Who is Terry Wayne Fator? The entertainment and comic world knows him as Terry Fator, he is a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian, and singer from Mesquite, Texas. Fator is capable of doing over 100 ventriloquial impersonations, and uses 16 different puppets in his act. He was the winner of Season 2 of America’s Got Talent, and received the million dollar prize. The following year, he was signed on as the headliner at The Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Terry Fator was born June 10, 1965 in Dallas, Texas. Terry’s second cousin is Chris Sligh, an American Idol season 6 finalist. Terry Fator says in his audio commentary of Terry Fator: Live from Las Vegas (2009) that he went to college at Liberty University in Lynchburg VA. The beginning of Fator’s ventriloquism career dates back to when he was in fifth grade. While searching for a book for an assignment on Valentine’s Day, he came across a book about ventriloquism titled, Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit, by Paul Winchell. Fator checked out the book and started learning about ventriloquism. A few weeks later, Fator purchased a Willie Talk dummy from Sears and soon won a $25 prize for a performance at a church picnic.
Fator got his first ventriloquism dummy when he was ten years old. Throughout his childhood, Fator entertained family and friends with his ventriloquism and did impersonations of singers and actors. When Fator was in sixth grade, he appeared on a popular children’s show in Dallas called Peppermint Place that starred “Mr. Peppermint” Jerry Haynes. Fator was able to save his money and got his first professional ventriloquism dummy when he was eighteen.
Fator says he found he had the ability to impersonate singers by practicing ventriloquism while driving his car. “One of the reasons I learned how to sing as a ventriloquist was because I like singing in the car,” Fator says. “I’d see other people singing in the car, and they looked goofy, so I’d do it without moving my lips.”
Fator got his start touring as the lead singer of a band called “Freedom Jam” in 1987-88, produced by Young American Showcase. They performed at over 200 high schools and middle schools across the United States, averaging three performances per school day.
In mid 1988, he was the lead singer of a show band called ‘Texas the Band’ when he was 20, and incorporated his puppet Walter T. Airedale into his shows. Fator’s band at one point was about to sign with a major record label and one of the label’s representatives came to hear the band. Fator sang the songs impersonating the original vocalists. “He told me ‘you gotta stop doing those impressions,’ and wanted me to sing in my own voice,” Fator says. “I tried it for a few weeks, and absolutely hated it. We told the record company ‘no thanks.'”
Combining singing and ventriloquism
Fator left the band and did a solo act combining comedy and ventriloquism but for many years had little success. “Fairs would stick me on a little stage in the back of fair and have me do three shows in the hottest part of the afternoon,” says Fator. “I had heat stroke a couple of times, almost passed out.”
In May 2007, before appearing on America’s Got Talent, Fator was performing at a fair near Houston, Texas and the only spectator was a 12 year old boy. Discouraged, Fator contemplated pursuing another career, but his family encouraged him to hang in there. Terry entered the America’s Got Talent competition with the hope that the exposure if he made it to the Top 20 might help his career and cause people to want to attend his shows. But Fator says the low point of his career was when he appeared at a 1,000 seat theater and had only one customer.
Fator’s success stems from combining singing and ventriloquism. Fator had been the lead singer in a band and often did impersonations of singers Garth Brooks, Etta James, James Taylor and Dean Martin while ventriloquism was just a comic side gig for Fator. In 2005 Fator decided to join his two talents, ventriloquism and impersonations. “I had one of my characters sing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” and the audience went bananas,” Fator says. “Boy, that was where my life changed.” After his initial success Fator revamped his act. “It took me six months and I completely rewrote the show,” says Fator. “It was then that people really noticed and I started getting standing ovations at the end of every show.”
Prior to winning America’s Got Talent, Fator was an opening act for Reba McEntire, Garth Brooks, Neal McCoy, and Styx. Fator also made corporate appearances at General Motors and AT&T.
Success on America’s Got Talent
Before appearing on America’s Got Talent, Fator had almost given up on achieving success in show business as a ventriloquist. “It wasn’t easy trying to keep going all these years, and by the time I was in my late 30s, I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen,” says Fator.
On June 19, 2007, Fator made his first national appearance on America’s Got Talent. Fator never dreamed that he would win the show. “Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would win that show,” says Fator. “Essentially I auditioned because the guy that was the ventriloquist the first season got on (‘The Late Show with) David Letterman.’ … So I figured I’d do three episodes like he did and end up on ‘David Letterman.'” After winning the show Fator actually had to turn the Letterman gig down four times before he could appear. “My schedule got so packed, and it broke my heart every time I had to turn him down,” Fator says.
When Fator first came onstage judge David Hasselhoff said “Oh, no, a ventriloquist.” “I was thinking, there’s no way I would win,” Fator says. “I gave myself zero percent [chance].” The judges, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff loved Fator and he won the competition. Judge Piers Morgan told Fator “You’re a great impersonator, a great singer and a great comedian.” “You put a twist on the whole being a ventriloquist thing,” added Judge Sharon Osborne. Even Simon Cowell approved. “Simon Cowell said I was one of the top two entertainers on the planet,” says Fator. “And getting a compliment from Simon Cowell, well, not many people get a compliment like that.”
|Week||Song choice||Original artist||Puppet||Result|
|“At Last“||Etta James||Emma Taylor||Advanced|
|“What a Wonderful World“
(Kermit the Frog
|Louis Armstrong||Winston the Turtle||Safe|
|Top 10||“Unforgettable“||Nat King Cole||Emma Taylor||Safe|
|Top 8||“That’s Amore“
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco“
|“Friends in Low Places“
|Walter T Airedale
Winston the Turtle
|Finale||“You’ve Got a Friend“||James Taylor||Johnny Vegas
Kermit the Frog
Life after America’s Got Talent
It was announced on the show that in conjunction with winning, he was to appear at the Jubilee Theatre at Bally’s. However, the spots were only going to be 15 minutes long, and in complete mutual cooperation with his management team and Bally’s, the plan was dropped. Fator performed at Christian rock legend Larry Norman‘s 60th birthday party in April 2007. Later Fator flew Larry to tapings of America’s Got Talent and also to his debut show at the Las Vegas Hilton as an honored guest. Norman told friends shortly before his death that it was one of the most fun years of his life
On October 14 and 15, 2007, after winning America’s Got Talent, Fator took the stage of the Las Vegas Hilton (formerly the International, the same stage that Elvis Presley performed on for many years.) Both shows were sold out to standing room only. Another show was added for December 3 to satisfy the demand for tickets.
In early December 2007, Fator signed a contract for $1.5 million with the Las Vegas Hilton to do 3 shows a month from January 2008 to May 2008. Fator also performed a 6 p.m. early family New Year’s Eve show on December 31, 2007.
In 2007, Fator became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities and is a member of their celebrity board, called the Friends of RMHC.
On March 17, 2008, Fator appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show along with American Idol Judge Simon Cowell. To the amazement of Oprah, Cowell referred to Fator as one of the “two most talented people on the planet.” Fator performed with three of his dummies; country singer Walter T. Airedale performed a Garth Brooks song and Winston the impersonating Turtle sang a Bee Gees song. Julius performed a Marvin Gaye song; Julius was a favorite when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. “As soon as I brought out Julius, she had this look on her face, wondering what I was about to do,” Fator said. “Once I started into Marvin Gaye, she fell out of her chair.”
On May 13, 2008 it was announced that Fator had signed a five year deal to perform nightly at The Mirage in Las Vegas. He replaced headliner Danny Gans and the theater was renamed the Terry Fator Theatre. Reportedly the deal is worth an astounding $100 million with an option to extend another five years making the entire deal worth over $200 million. This would be one of the largest entertainment deals in Las Vegas history.
Fator announced in July 2008 that he was at work on a book. “I never thought in my whole life I would write a whole book. It’s called ‘Who’s the Dummy Now?'” Fator announced at the 2008 Bloomsburg Fair on the week of September 20–27, 2008 that he finished his book.
On September 10, 2008, Fator reappeared on America’s Got Talent’s Top Twenty Results Show as a guest. He brought back a larger Winston the Impersonating Turtle to sing Marvin Gaye’s song, “Let’s Get It On.” Maynard Thomkins was also brought on to sing Viva Las Vegas. Winston was not the only puppet that was reconfigured, on an August 1, 2008 ABCNews Now interview, he brought a reshaped Emma Taylor to sing “At Last.”
Getting ventriloquism taken seriously
Fator has fought to be taken seriously as a ventriloquist. “There have been so few good, successful ventriloquists – Edgar Bergen in the 1940s and Paul Winchell in the 1960s were respected and successful,” says Fator. “And in the 1970s, I used to watch Willie Tyler and his Lester as well as Jay Johnson and Bob. But over the years, there have been so many bad ventriloquists – and most of them doing corny shows for children – that people began to think of us as a bad joke.”
This is an incomplete list of the character names for the puppets that Terry Fator uses in his act.
- Walter T. Airedale – Airedale, a country singer, is the puppet that Fator has had the longest.
- Winston the Impersonating Turtle – Winston was inspired by Kermit the Frog. “Originally I had a Kermit the Frog puppet and I would have (him) sing Rainbow Connection,” says Fator. “When I called up the Muppets to see if they would let me do a Kermit the Frog impression (on national TV), they said I could do the impression but I could not use the Kermit puppet. Necessity is the mother of invention, so I said, OK, I’ll have a turtle do an impression of a frog singing with Louis Armstrong.”
- Emma Taylor – “Emma Taylor is a lady who sang with me on ‘America’s Got Talent,'” says Fator. Fator says that Emma is his “best puppet friend.” “I kind of like Emma. She’s really cute,” says Fator.
- Maynard Thomkins – “Maynard Tompkins is an Elvis impersonator –the only impersonator in the world who does not know any Elvis songs,” says Fator.
- Julius – Julius is the soul singer. People are sometimes initially shocked by Julius as an African-American puppet. “Obviously, it’s going to be shocking. People look at me a little nervously,” Fator said. “But when I start singing, all objections fade away and they love it.” Julius was a favorite when he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. “As soon as I brought out Julius, she had this look on her face, wondering what I was about to do,” Fator said. “Once I started into Marvin Gaye, she fell out of her chair.”.
- Johnny Vegas – a lounge singer, often impersonating Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, etc.
