Serena Williams Net Worth: Rising From Poverty to Become One of the Wealthiest Tennis Players in History

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Serena Williams, a name that resonates with power, finesse, and sheer dominance on the tennis court, is not only one of the greatest female athletes of all time but also a symbol of resilience, determination, and success. In this article, we delve into the captivating journey of Serena Williams, from her humble beginnings to becoming a global icon and an inspiration to millions.

Early life and career beginnings

One of the most dominant and iconic figures in the history of women’s tennis, Serena Williams was born on September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan. Serena Williams net worth may now count in the millions, but it wasn’t always that way. She was born into the family of Oracene Price and Richard Williams, and was one of seven children.

Raised in Compton, California, along with her older sister Venus, Serena showed an early aptitude for the sport. Their father, Richard Williams, who had no prior tennis experience, taught himself the game from instructional videos and coached his daughters with a rigorous training regimen.

From a young age, Serena displayed remarkable talent and determination on the tennis court. At the age of four, she began practicing regularly on the public courts of Compton, often facing challenges such as violence in the neighborhood. Despite these obstacles, Serena’s passion for the sport only grew stronger. Eventually, the Williams sisters relocated to Florida to train under Rick Macci’s guidance at his academy.

The bond between Serena and Venus is truly special. Venus, the elder sister and a 7-time Grand Slam champion, paved the way for her sister in the sport. Serena acknowledges Venus’s influence, crediting her as the reason for her success, «There would be no Serena if there wasn’t a Venus. Venus is so humble she doesn’t really take credit for that, but she burst open that door and I ran through. She was my hero, and she’s still my hero.»

Together, they amassed an impressive collection of 14 major doubles titles, strengthening their sisterly bond on and off the court.

Their unwavering support for one another is evident both on and off the court. Despite competing against each other 31 times in professional tournaments, with Serena leading their head-to-head 19–12, their sisterly bond remains unbreakable.

Rising to prominence

Serena’s talent and determination quickly became evident as she rose through the ranks of junior tennis, captivating audiences with her powerful serve and relentless style of play. Her professional tennis journey in 1995.

However, the breakthrough moment came only in 1999 when she won her first Grand Slam singles title at the US Open, announcing her arrival on the international stage. Alongside her sister Venus, they clinched their first doubles Grand Slam title in 1999 and claimed Olympic Gold in doubles at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Challenges and setbacks

Despite early success, Serena faced challenges. In 2002, an ankle injury didn’t stop her from achieving the Serena Slam, conquering four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

In 2003, the reigning US Open champion faced significant challenges. She couldn’t defend her title at Flushing Meadows due to an injury. The injury required surgery to repair a partial tear in the quadriceps tendon of her left knee. This setback interrupted Serena’s dominant streak, during which she had won 5 of the previous 6 Grand Slam tournaments between 2002 and 2003.

In 2006, Serena revealed struggles with injury and mental health after a setback at the Australian Open. Taking a break from the tour, she fell to no.95 in rankings but returned triumphantly in 2007, seizing the Australian Open title. In 2011, both sisters experienced health problems. Venus was diagnosed with Sjögren syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. And Serena was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. Through these trials, they leaned on each other, with Serena affectionately calling Venus her «rock.»

Serena’s final appearance was at the 2022 US Open. Guided by her new coach, she reached the third round before bidding farewell to her home tournament. While her quest for another title may have ended, Serena’s impact on the sport and her enduring legacy as one of tennis’s greatest players will continue to inspire generations to come.

Off-court ventures

Nike deal

Advertising contacts make a big contribution to Serena Williams net worth. In 2003, Serena Williams made history by signing a groundbreaking $55 million deal with Nike. This partnership has lasted for many years and has led to a special tribute from Nike in 2022. The sportswear giant honored Williams by unveiling a building at its headquarters in Oregon named after her.

At the age of 41, Williams shared her excitement about the building, saying, «The whole building takes your breath away. Every element, everywhere you go, is an opportunity to be inspired. I hope this building encourages people to bring out the best of themselves and to dream bigger than they thought possible.»

DirecTV deal

In 2021, Serena Williams starred in a big advertisement for DirecTV’s streaming service, but the exact amount she earned for it isn’t known. The ad had a Matrix-style theme, and Serena was dressed as Wonder Woman. It was a major part of DirecTV’s advertising campaign.

According to Vince Torres, DirecTV’s chief marketing officer, this campaign was the company’s most costly since 2015 when it spent $164.6 million on advertising.

Real estate ventures

Evan Agostini/Invision/East News

Serena made a smart move, buying a mansion in Beverly Hills in 2017. Her new home, a Spanish-inspired residence in a private gated community, cost her $6.2 million. The mansion is around 6,000 square feet and has five bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms. Serena’s new neighbors include other celebrities like Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Ed McMahon, and Gwen Stefani.

Inside, the living room features a lovely fireplace, while the spacious kitchen has a double-wide island. Downstairs, there’s an entertaining area with a wet bar and a walk-in wine cellar. Outside, Serena can enjoy a fantastic outdoor cooking space and a swimming pool to stay fit and have fun. It’s no wonder she chose such a luxurious and convenient spot to call home.

