
I was a teenager with braces and into sporty dresses with bright colors and cut-outs. For awhile, I really experimented with what I wanted to do. Some really extreme things, I recall.
Some people say that I have an attitude- Maybe I do. But I think that you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does- that makes you a winner right there.
I don't come to tournaments to make friends, to go to parties, to hold conversations. I come to be the best, and I'm not mean and cruel and dirty.
I want to know that I gave my 100 percent, and even if it doesn't work, you know that you gave everything, and you don't have to look at it and say… I could have gave more – that would break my heart.
I'd like to imagine that in order to beat me a person would have to play almost perfect tennis.
A lot of times, I don't just do juice; I do the whole thing blended to keep the fiber.
Understanding that being nervous, having doubts and lacking confidence are emotions that are human is how you deal with it. It is okay to feel that way… and then understanding that you can work through it.
After almost 30 years of playing this sport, I've learned something. I've learned that, no matter what happens, or happened… or where you are, or where you've been… at the end of the day: tennis is tennis. It's always, always tennis. And there's nothing better.
I love the food in Thailand because of the exotic spices they use. Their style of cooking is unique to their culture and always amazing.
The most challenging thing is people do see me as a tennis player, but I've had a lot of opportunities because I am a tennis player. And I don't mind that.
When you get told that you have a disease, it's like: 'Really? Nah, it's all right. I don't believe that. It must be something else, I'm just making an excuse, let me push harder.'
I say accessorize, accessorize, accessorize. If you don't accessorize, someone else will.
I love playing the game. I always have. Of course, winning matches makes it much sweeter. The wins and the losses always lead to these big moments, unless you're Serena Williams.
Serena and I have done some great career planning, and we're playing really at the peak of our tennis right now. I think tennis has been a sport where people play this insane schedule from 14 years old, so of course at 26, it's over. We've really paced ourselves.
You have to let fear go. Another lesson is you just have to believe in yourself; you just have to. There's no way around it. No matter how things are stacked against you, you just have to every time.
My goal is always the same: to keep the other player from ever scoring a point. That doesn't always happen, but that's what I try for.
After working so hard on the court, I find that snacks help me avoid late-afternoon energy lows.
Right now, I'm at the top of the world in my game so my focus isn't on when I'm going to end. My focus is on playing the best tennis that I can, and there is no end to that.
I'm this overachiever type, I'll just work and work and I'll just do it over and over and over again.
I never count calories. Counting calories is stressful and intimidating, so I avoid it! I know that if I'm eating something that's a treat, I don't need to count it because I mostly eat healthy and am conscious of what I'm putting in my body.
Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can't play tennis well and not be a good thinker. You win or lose the match before you even go out there.
It's what I've trained for, from the first sketch to the fabric. Making dresses that are different from the usual style, and a lot of fun to wear.
I always eat a huge breakfast on match days even though my stomach hates it.
Rain is good for me. I feel like I achieve clarity actually when it rains. The longer I have to sit and wait, the clearer my game becomes to me.
For years I felt that I didn't have enough stamina and then, four years ago, I felt like I was not getting enough air but I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. The medicine for asthma never worked.
I'm not a trend person. I don't want to look to my right and see somebody in the same thing.
I had skate wing in London. I had mine grilled with lemon and herbs, and it was the perfect seasoning for that fish.
I don't even know what my favourite food is anymore, as they are all such bad foods!
Ruth's Chris is my favorite restaurant, and I always order the rib eye, medium-rare.
Women's tennis has been around for a very long time – we're talking about the 1800s. But women's soccer hasn't had such a long history, so now they're right at the beginning of really trying to make things equal. We need to continue not only to advocate for women but to have men advocating for women.
I believe that athletes – especially female athletes in the world's leading sport for women – should serve as role models.
Some people say I have attitude – maybe I do… but I think you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does – that makes you a winner right there.
When you start playing tennis, you don't imagine there's a whole bureaucracy behind the tournaments and all of that. You just think about winning the cups.
The first time you win, nobody picks you; the last time you win, nobody picks you. You've just got to pick yourself.
I guess some kids around me had to grow up quickly, had all those problems. But I wasn't one of those kids, or around those kids, not at all.
Losses have propelled me to even bigger places, so I understand the importance of losing. You can never get complacent because a loss is always around the corner. It's in any game that you're in – a business game or whatever – you can't get complacent.