- Duggie Scott Walker – Introduced as Fator’s annoying neighbor, he is a heavy metal music lover. Loves AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and others. He partied so much at concerts he always thinks there are strobe lights flashing.
- Vikki the Cougar – a 49-year old (she keeps turning 49, so her actual age is unknown) female singer, singing songs from the Pussycat Dolls as an example. As her name implies, she prefers dating younger men, between the ages of 21 and 24, as she revealed in an interview on Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV. Vikki is apparently Duggie’s mother.
- The Fifth Beatle – Patterned after Paul McCartney, he was kicked out of the Beatles.
- Wrex – A crash test dummy that sings automobile-themed songs.
Fator is constantly creating new characters. “I’ve got several new ones I’m creating for the Mirage. We’re going to be constantly creating new characters for the show,” says Fator.
Fator has often impersonated singers himself alongside his puppets and/or volunteers from the audience. Michael Jackson has been a regular figure Fator impersonates alongside his Walter T. Airedale puppet. Fator also has incorporated audience members into his act via a remote-control mask. A volunteer wears the mask and the remote allows Fator to move the mask’s mouth with Fator providing all of the conversation and singing. Fator usually dresses the volunteer as Cher and performs the duet “I Got You, Babe” with Fator as Sonny Bono.
In July 2007 Fator appeared in Montana to help raise funds for the Kidsports Sports Complex in Kalispell and said he wanted to come back in 2008 to do another show. “We thought, we bet he wants to, but we bet he won’t have time,” said Nancy Manning of Rotary Club of Kalispell. “He made time because it’s so important to him.” All proceeds from Fator’s show went towards the field.
In 2007 Fator did a benefit performance for miners’ families in Huntington, Utah.
In 2008, Fator performed at the Palace Theatre in Corsicana, Texas. Proceeds benefited the Navarro Council of the Arts and the Mildred Drama Club. Fator is a native of Corsicana.
On September 3, 2007, Fator made a special appearance in the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, thanking the crowd for the support. His acts were a repeat of the acts he made on America’s Got Talent. He brought back Emma Taylor to sing “At Last” and Winston the Turtle to sing “What a Wonderful World” again. He returned to the Telethon on September 1, 2008 and brought Julius to sing “Only You” from The Platters, Marvin Gaye’s song, “Let’s Get It On,” and “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Maynard Thomkins was also brought on to sing “Viva Las Vegas” to finish the show. Fator made his 3rd consecutive telethon appearance(this time via satellite from his showroom during a performance of his show) on September 6, 2009 with puppets The Fifth Beatle and Vikki The Cougar with special guests The Commodores, who joined Fator performing “Brick House“.
On September 24, 2008 Fator announced at the Bloomsburg Fair that all proceeds for his song “Horses In Heaven” will go to a Research Center For Childhood Diseases.
In 2010, Terry did a doodle for a charity celebrity doodle auction for Neurofibromatosis, more commonly known as NF. 100% of the profit from all the doodles went to help families with NF.
On September 1, 2009, Fator’s first DVD, Terry Fator: Live from Las Vegas (recorded during a performance at the Mirage), was released just less than a week after its debut airing on CMT (originally aired on August 28, 2009) and copies sold at Target stores include footage not shown on the CMT broadcast. On January 7, 2011, at Terry Fator’s show at the Las Vegas Mirage, he announced that all proceeds from his “Horses in Heaven” CD would be going to St. Jude’s (Children’s Hospital).
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Born Mandisa Lynn Hundley on October 2, 1976, she grew up in Citrus Heights, California, area. After graduating from El Camino Fundamental High School, she attended American River College in Sacramento where she studied Vocal Jazz. Then she studied at Fisk University in Tennessee and graduated with a bachelor’s of music degree with a concentration in vocal performance.
She auditioned for the United States reality/talent show American Idol in Chicago. She referred to herself as “just Mandisa”, and was billed simply as Mandisa, without a last name. She was a backup singer for famed Christian author and speaker Beth Moore. She has stated her musical influences run the gamut from Whitney Houston to Def Leppard.
Idol judge Simon Cowell made several comments about Mandisa’s weight after her successful audition. He first quipped are we “going to have a bigger stage this year. Then, when Paula Abdul commented that Mandisa had a “Frenchie” growl to her voice, Cowell responded that a more apt comparison would be to France itself. These were among comments that drew the ire of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance, (NAAFA) and would be one of the reasons Mandisa would entitle her 2007 album True Beauty.
When Mandisa presented herself to the judges prior to the final cut-down to the season’s 24 semi-finalists, she told Cowell: “what I want to say to you is that, yes, you hurt me and I cried and it was painful, it really was. But I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you and that you don’t need someone to apologize in order to forgive somebody. I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you. Cowell told Mandisa that he was “humbled” and apologized to her immediately.
On the March 7, 2006, Idol show, she stated in her pre-performance video that she sucked her thumb until she was 24 years old. She performed a rendition of Chaka Khan‘s “I’m Every Woman” which drew praise from all three judges. She was among the 12 contestants chosen on March 9, 2006, as a finalist in Idol’s fifth season.
Mandisa was eliminated from American Idol on April 5, 2006, in the Top 9, having never previously been in the Bottom 3 (she was there with Paris Bennett and Elliott Yamin, neither of whom had been in the bottom 3 either). Mandisa revealed that, when the first group of Taylor Hicks, Kellie Pickler and Chris Daughtry was sent back to safety, and Mandisa, Elliott and Paris were on the stage on one side and the other group of Ace Young, Katharine McPhee and Bucky Covington on the other side, she told Paris and Elliott that it was most likely their own group in the bottom three, as she remembered how the same thing had happened in American Idol (season 3), when the three divas landed in the bottom three, and was sure that it would probably be a “shocker” like that one as Ace, Katharine and Bucky had all been in the bottom three earlier. She, like most eliminated contestants, appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno one day later.
|Week #||Theme||Song Choice||Original Artist||Order #||Result|
|Audition||Free Choice||“Fallin’“||Alicia Keys||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||Group Performance||“Band Of Gold“||Freda Payne||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 24 (12 Women)||Free Choice||“Never“||Heart||1||Safe|
|Top 20 (10 Women)||Free Choice||“Cry“||Faith Hill||10||Safe|
|Top 16 (8 Women)||Free Choice||“I’m Every Woman“||Chaka Khan||7||Safe|
|Top 12||Songs of Stevie Wonder||“Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing“||Stevie Wonder||4||Safe|
|Top 11||Hits of the 1950s||“I Don’t Hurt Anymore“||Dinah Washington||1||Safe|
|Top 10||21st Century Hits||“Shackles (Praise You)“||Mary Mary||5||Safe|
|Top 9||Country Music||“Any Man of Mine“||Shania Twain||2||Eliminated|
Mandisa performed the song “I Don’t Hurt Anymore” at the TV talk show, Live with Regis and Kelly. Mandisa sang with Gladys Knight at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and collaborated with tobyMac and Kirk Franklin on tobyMac’s recent album, Portable Sounds.
Her book IdolEyes (with Angela Elwell Hunt) was published by Tyndale House in May 2007. She performed on American Idol Extra with her song “True Beauty”.
Mandisa’s first full-length album True Beauty was released on July 31, 2007. She released her first single, “Only the World,” on May 22, 2007. The song had a successful debut on the Billboard Hot Singles Sales chart, which tracks commercial single sales, debuting at #2 and reached #1 the following week. It is also getting major airplay on Christian radio stations. The track is available for purchase on ITunes along with the album track “True Beauty”. Written by Matthew West, Sam Mizell and Clint Lagerberg, “Only The World” captures Mandisa’s joyful spirit well. “We all have difficult days we wish we didn’t have to go through, but it gives you so much peace and joy when you realize that it’s only the world we’re living in, and one day we’re going to go to a much better place,” she says of the song’s theme. West would go on to co-write three of the songs on True Beauty, as well as Mandisa’s highest-ranking single to date, “Christmas Makes Me Cry“.
True Beauty debuted at #1 on the Top Christian Albums charts, making it the first time a new female artist has debuted at #1 in the charts 27 year history. It also debuted at #43 on the Billboard 200, an unusually high debut on that chart for a Christian artist. She also garnered a Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album nomination for True Beauty in December of the same year. Showcasing Mandisa’s stylistic range was the task set before the five sets of producers who lined up to work with her on the album—top-notch names like Shaun Shankel (Beyoncé, Natalie Grant); Brown Bannister (Amy Grant); Christopher Stevens (TobyMac); Drew Ramsey and Shannon Sanders (India.Arie, Johnny Lang); and Double Dutch, the team of Robert Marvin and Josiah Bell (Matt Kearney, Matt Redman). Mandisa also spent personal time with the album’s writers before the songwriting process began, sharing her vision for the project and what she hoped to communicate through the songs. The end result is a seamless flow of tracks that create a diverse landscape for messages of hope, inspiration and faith.
Mandisa’s cover of “Shackles” features a horn section provided by LiveHorns.com with Tommy Vaughan on trumpet, Rodney Mills on trombone, and Shane Philen on sax. They also appear on Mandisa’s performance of “The Right Thing” on the VeggieTales soundtrack for The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything.
Her second single “God Speaking” was released to Christian radio in October 2007. A third single, “Voice of a Savior,” written by West, was serviced to Inspo radio in mid-2008, where it peaked in the Top 5 of Radio and Records’ Soft AC/Inspo chart.
In November 2007, Mandisa released a holiday EP, Christmas Joy EP, which features the song “Christmas Makes Me Cry“, a duet with frequent collaborator Matthew West. Earlier that year, Mandisa also recorded “Christmas Day,” a duet with Christian recording legend Michael W. Smith. “Christmas Makes Me Cry” peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot Christian AC chart, stopped from reaching #1 by her duet with Smith,”Christmas Day.” It was the first time in the history of the Christian singles chart that a solo female artist was featured on the top two singles at the same time.
On October 14, 2008, Mandisa released a full-length Christmas album, It’s Christmas. All songs from the Christmas Joy EP were featured on It’s Christmas, as well as several new tracks.
Her second album, Freedom was released on March 24, 2009.
There have also been reports that Mandisa will be releasing “We Are Family” which is a Bonus Track on Napster on April 14, 2009. The song was available for a short time on Amazon.com added to Freedom labeled as “Freedom + Bonus Track.”