Serena, known to speak French fluently, also has an apartment in Paris with a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower. Though it’s just a two-bedroom space, Serena, her partner Alexis, and their daughter Alexis Jr. find it spacious and luxurious enough. In 2016, Serena generously gave her fans a glimpse of her Parisian apartment on Snapchat. «So here’s a tour of my Paris apartment,» she began, showcasing her living room adorned with her numerous trophies.

She then displayed her impressive wardrobe, joking with her followers, «I can pretend I’m the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.» Despite some Americans’ reluctance towards Europe, Serena feels quite at home in France. As she shared with USA Today in 2013, «A lot of Americans don’t like Europe, and I can understand. But I like a change.»

Back in 2015, Serena purchased a house in Palm Beach Gardens, South Florida, for $2.4 million. Situated on 1.25 acres of land, the newly built house boasts five bedrooms and five bathrooms. When her daughter Alexis was born, Serena chose to quietly retreat to Florida to raise him, occasionally sharing photos of him on Instagram. The lush green gardens surrounding the property provide a serene environment for raising a child. The luxury home also includes a stunning pool and a spa, ideal for relaxing after a tough day on the tennis court.

During their active tennis careers, Serena and her sister Venus lived together in a mansion in Palm Beach Gardens, which they bought for over $600,000 in 1998. They decided to sell this property 20 years later for $2.5 million. In 2019, Serena sold her Bel-Air home, which she bought in 2006 for $6.62 million. Initially, she listed it for sale at $12 million in October 2017. After two price cuts, it eventually sold for $8.1 million two years later.

Personal life and family

Serena Williams’ husband is Alexis Kerry Ohanian. He’s famous for starting Reddit and also runs a group called 776 that fights against unfairness around the world.

He met Serena in 2015, and after dating for a while, they got engaged in 2016. They got married in a fancy wedding inspired by ’Beauty and the Beast’ in New Orleans, Louisiana. The wedding cost a lot, with Serena’s dress alone costing $3.5 million.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian have two daughters. Their first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., known as Olympia, was born on September 1, 2017. Later, in August 2023, they welcomed their second daughter, Adira River Ohanian.

After Olympia was born, Serena talked about being a mom and a tennis player. She said, «The only rule I have at practice is to be done at 1 p.m., because as much as I love tennis, I need to be with her. I want to put her above everything else I’m doing. Since she was born, I haven’t been apart from her for more than a day.» She also mentioned the possibility of having another baby, saying, «If I weren’t working, I’d already be pregnant. I don’t know if I want to play if I have another baby.»

Serena also expressed her opinion on how hard it is for female athletes to combine motherhood and career, «I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family. Maybe I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that opportunity.
Don’t get me wrong: I love being a woman, and I loved every second of being pregnant with Olympia. I was one of those annoying women who adored being pregnant and was working until the day I had to report to the hospital — although things got super complicated on the other side. And I almost did do the impossible: A lot of people don’t realize that I was two months pregnant when I won the Australian Open in 2017. But I’m turning 41 this month, and something’s got to give.»

Williams took a break from tennis in September 2022, almost a year before her second child was born. In a podcast a few months later, she shared how her older daughter, Olympia, felt about having more time with her. «She wants to make sure that I’m aware that I should have time on my hands and I need to spend more time with her,» Williams said. «It’s funny, but it’s good because little kids really want to be with their parents. And I just feel fortunate that she wants to be with me. That’s kind of how I look at it, because she could feel a different way, and I’m glad she doesn’t.»

Williams has talked before about the challenges of being a mom, but she also finds happiness in the change. «I’ve been so focused on my career my whole life, but when I had a family and got married, I realized that there’s so much more to life. And that was great,» she said in an interview.

Serena Williams net worth in 2024

DNPhotography/ABACA/Abaca/East News

As one of the most successful and recognizable athletes in the world, Serena Williams net worth has soared to staggering heights, thanks to her lucrative endorsement deals, business ventures, and prize money from tournaments. Serena has an estimated net worth around of $300 million.

In 2021, Serena earned $45.3 million, ranking her at number 31 on Forbes’ list of the world’s 50 highest-paid athletes. When only considering earnings from endorsements, she climbed to 10th place.

Most of her income in 2021 came from over a dozen endorsement deals. Now that she’s retired, her earnings will come solely from non-athletic sources.

An illustrious career

Serena Williams is a tennis legend, holding the world number one ranking eight times and earning an incredible $94 million in prize money, more than any other female player. Her outstanding career includes winning 23 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 doubles titles with her sister Venus. She also won gold medals at the Sydney, Beijing, and London Olympics, making her one of the sport’s greatest athletes.

Serena started her professional career at just 14 years old, impressing at the 1997 Ameritech Cup and finishing the year ranked 99th. She quickly climbed the ranks, winning her first Grand Slam singles title at the 1999 US Open, marking the beginning of her dominance.

During the 2000s, Serena continued to excel, becoming number one in 2002 and achieving the «Serena Slam» in 2003 by holding all four major Grand Slam titles at once. Despite facing health issues and personal tragedies, like knee surgery and the loss of her half-sister Yetunde, Serena remained strong on the court, regaining the top ranking and winning more Grand Slam titles. Her retirement in September 2022 solidified her status as a tennis legend.

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Preview photo credit Featureflash Archive / Alamy Stock Photo, Evan Agostini/Invision/East News


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