I tend to be slim and you know, I actually can lose weight quicker than I can gain it.
Everyone is always working on their body and trying to make it the best that they possibly can. That's what I do every single day, mostly for performance, but also just for me.
I do expect a lot from myself, but it's also a balance of being… positive and also pushing yourself.
I don't focus on what I'm up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.
I wear a lot of tight dresses, so I'm like, 'I need to do my sit-ups!'
As far as everyone else's opinion, I mean, if I would have thought that everyone was right, I probably wouldn't have left Compton, so I don't get too caught up on what the next person thinks.
I have a lot of good role models in my family for things off the court – like my older sister, who's a lawyer. I don't like writing papers, but she's helped me a lot. It's nice to have an art and business background because they tie together perfectly.
The first rounds of a tournament are always tricky because playing tennis takes a lot out of you.
I like to be busy. It's not always easy because the schedule gets busy; especially, the more successful you are, the more demands you have. But it's definitely worth the sacrifice.
When you are in the public eye, you have to protect yourself. There are so many people judging you. I just try to be myself.
You have to prove that you know what you're doing. You have to have longevity. You have to stay around.
When you're a big sister, it's a great job. I don't know how little sisters feel about their job, but when you're a big sister, you're supposed to take care of everything. And you feel good about it. I do.
I have been playing tennis for a very long time. Tennis is my life. I see my life in other places, and there are other challenges for me.
I'm only seeing tennis balls these days. And maybe the occasional fashion sketch.
Everything is tennis for me, it's my career and it's entertainment, but it's also a business.
I want to get better. Every time you lose, you learn from it, and after every win, you look to building on the tempo.
I have always said that after sport, I wanted a life, I wanted an opportunity, I wanted to be able to do something. And if something happens – the economy falls out or the dollar is worthless, anything could happen – you have to be ready to work. And I'm ready.
The principle of the design – the harmony, rhythm and balance are all the same with interior and fashion design.
All those lessons that I've learned on the court, I have applied them to my life outside of the court in business, my company, called V Starr interiors, an interior design company, and EleVen, which I wear on court.
Equality for men and women, across the world, not only in sports, is the goal. We obviously have a long way to go, but every little bit helps.
It's such an honor to do this job because I love it. And I get to work outside, and what can beat that?
I just try to stay positive and focused on the tennis, not let anything get to me, like crazy questions. But I'm tough, let me tell you, tough as nails.
That's what you feel as an athlete. Pretty much our job is to make the impossible happen every day. It's like magic, you know. I like that.
Grand Slam losses are hard. I treat myself after losses though, I usually go to McDonald's and I have a hamburger and you know, something. Because you know, you just need to be nice to yourself sometimes after the loss.
I don't carry a purse when I fly because I have my Hello Kitty carry-on. I'm the biggest adult supporter.
I love seeing people be successful! I love that. It's wonderful. There's enough room for everybody.
Of course I want to look well and fit – and as an athlete, I want to look strong.
Self-doubt is real. Everyone has it. Having confidence and losing confidence is real, too, and everyone has been in that position.
I think there's a connection with what you wear. If you don't feel good about what you're wearing, you aren't going to feel confident, and you aren't going to be able to concentrate.
Unfortunately the world is what it is now. People don't get along for whatever reason. As professional athletes, in a way we're almost ambassadors for peace, because sports brings everyone together.
I know it's not the most important thing for me to win the most Grand Slams and be remembered in this world. I certainly don't have to win little tournaments here, there and everywhere, I don't have to win at all. Although I do want to.
Of course, I want to be number one. But being happy and healthy is the most important thing.
I don't think anyone wants to look in the mirror and say, 'I'm anti-woman.' They don't see themselves that way, and you can't treat them that way. But you have to tell the truth.
I've learned you can always achieve more than you thought you could. There are moments when I've walked off the court, and I'm like, 'I don't know how I won that match.' It was actually impossible, but it happened, and then you realize that you can push yourself much further than you ever thought, and you can make the impossible happen.
I try to get in some extra carbohydrates and protein the night before and during my pre-match meal. I also eat about 200 calories right after to help rebuild my muscles.
No TV, no acting for me. I'm kind of a more behind-the-scenes kind of woman even though what I do is very public. I'm really low-key and I don't need to be the center of attention.
My family is the most important thing to me because they're always there for me when times are down.
When I play my match, I can't think about anything else except what I'm doing on my side of the net.