Her third album, What If We Were Real, is slated to be released on April 5, 2011. In March 2011 she will be on tour with comedian Anita Renfroe promoting her new album. The first single from her new album is entitled “Stronger”.
Mandisa currently resides in the suburban Nashville community of Antioch, Tennessee. Since her appearance on American Idol in 2006, Mandisa has made efforts toward health and weight loss. The title of her second album, Freedom, was inspired by her experience of overcoming an “addiction” to food. As of March 2009, she had reportedly lost 75 pounds and hoped to lose a total of 100 or more. As of February 2010, she has reached her goal and lost 100 pounds. 
In popular culture
When The Daily Show parodied President Bush’s decision-making abilities by featuring him in a superhero comic book by R. Sikoryak called “The Decider,” one of his decisions in the comic book was to vote for Mandisa because “she’s a sure thing.”
- 2008: Grammy Award for Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year (for True Beauty) – nominated
- 2008: GMA Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year – nominated
- 2008: GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year – nominated
- 2009: GMA Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year – nominated
- 2010: Grammy Award for Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album of the Year (for Freedom) – nominated
- 2010: Dove Award for Female Vocalist of the Year – nominated
- 2010: Dove Award for Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year, for My Deliverer – nominated
- 2010: Dove Award for Short Form Video of the Year for tobyMac’s Lose My Soul – nominated
- IdolEyes – published on May 9, 2007
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Who is Julia O’Hara Stiles? The entertainment and acting world knows her as Julia Stiles as an American actress.
Stiles’ first film was a non-speaking part in I Love You, I Love You Not (1996), with Claire Danes and Jude Law. She also had small roles as Harrison Ford‘s daughter in Alan J. Pakula‘s The Devil’s Own (1997) and in M. Night Shyamalan‘s Wide Awake (1998). Her first lead was in Wicked (1998), playing a teenage girl who might have murdered her mother so she could have her father all to herself. Critic Joe Balthai wrote she was “the darling of the 1998 Sundance Film Festival“ and Internet movie writer Harry Knowles said she was the “discovery of the fest”, but the film was not commercially released in the U.S. and went direct-to-video.
In 1999, she portrayed Kat Stratford, opposite Heath Ledger, in Gil Junger‘s 10 Things I Hate About You, an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew set in a high school in Tacoma, Washington. She won an MTV Movie Award for “Breakthrough Female Performance” for the role, and the Chicago Film Critics voted her the most promising new actress of the year. Foreign critics applauded her work as well, including Adina Hoffman, who praised her as “a young, serious looking Diane Lane“ and Martin Hoyle, who commented that Stiles played Kat “with bloody-minded independent charm from the beginning with hints of wistfulness beneath the determination.”
Stiles’ next commercial success was in Save the Last Dance (2001), as an aspiring ballerina forced to leave her small town in downstate Illinois to live with her struggling musician father in Chicago after her mother dies in a car accident. At her new, nearly all-black school, she falls in love with the character played by Sean Patrick Thomas, who teaches her hip-hop dance steps that get her into The Juilliard School. The role won her two more MTV awards for “Best Kiss” and “Best Female Performance”, and a Teen Choice Award for best fight scene for her battle with Bianca Lawson. Rolling Stone pronounced her “the coolest co-ed,” putting her on the cover of its April 12, 2001 issue. She told Rolling Stone that she performed all her own dancing in the film, though the way the film was shot and edited might have made it appear otherwise.
She returned to the Bourne series with a much larger role in The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, and to this day it is her highest grossing film. Producer Lynda Obst said that Stiles was “turning into the next Meryl Streep.” Stiles also appears in the 2008 film Gospel Hill. She portrayed a woman who falls in love with her stalker in the 2009 thriller The Cry of the Owl, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith.
She reprised the role of Carol in a 2009 production, directed by Doug Hughes and co-starring Bill Pullman at the Mark Taper Forum. On June 30, 2009, it was announced that this production would be transferring to Broadway’s John Golden Theatre, with previews beginning Sept. 29 before an October 11 opening night.
In May 2010 Stiles was cast in a major role in the Showtime series Dexter and signed for 10 episodes. For this role Stiles received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
|1993||Ghostwriter||Erica||TV series, episode: “Who Is Max Mouse?: Part 1”|
|1994||TV series, episode: “A Crime of Two Cities: Part 1”|
|1996||I Love You, I Love You Not||Young Nana’s Friend|
|1996||Promised Land||Megan Walker||TV series, episode: “The Secret”|
|1997||Chicago Hope||Corey Sawicki||TV series, episode: “Mother, May I?“|
|1997||The Devil’s Own||Bridget O’Meara|
|1997||Before Women Had Wings||Phoebe Jackson||TV movie|
|1998||Wide Awake||Neena Beal|
|1999||The ’60s||Katie Herlihy||TV movie|
|1999||10 Things I Hate About You||Kat Stratford||Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress
MTV Movie Award for Female Breakthrough Performance
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Breakout Performance in a Film
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Sexiest Love Scene in a Film (shared with Heath Ledger)
Nominated—YoungStar Award for Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Comedy Film
|2000||Down to You||Imogen||Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry (shared with Freddie Prinze Jr.)
Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress in a Film
|2000||State and Main||Carla||Florida Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Ensemble Cast
Online Film Critics Society Awards for Best Ensemble Cast Performance
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble
|2001||Save the Last Dance||Sara||MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (shared with Sean Patrick Thomas)
Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress in a Film
Teen Choice Award for Choice Fight Scene (shared with Bianca Lawson)
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance
|2001||The Business of Strangers||Paula Murphy||Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Drama|
|2002||The Bourne Identity||Nicky Parsons|
|2003||A Guy Thing||Becky|
|2003||Mona Lisa Smile||Joan Brandwyn||Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress in a Drama/Action Adventure|
|2004||The Prince and Me||Paige Morgan|
|2004||The Bourne Supremacy||Nicky Parsons|
|2005||A Little Trip to Heaven||Isold|
|2006||The Omen||Katherine Thorn||Nominated—Teen Choice Award for Choice Scream in a Movie|
|2007||The Bourne Ultimatum||Nicky Parsons|
|2009||The Cry of the Owl||Jenny Thierolf|
|2010||Dexter||Lumen Pierce||TV series, 10 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2012||The Bell Jar||Esther Greenwood||Pre-production|
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Did you know that Alexander “Alex” Steinweiss was a graphic designer known for inventing the album cover?
Did you know that Steinweiss with help from his brother-in-law, found a manufacturer willing to invest in his Album Cover patent for what became the industry packaging standard?
Did you know that Alex Steinweiss died, he was , 94.
(March 24, 1917 – July 17, 2011)
Did you know that Steinweiss did not develop the inner sleeve, only the outer package)?
Did you know that Steinweiss was active in record cover design from 1939 until 1973 he has designed roughly 2500 covers?
Did you know that Joe Louis held the World Heavyweight Boxing title longer than any other fighter in history, 12 years from 1937 to 1949?
Did you know that Joe Louis held the World Heavyweight Boxing title longer than any other fighter in history, 12 years from 1937 to 1949?
Did you know that Louis’ championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which
he participated in 27 championship fights, 26 championship fights during
Did you know that Louis was
ranked as the #1 heavyweight of all-time by the International Boxing
Research Organization, and was ranked #1 on The Ring‘s list of the 100 Greatest Punchers of All-Time?
Did you know that Joe Louis died in 1981?
(May 13, 1914 – April 12, 1981)
In his time as a fighter, Joe Louis had 72 fights. He knocked out 54
opponents, endured three defeats and held the championship from 1937
until March 1949, the longest span of a heavyweight titleholder. Louis
failed to regain the championship when he returned to the ring in 1950
and when Rocky Marciano knocked him out in 1951. The man who had been called the Brown Bomber was finished.
Now if you didn’t know, now you know…
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Who is Serena Jameka Williams? The professional tennis world knows her as Serena Williams, she is an American professional tennis player who is a former World No. 1 and currently ranked World No. 25 in singles and No. 20 in doubles with sister Venus Williams. The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked her World No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on July 8, 2002 and regained this ranking for the fifth time on November 2, 2009. She is considered to be one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time in a career hampered by numerous injuries.
Her 27 Grand Slam titles places her ninth on the all-time list: 13 in singles, 12 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles. She is the most recent player, male or female, to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously and only the fifth woman in history to do so. Her 13 Grand Slam singles titles is sixth on the all-time list. Williams ranks fourth in Grand Slam women’s singles titles won during the open era, behind Steffi Graf (22 titles) and Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova (18 titles each). She has won more Grand Slam titles in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles than any other active female player.
Williams has won two Olympic gold medals in women’s doubles. She has won more career prize money than any other female athlete in history. Serena has played older sister Venus in 23 professional matches since 1998, with Serena winning 13 of these matches. They have met in eight Grand Slam finals, with Serena winning six times. Beginning with the 2002 French Open, they played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, which was the first time in the open era that the same two players had contested four consecutive Grand Slam finals. The pair have won 12 Grand Slam doubles titles together.
Serena Williams was born September 26, 1981 in Saginaw, Michigan, to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. She is of African American heritage and is the youngest of Price’s five daughters: half-sisters Yetunde (1972–2003), Lyndrea and Isha Price, and full sister Venus. When the children were young, the family moved to the city of Compton in Los Angeles county, where Serena started playing tennis at the age of five. Her father home-schooled Serena and her sister Venus and to this day, Serena Williams was and remains coached by both her parents.
Williams’ family moved from Compton to Haines City when she was nine so that she could attend the tennis academy of Rick Macci, who would provide additional coaching. Macci spotted the exceptional talents of the sisters. He did not always agree with Williams’ father but respected that “he treated his daughters like kids, allowed them to be little girls”. Richard stopped sending his daughters to national junior tennis tournaments when Williams was 10, since he wanted them to take it slow and focus on school work. Another motivation was racial, as he had allegedly heard parents of white players talk about the Williams sisters in a derogatory manner during tournaments. At that time, Williams had a 46–3 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked No. 1 among under 10 players in Florida. In 1995, when Serena was in the ninth grade, Richard pulled his daughters out of Macci’s academy, and from then on took over all coaching at their home. When asked in 2000 whether having followed the normal path of playing regularly on the junior circuit would have been beneficial, Williams responded: “Everyone does different things. I think for Venus and I, we just tried a different road, and it worked for us.”
