This Day in Black History: Sept. 26, 1981

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Written by Natelege Whaley

Reigning tennis superstar Serena Williams was born in Saginaw, Michigan, on Sept. 26, 1981. She is the youngest of five girls.

Williams began practicing with her father two hours a day when she was 3-years-old with her sister Venus Williams at tennis courts in Compton, California. Her father taught them how to play tennis through books and videos.

Williams turned professional in 1995 and quickly rose through the ranks with her sister. In 1999, she won the U.S. Open title, her first Grand Slam win. Over the next decade, she took over the sport. In 2013, she won her 17th Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open. She has won 10 doubles titles with her sister Venus Williams.

Williams has four Olympic gold medals, one for women’s singles in the 2012 London games and three in women’s doubles overall. As of Feb. 18, 2013, Williams ranked as the world’s no. 1 player in the WTA.

Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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