Venus Williams

Athlete

Top-ranked tennis star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams road to greatness began in Compton, CA—playing the sport of kings on municipal courts in a neighborhood torn by drugs and gang violence. Coached by their father, Richard, Venus and her younger sister Serena showed a natural aptitude for the game, quickly advancing to amateur competition thanks to their speed, power and agility. Since going pro in 1994, Venus has been recognized as one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time. In 2002, she became the World’s No. 1 female tennis player for the first time, the second African American woman to achieve the feat. Her powerful serve—once clocked at 130 miles per hour—is the fastest recorded by any woman.

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This Day in Black History: Sept. 11, 1999

Serena Williams became the second African-American woman to win the U.S. Open title on Sept. 11, 1999.

Getting Cheeky: Celebs Who Bravely Bared Their Buns

We salute these ladies for their body confidence.

Out and About: Lil Wayne Performs on Tour With Drake in New Jersey

Plus, pics of Kelis, Future, Chris Brown, Rihanna and more.

All-Stars Strip Down for ESPN The Magazine 's Body Issue

Here's a peek at the frames burning up the 2014 edition.

This Day in Black History: July 6, 1957

Althea Gibson became the first African-American to win Wimbledon on July 6, 1957.

Commentary: Why Venus and Serena Should Retire

The tennis stars should do their legacies a favor.
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