Williams is primarily a baseline player. Her game is built around taking immediate control of rallies with a powerful and consistent serve (considered by some to be the best in the women’s game), return of serve, and forceful groundstrokes from both her forehand and backhand swings. Her serve has been hit as hard as 129mph (206.5km/h), the second-fastest (after her sister Venus) all-time among female players.
Although Williams’ forehand is among the most powerful shots in the women’s game as is her double-handed backhand. Williams strikes her backhand groundstroke using an open stance, and uses the same open stance for her forehand. Serena also possesses a very solid volley and powerful overhead which is very useful for her net game.
Williams’s aggressive play, a “high risk” style, is balanced in part by her serve, which combines great power and placement with very high consistency.
Although many think of Williams as only an offensive player, she also plays a strong defensive game.
1995–99: Professional debut
Williams’s first professional event was in September 1995, at the age of 13, at the Bell Challenge in Quebec City. She lost in the first round of qualifying to World No. 149 Annie Miller in less than an hour of play and earned US$240 in prize money.
|Serena Williams & Vanessa Williams|
Williams did not play a tournament in 1996. The following year, she lost in the qualifying rounds of three tournaments before winning her first main-draw match in November at the Ameritech Cup Chicago. Ranked World No. 304, she upset World No. 7 Mary Pierce and World No. 4 Monica Seles, recording her first career wins over Top 10 players and becoming the lowest-ranked player in the open era to defeat two Top 10 opponents in one tournament. She ultimately lost in the semifinals to World No. 5 Lindsay Davenport. She finished 1997 ranked World No. 99.
Williams began 1998 at the Medibank International Sydney. As a qualifier ranked World No. 96, she defeated World No. 3 Davenport in the quarterfinals before losing to Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in the semifinals. Williams made her debut in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament at the Australian Open, where she defeated sixth seeded Irina Spîrlea in the first round before losing to sister Venus in the second round, in the sisters’ first professional match. Williams reached six other quarterfinals during the year but lost all of them, including her first match against World No. 1 Martina Hingis at the Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne and her second match against Venus at the Italian Open in Rome. She failed to reach the quarterfinals of any Grand Slam tournament the remainder of the year, losing in the fourth round of the French Open to Sánchez Vicario and the third round of both Wimbledon and the US Open, to Virginia Ruano Pascual and Spîrlea, respectively. She did, however, win the mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon and the US Open with Max Mirnyi, completing the Williams family’s sweep of the 1998 mixed doubles Grand Slam tournaments. Williams won her first professional title in doubles in Oklahoma City with Venus, becoming the third pair of sisters to win a WTA title. The Williams sisters won two more doubles titles together during the year. Serena finished the year ranked World No. 20 in singles.
1999–2001: Becoming a top 10 player
Williams lost in the third round of the 1999 Australian Open to Sandrine Testud. The following month, she won her first professional singles title when she defeated Australian Open runner-up Amélie Mauresmo 6–2 3–6 7–6(4) in the final of the Open Gaz de France in Paris. With Venus also winning the IGA Superthrift Classic in Oklahoma City that day, the pair became the first sisters to win professional tournaments in the same week. A month later, Serena won her first Tier I singles title at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California, having defeated World No. 7 Steffi Graf 6–3 3–6 7–5 in the final. At the following tournament, the Tier I Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne, Williams defeated World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the semifinals before Venus ended her 16-match winning streak in the first all-sister singles final in WTA history. On April 5, 1999, Serena made her top 10 debut at World No. 9.
Williams played three tournaments during the 1999 European spring clay court season. She lost in the quarterfinals of the Tier I Italian Open in Rome to World No. 1 Hingis and in the quarterfinals of the Tier I German Open in Berlin to World No. 7 Arantxa Sánchez Vicario. Serena and Venus won the women’s doubles title at the French Open, but Serena was upset by Mary Joe Fernandez in the third round of the singles competition. She then missed Wimbledon because of injury.
When she returned to the tour, Williams won a Fed Cup singles match before playing two tournaments during the 1999 North American summer hard court season. She won the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles, defeating World No. 1 Hingis in the semifinals and Julie Halard-Decugis in the final. Williams was seeded seventh at the US Open, where she defeated World No. 4 Monica Seles, World No. 2 Lindsay Davenport, and World No. 1 Hingis to become the second African-American woman (after Althea Gibson in 1958) to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at this tournament, their second Grand Slam title with each other.
To complete 1999, Williams won a doubles match in the Fed Cup final against Russia, her third tournament of the year at the Grand Slam Cup in Munich, and lost in the second round of the tournament in Filderstadt. Williams ended the year ranked World No. 4 in just her second full year on the main tour.
Williams started 2000 by losing in the fourth round of the Australian Open to 16th seeded Elena Likhovtseva. She failed to defend her titles in Paris and Indian Wells, although she did win the Faber Grand Prix in Hanover. Williams missed the French Open because of injury. She returned at Wimbledon, where she lost to eventual champion Venus in the semifinals after Serena had lost just 13 games in advancing to the second Grand Slam semifinal of her career. The Williams sisters teamed to win the doubles title at the event. Williams successfully defended her title in Los Angeles in August, defeating World No. 1 Hingis in the semifinals and World No. 2 Davenport in the final. She reached the final of the Du Maurier Open in Montreal, Canada the following week where an injury forced her to retire from her match with Hingis. Her defense of the US Open title ended when she lost in the quarterfinals to second seeded Davenport. Williams teamed with Venus to win the gold medal in doubles at the Sydney Olympics in September. She then won her third singles title of the year the following week at the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo. She finished the year ranked World No. 6.
Williams played two tournaments in Australia at the beginning of 2001, losing to World No. 1 Hingis in the quarterfinals of both the tournament in Sydney and the Australian Open. Serena and her sister Venus won the women’s doubles title at the latter tournament, becoming only the fifth doubles team in history to win all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles during their career, a “Career Grand Slam”.
She did not play again until March, when she defeated Kim Clijsters in the final of the Tier I Tennis Masters Series in Indian Wells, California. She advanced to the final there when Venus withdrew just before the start of their semifinal match. Venus claimed that an injury prevented her from playing, but the withdrawal was controversial. Neither Williams sister has entered the tournament since. The following week at the Tier I Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Williams lost to Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals.
Williams did not play a clay court tournament before the 2001 French Open, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Capriati 6–2, 5–7, 6–2. Williams also did not play a grass court tournament before Wimbledon, where she again lost in the quarterfinals to Capriati 6–7(4), 7–5, 6–3, marking the fourth consecutive Grand Slam tournament at which Williams had exited in the quarterfinals.
Williams played three tournaments during the 2001 North American summer hard court season. After losing in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Los Angeles, Williams captured her second title of the year at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating Seles in the semifinals and World No. 3 Capriati in the final. Williams was seeded tenth at the US Open, where she defeated World No. 6 and Wimbledon runner-up Justine Henin in the fourth round, World No. 3 Davenport in the quarterfinals, and World No. 1 Hingis in the semifinals before losing to sister Venus in the final. That was the first Grand Slam final contested by two sisters during the open era.
At the 2001-ending Sanex Championships in Munich, Williams defeated Silvia Farina Elia, Henin, and Testud en route to the final. She then won the championship by walkover when Davenport withdrew before the start of the final because of a knee injury. Williams finished 2001 at World No. 6 for the second straight year.
2002–03: The “Serena Slam”
Injury forced Williams to retire from her semifinal match at the Medibank International Sydney and to withdraw from the 2002 Australian Open. She won her first title of the year at the State Farm Women’s Tennis Classic in Scottsdale, USA, defeating World No. 2 Jennifer Capriati in the final. She then won the Tier I Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne for the first time, becoming one of three players in the open era to defeat the world’s top three at one tournament, after beating World No. 3 Martina Hingis in the quarterfinals, World No. 2 and sister Venus in the semifinals, and World No. 1 Capriati in the final. Her 6–2, 6–2 win over Venus was her second career win over her sister.
Williams played three clay court tournaments before the 2002 French Open. She reached her first clay court final in May, at the Eurocard German Open in Berlin, losing to Justine Henin in a third set tiebreak. The following week, Williams won her first clay court title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, defeating Capriati in the semifinals and Henin in the final. This increased her ranking to a new high of World No. 3. Williams, as the third seed at the French Open, dropped just two sets en route to the final (including a victory over top seed and defending champion Capriati in the semifinals), where she defeated sister Venus 7–5, 6–3. This gave Serena the second Grand Slam title of her career and increased her ranking to World No. 2, behind only Venus.
At the 2002 Wimbledon Championships, Williams defeated Amélie Mauresmo 6–2, 6–1 in the semifinals to reach the final for the first time. There, she again defeated defending champion Venus 7–6(4), 6–3 to win a Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set for the first time in her career. This victory earned Williams the World No. 1 ranking, dethroning her sister and becoming only the second African-American woman to hold that ranking on the Women’s Tennis Association computer. The Williams sisters also won the doubles title at the tournament, the fifth Grand Slam title for the pair in women’s doubles.
Williams played just one tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open, losing in the quarterfinals of the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles to Chanda Rubin, ending a 21-match winning streak. As the top seeded player at the US Open, she defeated former champion Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals to reach the final for the third time. Playing Venus in the third consecutive Grand Slam final, Williams won once again, 6–4, 6–3, to win her second US Open title and fourth Grand Slam singles title.
Williams won two consecutive singles titles in the fall, defeating Kim Clijsters to win the Toyota Princess Cup in Tokyo and Anastasia Myskina to win the Sparkassen Cup in Leipzig, Germany. She reached the final at the year-ending Home Depot Championships, where she lost to fifth seeded Clijsters in straight sets, ending her 18-match winning streak.
Williams finished 2002 with a 56–5 record, eight singles titles, and the World No. 1 ranking. She was the first African-American (male or female) to end a year with that ranking since Althea Gibson in 1958. She was the first woman to win three Grand Slam titles in one year since Hingis in 1997.
At the 2003 Australian Open, Williams was just three points from losing to Émilie Loit in the first round before eventually winning. Williams went on to reach the semifinals for the first time, where she recovered from 5–2 down in the third set and saved two match points before defeating Clijsters. She faced her sister Venus for the fourth consecutive Grand Slam final and won 7–6(4), 3–6, 6–4 to become the sixth woman in the open era to complete a Career Grand Slam, joining Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf, and Margaret Court. She also became the fifth woman to hold all Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously, joining Maureen Connolly Brinker, Court, Graf, and Navratilova. The Williams sisters won their sixth Grand Slam doubles title together at this event.
Williams then captured singles titles at the Open Gaz de France in Paris and the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, defeating Clijsters in the semifinals and Capriati in the final. The following week, Williams lost the final at the clay court Family Circle Cup in Charleston, USA to Henin, her first loss of the year after 21 wins. She also lost to Mauresmo in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Despite these losses, Williams was the top seed at the French Open. After defeating fifth seeded Mauresmo in the quarterfinals, Williams lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Henin 6–2, 4–6, 7–5, marking Williams’s first loss in a Grand Slam tournament since 2001. The match was controversial as Williams questioned Henin’s sportsmanship and spectators applauded Williams’s errors.
Williams rebounded from the loss at the 2003 Wimbledon Championships, defeating Henin in the semifinals and Venus in the final 4–6, 6–4, 6–2. This was Williams’s second consecutive Wimbledon title and her sixth Grand Slam singles title overall. This was her last tournament of the year, as knee surgery prevented her from competing in the year’s remaining events, including the US Open. As a result, she lost the World No. 1 ranking to Clijsters in August, having held it for 57 consecutive weeks. Williams finished the year ranked World No. 3 and with four titles. On September 14, 2003, while Williams was still recovering from surgery, her sister Yetunde Price was murdered.
2004–06: Injuries and inconsistent results
Williams withdrew from the Australian Open to continue rehabilitating her left knee. She then withdrew from further tournaments, which generated speculation that she was losing interest in the sport. After eight months away from the tour, Williams began her comeback at the Tier I NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, where she defeated 16 year old Russian Maria Sharapova in the fourth round and World No. 8 Elena Dementieva in the final. This was the third consecutive year that Williams had won this tournament.
She then played three clay court tournaments leading up to the French Open. She lost in the quarterfinals of the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, and, the following week at the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, she withdrew before her third round match because of an injured knee. She was away from the tour for four weeks before playing the Tier I Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where she lost to World No. 9 Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals 6–4, 6–4. Although ranked World No. 7, she was seeded second at the French Open. She won her first four matches over players ranked outside the top 50 before Capriati beat her in the quarterfinals 6–3, 2–6, 6–3. This was the first time she had lost before the semifinals at a Grand Slam singles tournament since Wimbledon in 2001.
She was seeded first at Wimbledon even though her ranking had dropped to World No. 10. She defeated seventh-seeded Capriati in the quarterfinals in straight sets and fourth seeded Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals 6–7(4), 7–5, 6–4 after being down a break in the second set. In one of the most surprising upsets in the tournament’s history, 13th-seeded Sharapova defeated Williams in the final 6–1, 6–4. This loss caused her ranking to drop out of the top 10 for the first time since early 1999.
Williams reached her third final of the year at the JPMorgan Chase Open in Los Angeles on hard courts. She lost there to Lindsay Davenport 6–1, 6–3, which was her first loss to Davenport since the 2000 US Open. Williams then withdrew before her quarterfinal match at the Acura Classic in San Diego with another left knee injury. This injury caused her to miss both the Tier I Rogers AT&T Cup in Montreal and the Athens Olympics. She returned for the US Open, where she was seeded third even though she was ranked World No. 11. She lost there in the quarterfinals to World No. 8 Capriati 2–6, 6–4, 6–4. This match featured several missed line calls, including one that led to the suspension of the chair umpire for the remainder of the tournament. This match is commonly referred to as the impetus for the current challenge system.
Williams played only three tournaments the remainder of the year. She won her second title of the year at the China Open in Beijing, in which she defeated US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. Five weeks later, she lost in the second round of the tournament in Linz, Austria to World No. 73 Alina Jidkova but still qualified for the WTA Tour Championships. In the round robin phase of the tournament, she defeated World No. 5 Dementieva, lost to World No. 1 Davenport, and defeated World No. 3 Anastasia Myskina. She defeated World No. 2 Mauresmo in the semifinals 4–6, 7–6(2), 6–4 but again lost to World No. 6 Sharapova in the final 4–6, 6–2, 6–4. Williams trailed 5–2 in the second set when she asked for treatment of an abdominal injury that caused her to serve around 65 mph. She led 4–0 in the third set before Sharapova won the last six games of the match. Williams finished 2004 ranked World No. 7 but did not win a Grand Slam singles tournament for the first time since 2001.
At the 2005 Australian Open, Williams rejected suggestions that she and sister Venus were a declining force in tennis following Venus’s early exit at the tournament. In the quarterfinals, Williams defeated second seeded Mauresmo 6–2, 6–2. In the semifinals, she saved three match points in defeating fourth seeded Sharapova 2–6, 7–5, 8–6. In the final, Williams defeated World No. 1 Davenport 2–6, 6–3, 6–0 to win her second Australian Open singles title and seventh Grand Slam singles title. The win moved Williams back to World No. 2, and she stated she was now targeting the number one spot.
She did not, however, reach the final at any of her next five tournaments. She withdrew before her quarterfinal match at the Open Gaz de France in Paris, citing a stomach illness. Three weeks later, she retired from her semifinal match with Jelena Janković at the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open, citing a strained tendon in her right shoulder. Four weeks later, she lost to sister Venus, for the first time since 2001, in the quarterfinals of the Tier I NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne 6–1, 7–6(8). The following week, a left ankle injury forced her to retire from her quarterfinal match on clay at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island. Five weeks away from the tour did not improve her results as she lost in the second round of the Tier I Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome to Francesca Schiavone 7–6(2), 6–1. The ankle injury also caused her to miss the French Open.
She returned for Wimbledon as the fourth seeded player, but, after struggling through her first two matches in three sets, she was defeated in the third round by World No. 85 Jill Craybas 6–3, 7–6(4).
After winning her first match at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, a recurrence of her left knee injury caused her to withdraw from the tournament. At the US Open, Williams lost to her sister Venus in the fourth round 7–6(5), 6–2. This was the earliest the sisters had met in a Grand Slam tournament since their first meeting at the 1998 Australian Open. Williams played just one more match the remainder of the year, a loss to World No. 127 Sun Tiantian at the tournament in Beijing. She failed to qualify for the year-ending championship for the first time since 1998. She finished the year ranked World No. 11, her first time finishing outside of the world top 10 since 1998.
Williams did not participate in any of the official warm-up tournaments for the 2006 Australian Open. Williams was the defending champion at the Australian Open but fell to World No. 17 Daniela Hantuchová in the third round 6–1, 7–6(5). She then withdrew from tournaments in Tokyo (citing her lack of fitness) and Dubai and from the Tier I NASDAQ-100 Open in Key Biscayne (citing a knee injury and lack of fitness). On April 10, her ranking fell out of the top 100 for the first time since November 16, 1997. 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 doctor’s orders.
Williams returned to the tour in July at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati. Ranked World No. 139 because of her inactivity, she defeated World No. 11 Myskina in the first round 6–2, 6–2 before losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Vera Zvonareva. She also reached the semifinals in Los Angeles, losing to World No. 28 Janković in straight sets.
At the US Open, Williams was unseeded in a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 1998 and needed a wildcard to enter the tournament because her ranking was too low. She defeated World No. 17 Ana Ivanović in the third round before losing to top seeded Mauresmo in the fourth round 6–4, 0–6, 6–2. She did not play again in 2006, ending the year ranked World No. 95. This was her lowest year-end ranking since 1997. Williams played just four tournaments in 2006.
2007–08: Return to the top 10
Williams began 2007 with renewed confidence, stating her intention to return to the top of the rankings, a comment former player and commentator Pat Cash branded “0deluded”.
Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Hobart, Australia, a warm-up for the Australian Open. Williams was unseeded at the Australian Open because of her World No. 81 ranking and was widely regarded as “out of shape”. In the third round, however, Williams defeated fifth-seeded Nadia Petrova, which was her first win over a top 10 player since defeating Lindsay Davenport in the 2005 Australian Open final. In the quarterfinals, Williams was two points from losing to Shahar Pe’er before prevailing. In the final, Williams defeated top-seeded Maria Sharapova 6–1, 6–2 to win her third Australian Open singles title and her eighth Grand Slam singles title. Williams dedicated the title to her deceased sister Yetunde. Her performance in the final was described by TENNIS.com as “one of the best performances of her career” and by BBC Sport as “arguably the most powerful display ever seen in women’s tennis”.
Williams next played at the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida in late March. In the fourth round, Williams again defeated World No. 2 Sharapova 6–1, 6–1 and in the final, Williams defeated World No. 1 Justine Henin 0–6, 7–5, 6–3 after saving a match point in the second set.
At the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina on clay courts, Williams retired from her second round match because of a groin pull. The following week, Williams won her first singles match in the first round Fed Cup tie against Belgium on hard courts but withdrew from the second singles match to rest her knee. Williams played only one clay court tournament in Europe before the French Open. In Rome at the Tier I Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Williams lost to fourteenth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland in the quarterfinals 6–3, 2–6, 7–6(5). After the tournament, however, she re-entered the top 10 at World No. 9. As the eighth seed at the French Open, Williams lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Henin 6–4, 6–3. Williams said her performance was “hideous and horrendous” and worse than ever. She also said that she felt “violated”.
Despite the loss, Williams was one of the favorites for the Wimbledon title. During her fourth round match against Daniela Hantuchová, Williams collapsed from an acute muscle spasm at 5–5 in the second set. After a medical timeout and holding serve to force a tiebreak, rain forced play to be suspended for nearly two hours. When the players returned, Williams won the match 6–2, 6–7(2), 6–2. Williams then lost her quarterfinal match with World No. 1 Henin 6–4, 3–6, 6–3. Williams started the match with a heavily taped calf and was forced to use a one-handed backhand slice because of a left thumb injury. Williams was criticized for claiming after the match that she would have beaten Henin had Williams been healthy. After Wimbledon, Williams moved up to World No. 7, her highest ranking since 2005.
Because of the thumb injury, Williams did not play a tournament between Wimbledon and the US Open. At the US Open, she beat 2007 Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli in the fourth round but lost her third consecutive Grand Slam singles quarterfinal to Henin, 7–6(3), 6–1.
In October, Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Stuttgart to World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova. Williams then reached her third final of the year at the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow, defeating Kuznetsova in the semifinals before losing to Elena Dementieva. Nevertheless, Williams’s performances at these tournaments increased her ranking to World No. 5 and qualified her for the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Madrid. Her participation there was short. Because of injury, she retired from her first match with Anna Chakvetadze after losing the first set and then withdrew from the tournament. Williams finished 2007 as World No. 7 and the top-ranked American for the first time since 2003.
Williams started 2008 by participating on the U.S. team that won the Hopman Cup for the fifth time in Perth, Australia. Williams was the seventh seed at the Australian Open but lost in the quarterfinals to World No. 4 and third-seeded Jelena Janković 6–3, 6–4. This was her fourth straight loss in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament. In the women’s doubles event, Serena and her sister Venus lost in the quarterfinals to the seventh-seeded team, Zheng Jie and Yan Zi.
Williams then withdrew from three tournaments because of an urgent need for dental surgery. Upon her return to the tour, Williams won three consecutive singles titles. At the Tier II tournament in Bangalore, India, Serena defeated sister Venus in the semifinals 6–3, 3–6, 7–6(4) after Serena saved a match point at 6–5 in the third set. This was the first time they had played each other since the fourth round of the 2005 US Open. Serena then defeated Schnyder in the final. At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Williams won her fifth career singles title there, tying Steffi Graf for the most singles titles at this tournament. Williams defeated World No. 1 Henin in the quarterfinals, World No. 3 Kuznetsova in the semifinals, and World No. 4 Janković in the final. This was her 30th career singles title.
At the clay court Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, Williams defeated, for the fourth consecutive time, second-seeded Sharapova in the quarterfinals. In the final, Williams defeated Vera Zvonareva to capture her tenth career Tier I title and first clay court title since the 2002 French Open. Her 17-match winning streak was ended by Dinara Safina in the quarterfinals of the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin 2–6, 6–1, 7–6(5). Williams was the fifth-seeded player at the Tier I Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and made it to the quarterfinals, where Alizé Cornet received a walkover over Williams because of a back injury.
Williams was the fifth-seeded player at the French Open. Although she was the only former winner of this tournament in this year’s draw, following the sudden retirement of four-time champion Henin, she lost in the third round to 27th-seeded Katarina Srebotnik 6–4, 6–4.
At Wimbledon, the sixth-seeded Williams reached the semifinals for the first time in four years. She defeated former World No. 1 and 2006 Wimbledon champion Amélie Mauresmo in the third round before losing the final to her older sister Venus in straight sets. This was the first Grand Slam final in which the Williams sisters had played each other since 2003. Serena and Venus then teamed to win the women’s doubles title without dropping a set the entire tournament, their first Grand Slam women’s doubles title since 2003.
Williams then played four World Team Tennis matches for the Washington Kastles, contributing 49 points for her team.
Williams was seeded first at the tournament in Stanford, California but retired from her semifinal match against qualifier Aleksandra Wozniak while trailing 6–2, 3–1 because of a left knee injury. That injury caused Williams to withdraw from the tournament in Los Angeles the following week.
Playing in the singles draw at the Olympics for the first time in Beijing, Williams was the fourth-seeded player in singles but lost to fifth-seeded and eventual gold-medalist Dementieva in the quarterfinals 3–6, 6–4, 6–3. Serena and her sister Venus won the gold medal in doubles to add to their victory at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, beating the Spanish team of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual in the final.
Williams was seeded fourth at the US Open and defeated her seventh-seeded sister Venus in the quarterfinals 7–6(6), 7–6(7). Serena trailed 5–3 in both sets and saved two set points in the first set and eight set points in the second set. Williams then defeated Safina in the semifinals and second-seeded Jelena Janković 6-4 7-5 in the final after saving 4 set points at 5-3 in the second set. This was her third US Open and ninth Grand Slam singles title. This victory returned her to the World No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2003.
At the Tier II Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Williams was the top seed but lost to World No. 30 Li Na in the second round 0–6, 6–1, 6–4. Serena also played doubles there with her sister Venus, but they withdrew after winning their first round match because of a left ankle injury to Serena. On October 3, Williams announced her withdrawal from the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow, citing a continuing left ankle injury and a desire to give her body time to recover from a packed playing schedule. Because of her withdrawal, she lost the World No. 1 ranking to Janković.
Williams defeated Safina in her first round robin match at the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha before losing to her sister Venus 5–7, 6–1, 6–0 in her second round robin match. She then withdrew from her match against Dementieva citing a stomach muscle injury. She ended the year ranked World No. 2 and with four singles titles, her strongest performance in both respects since 2003.
2009: Back at World No. 1
At the Medibank International in Sydney, top-seeded Williams defeated Australian Samantha Stosur in the first round 6–3, 6–7(4), 7–5 after saving four match points when Stosur served for the match at 5–4 in the third set. In the quarterfinals against Danish player Caroline Wozniacki, Williams won 6–7(5), 6–3, 7–6(3) after saving three match points when Wozniacki served for the match at 6–5 in the third set. In the semifinals, Williams lost to Russian Elena Dementieva for the third consecutive time 6–3, 6–1.
Williams was seeded second at the Australian Open. She twice was three points from defeat before beating eighth-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals and then defeated fourth-seeded Dementieva in the semifinals. She claimed her tenth Grand Slam singles title by defeating Dinara Safina in the final 6–0, 6–3 in 59 minutes. This win returned her to the World No. 1 ranking and resulted in her becoming the all-time career prize money leader in women’s sports, overtaking golfer Annika Sörenstam. In women’s doubles, Serena and her sister Venus captured the title for the third time.
At the Open GDF SUEZ in Paris, Williams withdrew from the tournament before her scheduled semifinal with Dementieva because of a knee injury. Williams was the top seed at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, a Premier 5 event on the tour. She defeated former World No. 1 Ana Ivanović in the quarterfinals before losing to her sister Venus in the semifinals 6–1, 2–6, 7–6(3).
At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, a Premier Mandatory event, Williams beat the top three Chinese players (World No. 34 Shuai Peng, World No. 17 Jie Zheng, and World No. 40 Li Na) on the way to the semifinals. She then defeated her sister Venus 6–4, 3–6, 6–3. Williams, who played with a left thigh injury, was then upset in the final by 11th seeded Victoria Azarenka.
This was the first of four consecutive losses for Williams, the longest losing streak of her career. She was defeated in her opening match at her first three clay court events of the year, including the Premier 5 Internazionali d’Italia in Rome and the Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open. She lost the World No. 1 ranking to Safina on April 20. Despite not having won a match on clay in 2009 before the French Open, she reached the quarterfinals there before losing to the eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 7–6 (4), 5–7, 7–5. This ended her 18-match Grand Slam tournament winning streak.
She rebounded at Wimbledon, saving a match point in defeating fourth seeded Dementieva in the semifinals 6–7(4), 7–5, 8–6. In the final, Serena defeated her sister Venus 7–6(3), 6–2 to win her third Wimbledon title and her 11th Grand Slam singles title. Although Williams was now holding three of the four Grand Slam singles titles, she continued to trail Safina in the WTA rankings, a fact Williams publicly mocked. Williams and her sister Venus teamed to win the women’s doubles title at Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, their ninth Grand Slam title in women’s doubles.
Following Wimbledon, Williams played two Premier 5 tournaments before the US Open. She lost in the third round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati and in the semifinals, to World No. 5 Dementieva, of the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
She was seeded second at the US Open, where she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kim Clijsters in extremely controversial circumstances. While trailing 6–4, 6–5(15–30), Williams’s second serve was called a foot fault, resulting in two match points for Clijsters. Williams gestured with her racquet to the lineswoman who had made the call and yelled at her, yelling profanaties and threatening to kill her. During the subsequent on-court conference between the head judge, the lineswoman, US Open officials, and Williams, a microphone picked up Williams saying to the lineswoman (which could be heard on the TV broadcast), “I didn’t say I would kill you. Are you serious?” This resulted in Williams being penalized a point for unsportsmanlike conduct – necessitated by a warning she had received earlier in the match for racket abuse – meaning Clijsters won the match 6–4, 7–5. The following day, Williams was issued the maximum permissible on-site fine of $10,000 (plus $500 for racket abuse). After further investigation, the Grand Slam Committee in November 2009 fined her $175,000 in lieu of suspending her from the 2010 US Open or other Grand Slam events. They also placed her on a two year probation, so if Williams commits another offense in the next two years at a Grand Slam tournament, she will be suspended from participating in the following US Open. If she commits no offenses in the next two years, her fine will be reduced to $82,500. Williams initially refused to apologize for her outburst, both in her post-match press conference and in an official statement released the following day. She eventually apologized to the lineswoman in a statement two days following the incident. Williams was not suspended from the doubles competition at the tournament and teamed with Venus to win their third Grand Slam doubles title of the year and tenth of their career.
Williams played only two tournaments after the US Open. At the Premier Mandatory China Open in Beijing, she was upset in the third round by Nadia Petrova. Williams won all three of her round-robin matches at the year-ending WTA Tour Championships in Doha, Qatar, defeating World No. 7 Venus Williams, World No. 5 Dementieva, and World No. 3 Kuznetsova. She saved a match point against Venus before winning in a third set tiebreak. She then advanced to the final when US Open runner-up Wozniacki retired from their semifinal match while trailing 6–4, 0–1. In the final, Williams played Venus for the second time in four days, winning once again 6–2, 7–6(4), against her tired and error stricken sister. This was Serena’s second singles title at this event.
Williams finished the year ranked World No. 1 for the second time in her career, having played in 16 tournaments, more than any other year. She also broke the record previously set by Justine Henin for the most prize money earned by a female tennis player in one year, with Williams earning $6,545,586. In doubles, the Williams sisters finished the year ranked World No. 2 despite playing only six tournaments as a pair. She won five Grand Slam titles, putting her total Grand Slam titles at 23.
Williams was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press in a landslide vote (66 of 158 votes – no other candidate received more than 18 votes). She also was the International Tennis Federation World Champion in singles and doubles.
2010: Continued Dominance of the WTA Tour
Williams’s first scheduled tournament was the Medibank International Sydney. She defeated Frenchwoman Aravane Rezaï in the semifinals 3–6, 7–5, 6–4 after trailing 5–2 in the second set and being two points from defeat. She then lost the final to World No. 5 and defending champion Elena Dementieva 6–3, 6–2.
At the Australian Open, Williams was the defending champion in both singles and doubles (with sister Venus). She reached the singles quarterfinals without losing a service game or a set, where she eliminated Victoria Azarenka 4–6, 7–6(4), 6–2 after trailing 4–0 in the second set. In the semifinals, Williams defeated 16th seeded Li Na 7–6(4), 7–6(1) on her fifth match point to reach her fifth final in Melbourne and her fifteenth Grand Slam singles final. She then defeated 2004 champion Justine Henin 6–4, 3–6, 6–2 for her twelfth Grand Slam singles title. This was the first time that Henin and Williams had played each other in a Grand Slam tournament final. Williams is the first female player to win consecutive Australian Open singles titles since Jennifer Capriati in 2001–02. In doubles, Serena and Venus successfully defended their title by defeating the top ranked team of Cara Black and Liezel Huber in the final 6–4, 6–3.
A leg injury then caused Williams to withdraw from five consecutive tournaments, including the Premier 5 Dubai Tennis Championships and the Premier Mandatory Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne.
She returned to the WTA tour at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome where she lost to Jelena Janković in the semifinals 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(5) after failing to convert a match point while serving at 5–4 in the third set, and then surrendering a 5–2 lead in the deciding tiebreaker.
At the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, she received a first round bye. In her first match, she made 73 unforced errors in defeating Vera Dushevina in the longest match of her career, 3 hours, 26 minutes, 6–7(2), 7–6(5), 7–6(5). Williams saved a match point at 6–5 in the second set, then injured her upper leg early in the third set. She then fell to 16th seeded Nadia Petrova 4–6, 6–2, 6–3. Williams won only two of her eighteen opportunities to break Petrova’s serve. She teamed with Venus to win the doubles title.
At the French Open, she defeated Shahar Pe’er in the fourth round before losing to Samantha Stosur in the quarterfinals 6–3, 6–7(2), 8–6. Williams made 46 unforced errors and squandered a match point at 5–4 in the final set. It was the first Grand Slam tournament that Williams had not won or been defeated by the eventual champion since the 2008 French Open. Williams has not advanced past the quarterfinals at this event since 2003. She also played doubles with Venus as the top seeds. Their defeat of Huber and Anabel Medina Garrigues in the semifinals improved their doubles ranking to World No. 1. They then defeated 12th seeds Květa Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik in the final 6–2, 6–3 to win their fourth consecutive Grand Slam women’s doubles title.
Her next tournament was Wimbledon, where she defeated Maria Sharapova in the fourth round 7–6(9), 6–4. She then defeated Li Na in the quarterfinals and Petra Kvitová in the semifinals, both in straight sets. In the final, Williams defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva 6–3, 6–2 without facing a break point and breaking the serve of Zvonareva three-times. She did not lose a set in the tournament. After the match, Martina Navratilova said that Williams is in the “top five” of all the women’s tennis players in all of history, which she said that “it’s not just about how many Slams you win or how many tournaments you win—it’s just your game overall. And she’s definitely got all the goods.” Serena was the defending champion in doubles with her sister Venus, winning the last two years. They lost in the quarterfinals to Elena Vesnina and Zvonareva 3–6, 6–3, 6–4.
In Munich on July 7, Williams stepped on broken glass while in a restaurant. She received 18 stitches, but the following day she lost an exhibition match to Kim Clijsters 6–3, 6–2 in Brussels before a world-record crowd for a tennis match, 35,681 at the King Baudouin Stadium. The cut foot turned out to be a serious injury, requiring surgery and preventing her from playing for the remainder of 2010. As a result, she lost the World No. 1 ranking to Dane Caroline Wozniacki on October 11, 2010, and ended the year ranked fourth in singles despite having played only six tournaments, and eleventh in doubles after four tournaments.
2011: Medical complications
Because of her continuing rehabilitation for her foot injury, Serena withdrew from the 2011 Hopman Cup and the 2011 Australian Open. As a result, she dropped to world no. 12 in the WTA rankings, her lowest ranking since March 2007. However, she stayed in the top 20, despite not having played for 11 months. On March 2, 2011, she confirmed that she had suffered a hematoma and a pulmonary embolism, that she had started training again. She made her first appearance on the WTA tour in almost a year at the 2011 AEGON International, in Eastbourne, winning her first match since Wimbledon, against Tsvetana Pironkova, 1–6, 6–3, 6–4, but lost to top-seeded world no. 3 Vera Zvonareva in the second round 6–3, 6–7, 5–7 in a match that lasted over three hours.
Her next tournament will be Wimbledon where she is the defending champion. Despite being ranked 26th, she will be seeded seventh.
Rivalry with Venus Williams
Williams has played her sister Venus 12 times in Grand Slam singles tournaments and 11 times in other tournaments (including 11 finals). She has a three match lead in the head-to-head series, 13–10 (including the last 4 in a row). They are the only women during the open era to have played each other in four consecutive Grand Slam singles finals. Currently Venus has 43 career tennis titles, while Serena has 37.
In her 2004 U.S. Open quarterfinal match against Jennifer Capriati, several calls were made in Capriati’s favor, even though later video review showed the calls to be clearly in error. Williams attempted at times to argue some calls, but was not successful. Capriati would win the match, but tournament officials would dismiss the match’s umpire from the tournament. The controversy contributed to the adoption of MacCam and Hawk-Eye systems.
In 2009 Williams again was involved in a controversial U.S. Open match, this time against Kim Clijsters in the semifinal round. The drama began at the end of the first set, when Williams slammed her racket on the court in frustration over losing the set. She was given a warning, with a potential second violation carrying a one-point penalty. As the match progressed, Williams found herself serving to stay in the match, with the score 5–6 in Clijsters favor. With the game score 15–30, Williams faulted on her first serve, and then was called for a foot fault on her second serve. The subsequent double fault gave Clijsters two match points and Williams reacted with an outburst of anger directed at the line judge. Williams waved her racket and pointed her finger at the judge while yelling and cursing at the woman, and allegedly threatened to kill her. The outburst constituted a second violation and, as per the first warning, incurred a point being rewarded to her opponent. Since Clijsters had match point, Williams lost the match. Williams was later fined an initial $10,500, which was later increased to $82,500, and was given a probationary period by the U.S. Open. Terms of her probation demand that she avoid any “major offense” in her next eight major events, with the potential penalty of being barred from the following U.S. Open, and the fine being increased to $175,000.
Williams was once known for her unusual and colorful outfits on court. In 2002, there was much talk when she wore a black lycra catsuit at the US Open. At the 2004 US Open, Williams wore denim skirts and knee-high boots—tournament officials, however, did not allow her to wear the boots during matches. At Wimbledon in 2008, the white trench coat she wore during warm-up for her opening match was the subject of much discussion since it was worn despite the sunny weather. Off-court, Williams has also presented new designs. In November 2004, at the London premiere of After the Sunset she wore a red gown that had a near-topless effect.
Williams formerly had a special line with Puma and currently has a line with Nike. The deal with Nike is worth US$40 million and was signed in April 2004. Since 2004, she has also been running her own line of designer apparel called “Aneres”—her first name spelled backward. In 2009 she launched a signature collection of handbags and jewelry. The collection, called Signature Statement, is sold mainly on the Home Shopping Network (HSN).
In early 2010, Williams became a certified nail technician in preparation for her upcoming nail collection with a company called HairTech.
Williams has appeared on television and also provided voice work on animated shows: in a 2001 episode of The Simpsons Serena joined the animation along with sister Venus, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. She has also provided guest voice work in a 2005 episode of Playhouse Disney’s animated kids show Higglytown Heroes and a 2007 episode of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, which she has described as her “favorite show”.
Williams has posed for the 2003 and 2004 editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In April 2005, MTV announced plans to broadcast a reality show around the lives of Serena and Venus, which was eventually aired on ABC Family. Williams has appeared twice on MTV’s Punk’d and in 2007, appeared in the ABC reality television series Fast Cars and Superstars: The Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race. In 2002, she played Miss Wiggins in the season 3 episode “Crouching Mother, Hidden Father” of My Wife and Kids; she has also guest-starred during episodes of ER and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2007 Williams appeared in the music video of “I Want You” by the American rapper Common, alongside performers Alicia Keys and Kanye West.
In late 2009, Williams became the first active female professional athlete to appear in a feminine hygiene product advertising campaign. A series of online videos and print advertisements for Tampax Pearl tampons showed her hitting balls at Mother Nature, played by Catherine Lloyd Burns, to prevent Mother Nature giving her a red-wrapped gift, representing her menstrual period. In the online videos, the two have dueling press conferences over the “bad blood” between them. “A lot of celebrities are not open to working with our brand, and we’re thrilled that Serena is”, said a brand manager for Tampax at Procter & Gamble.
Serena and sister Venus were mentioned in a couple of songs namely in Super Furry Animals studio album Phantom Power in a track entitle “Venus and Serena”, in a single by Snoop Dogg Signs and Ludacris‘ single My Chick Bad.
Miami Dolphins venture
In August 2009, Serena and Venus Williams became part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. The formal announcement was made during a press conference overlooking the practice field. The Williams are the first African-American females to obtain ownership in an NFL franchise. Other prominent owners include: Jimmy Buffett, Gloria and Emilio Estefan (the first Cuban-American owners), and Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez . Stephan Ross, the majority owner of the Dolphins, said “We are thrilled to have Venus and Serena join the Dolphins as limited partners. They are among the most admired athletes in the world and have become global ambassadors for the game of tennis. Their addition to our ownership group further reflects our commitment to connect with aggressively and embrace the great diversity that makes South Florida a multicultural gem.”
In 2008 Williams helped to fund the construction of the Serena Williams Secondary School in Matooni, Kenya. She received a Celebrity Role Model Award from Avon Foundation in 2003 for work in breast cancer. Williams has also been involved in a number of clinics at schools and community centers, particularly those which have programs focusing on at-risk youth. She has also won the “Young Heroes Award” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater L.A. and Inland (2003) and the “Family Circle and Prudential Financial Player Who Makes a Difference Award” (2004). In response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Williams, along with other ATP and WTA stars decided to forgo their final day of preparation for the 2010 Australian Open to form a charity event in which all proceeds will go to the Haiti earthquake victims.
Serena has published along with her sister Venus Williams and renowned author Hilary Beard a book titled Venus & Serena: Serving From The Hip: 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning by Boston: Houghton Mifflin in 2005.  During the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, Williams said that she is in the process of writing a TV show storyline, which will be converted into script form by her agency. She stated that the show will represent subject matter from a mix of popular American television shows such as Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, and Family Guy. Serena released her first solo published work, an autobiography entitled On the Line, following the 2009 US Open.
Williams has been the target of an alleged stalker, who was arrested at the gate to her Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., neighborhood on Monday, May 2, 2011. Police report that Patenema Ouedraogo, identified as an African who attended college in Texas, is barred from being near Serena by a preliminary injunction. Police say Ouedraogo was able to track Serena’s whereabouts using the social networking site Twitter, and got her address from the letter her attorney sent telling him to stay away from her. Police say Ouedrago once made it all the way to Serena’s dressing room when she made an appearance on the Home Shopping Network at their studios in Tampa, Fla., on April 13, 2011.
Other records and achievements
|Tournament Name||Years||Record accomplished||Player tied|
|Hopman Cup||2003–2008||Two Hopman Cup Titles won||Dominik Hrbatý
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario
|Australian Open||2003–2010||5 singles titles during the open era||Stands alone|
|Australian Open||2007||Unseeded winner of singles title||Chris O’Neil (1978)|
|1999 French Open – 2010 French Open||1999–2010||Highest streak of consecutive initial Grand Slam finals won (doubles) (12)||Venus Williams|
|Grand Slam tournaments||2002||Won two Grand Slam singles tournaments in the same calendar year in straight sets||Billie Jean King
|Grand Slam tournaments||2000–present||Won 4 Grand Slam singles tournaments in straight sets||Evonne Goolagong|
|Sony Ericsson Open (Key Biscayne)||2002–2008||5 singles titles overall||Steffi Graf|
|2009 WTA Tour||2009||Highest single year earnings at $6,545,586 (2009)||Stands alone|
|1995–present||Highest prize money career earnings by a female athlete at US$31,151,042||Stands alone|
|2010 Wimbledon||2010||Most aces served by a female at a Grand Slam (89)||Stands alone|
- At the 1998 Lipton International Players Championships in Key Biscayne, she recorded her fifth singles victory over a player ranked in the top 10, which was the fastest (16 matches) that any woman in professional tennis history had done this.
- At the 2002 French Open, she became the first younger sister to defeat her older sister in a Grand Slam tournament.
- On June 10, 2002, she and her sister Venus became the first siblings ever to hold the top two women’s singles rankings simultaneously.
- By winning the 2003 Australian Open, she became the first African-American woman to win the singles title at this tournament.
- On September 8, 2008, she regained the World No. 1 ranking for the first time in 5 years, 1 month. That gap is the biggest in professional tennis history.
- She was named one of the Top 10 Most Superstitious Athletes by Men’s Fitness.
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Fe del Mundo, Filipino pediatrician, National Scientist of the Philippines, died from a heart attack he was , 99.
Fe del Mundo was a Filipino pediatrician. The first woman admitted as a student of the Harvard Medical School, she founded the first pediatric hospital in the Philippines died from a heart attack he was , 99. Her pioneering work in pediatrics in the Philippines in an active medical practice that spanned 8 decades won her international recognition, including the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service in 1977. In 1980, she was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist of the Philippines while in 2010, she was conferred the Order of Lakandula.
(November 27, 1911 – August 6, 2011)
Early life and education
Del Mundo was born in Intramuros, Manila, her family home located just across the Manila Cathedral. Her father Bernardo served one term in the Philippine Assembly, representing the province of Tayabas. Three of her eight siblings died in infancy, while an older sister died from appendicitis at age 11.
It was the death of her older sister, who had made known her desire to
become a doctor for the poor, that spurred young del Mundo towards the
Del Mundo enrolled at the University of the Philippines, Manila in 1926 and earned her medical degree in 1933, graduating as class valedictorian.
She passed the medical board exam that same year, placing third among
the examinees. Her exposure while in medical school to various health
conditions afflicting children in the provinces, particularly in Marinduque, led her to choose pediatrics as her specialization.
Admission to Harvard Medical School and post-graduate studies
After her graduation from U.P., del Mundo was offered a full scholarship to any school in the United States for further training in a medical field of her choice by President Manuel Quezon. She accepted the offer and chose to go to Harvard, arriving at Harvard Medical School
in 1936. She was unwittingly enrolled in Harvard Medical School, an
institution which did not yet then admit female students. As recounted
in her official Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation biography:
[Del Mundo] humorously relates that when she arrived in Boston and
went to the dormitory assigned her in a letter from the director of the
hospital housing, much to her surprise she found herself in a men’s
dorm. Unknowingly the Harvard officials had admitted a female to their
all-male student body. But because her record was so strong the head of
the pediatrics department saw no reason not to accept her. Thus,
upsetting Harvard tradition, she became the first Philippine woman and
the only female at the time to be enrolled at the Harvard Medical
Some sources cite del Mundo as the first woman ever enrolled in Harvard Medical School, or the first woman to be enrolled at Pediatrics at the school, or even the first Asian admitted to the Harvard Medical School.
On this point, del Mundo herself would acknowledge only that she was
“the first [woman] coming from [as] far [as the Philippines]”. However, Harvard Medical School began to accept female students only in 1945, nine years after del Mundo was enrolled in the school.
Del Mundo remained in HMS until 1938, completing 3 Pediatric courses. She then took up a residency at the Billings Hospital of the University of Chicago, before returning to Massachusetts in 1939 for a two-year research fellowship at the Harvard Medical School Children’s Hospital. She also enrolled at the Boston University School of Medicine, earning a Master’s degree in bacteriology in 1940.
Del Mundo returned to the Philippines in 1941, shortly before the Japanese invasion of the country later that year. She joined the International Red Cross and volunteered to care for children-internees then detained at the University of Santo Tomas internment camp for foreign nationals.
She set up a makeshift hospice within the internment camp, and her
activities led her to be known as “The Angel of Santo Tomas”. After the Japanese authorities shut down the hospice in 1943, del Mundo was asked by Manila mayor León G. Guinto, Sr.
to head a children’s hospital under the auspices of the city
government. The hospital was later converted into a full-care medical
center to cope with the mounting casualties during the Battle of Manila,
and would be renamed the North General Hospital (later, the Jose R.
Reyes Memorial Medical Center). Del Mundo would remain the hospital’s
director until 1948.
Del Mundo joined the faculty of the University of Santo Tomas, then the Far Eastern University in 1954. She likewise established a small medical pediatric clinic to pursue a private practice.
Establishment of the Children’s Medical Center
Frustrated by the bureaucratic constraints in working for a
government hospital, del Mundo had desired to establish her own
pediatric hospital. Towards that end, she sold her home and most of her personal effects and obtained a sizable loan from the GSIS in order to finance the construction of her own hospital. The Children’s Medical Center, a 100-bed hospital located in Quezon City,
was inaugurated in 1957 as the first pediatric hospital in the
Philippines. The hospital was expanded in 1966 through the establishment
of an Institute of Maternal and Child Health, the first institution of
its kind in Asia.
Having sold her home to finance the medical center, del Mundo chose to reside at the second-floor of the hospital itself.
As late as 2007, she retained her living quarters at the hospital
(since renamed the “Fe del Mundo Children’s Medical Center Foundation”),
rising daily at five in the morning and continuing to make her daily
rounds even though then wheelchair-bound at 99 years of age.
As early as 1958, del Mundo conveyed her personal ownership over the hospital to a board of trustees. In July 2007, the Medical Center Foundation reported to the Department of Labor and Employment that it would cease operations after having incurred losses of more 100 million pesos. Reports soon emerged that a joint venture composed of the management and consulting firm Accent Healthcare and the STI Colleges had offered to lease, manage and operate the institution, thus precluding it from shutting down. Concerns over the employment status of the rank-and-file hospital employees following the takeover led to a strike that forced the temporary closure of the hospital in August 2007. In September 2007, the hospital announced its re-opening under the new management of the joint venture management firm Accent/STI Management, Inc.
According to a statement released by the hospital, under the 20-year
management lease agreement contracted with Accent/STI Management, Inc.,
the latter agreed to absorb the outstanding debts of the hospital.
Later life and death
Research and innovations
Del Mundo was noted for her pioneering work on infectious diseases
in Philippine communities. Undeterred by the lack of well-equipped
laboratories in post-war Philippines, she would not hesitate to send
specimens or blood samples for analysis abroad. In the 1950s, she pursued studies on dengue fever, a common malady in the Philippines of which little was then yet known.
Her clinical observations on dengue, and the findings of research she
later undertook on the disease are said to “have led to a fuller
understanding of dengue fever as it afflicts the young”. She authored over a hundred articles, reviews and reports in medical journals on such diseases as dengue, polio and measles. She also authored “Textbook of Pediatrics”, a fundamental medical text used in Philippine medical schools.
Del Mundo was active in the field of public health, with special concerns towards rural communities. She organized rural extension teams to advise mothers on breastfeeding and child care.
and promoted the idea of linking hospitals to the community through the
public immersion of physicians and other medical personnel to allow for
greater coordination among health workers and the public for common
health programs such as immunization and nutrition.
She called for the greater integration of midwives into the medical
community, considering their more visible presence within rural
communities. Notwithstanding her own devout Catholicism, she is an advocate of family planning and population control.
Del Mundo was also known for having devised an incubator made out of bamboo, designed for use in rural communities without electrical power.
In 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos named del Mundo as a National Scientist of the Philippines, the first Filipino woman to be so-named.
Among the international honors bestowed on del Mundo was the Elizabeth Blackwell Award for Outstanding Service to Mankind, handed in 1966 by Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
and the citation as Outstanding Pediatrician and Humanitarian by the
International Pediatric Association in 1977. Also in 1977, del Mundo was
awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service.
On April 22, 2010, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo awarded del Mundo the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Bayani at the Malacañang Palace.
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