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Serena Williams dominates professional tennis

Throughout her career, Serena Williams has overcome adversity on and off the tennis court, while proving that she is the greatest to play the game.

Serena+Williams+of+the+United+States+during+a+6-4%2C+6-4+win+against+Spain%26apos%3Bs+Garbine+Muguruza+in+the+women%26apos%3Bs+final+at+Wimbledon+in+London+on+Saturday%2C+July+11%2C+2015.
Serena Williams of the United States during a 6-4, 6-4 win against Spain's Garbine Muguruza in the women's final at Wimbledon in London on Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Serena Williams of the United States during a 6-4, 6-4 win against Spain's Garbine Muguruza in the women's final at Wimbledon in London on Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Panoramic | Zuma Press | TNS

Panoramic | Zuma Press | TNS

Serena Williams of the United States during a 6-4, 6-4 win against Spain's Garbine Muguruza in the women's final at Wimbledon in London on Saturday, July 11, 2015.

Michael Mendoza, Assistant Opinions Editor

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Serena Williams is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, female athlete in sports. Her professional tennis career has been dominant and transcending to say the least, but unfortunately the world is not ready to see an African American woman dominating a predominantly Caucasian sport.

Williams’ career is full of perseverance and has been unparalleled in the world of tennis. At the tender age of three years old, Williams underwent intense training with the guidance of her father. Eventually the dedication to her craft would pay off when she turned pro in 1995.

Since her inception into professional tennis, her victories are often overshadowed by insensitive, negative criticism from the media, even her tennis counterparts. Critics need to focus on Williams’ accomplishments, rather than find a cop-out for her opponent’s losses.

It is unfortunate that such a talented athlete, who spends countless hours training to be the best, becomes shunned out by the tennis community because of what she represents. One of the most insensitive criticisms against Williams is her unique physical structure.

During an exhibition match against Maria Sharapova in 2012, Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki made a wisecrack at Williams’ curvy body appearance, by stuffing her top and tennis skirt with towels while walking around in a comical manner.

In an interview, Russian Tennis Federation President, Shamil Tarpischev, disrespectfully called the Williams sister the “Williams brothers,” in reference to taking a comment about the women’s natural physical appearance.

Despite the hateful commentary, fast forward to 2015 and Serena Williams has an impressive trophy case; four Olympic gold medals, 68 singles titles, 21 grand slam victories, three shy of tying the all-time record of 24; and a career singles record of 723-121.

This amount of success has allowed Williams to enjoy the fruits of her labor, in terms of money earned from her winnings as well as endorsements from her sponsors. According to a report by Forbes, Williams total prize money earned in 2014 was an exceptional $11 million. Williams’ endorsements last year earned her another $11 million. Over the course of Williams’ career, she has won over $72 million in prize money.

However, Maria Sharapova, 2014’s highest paid female athlete earned $22 million in endorsements. This poses the question of why Williams, women’s sports most successful athlete, is making only half the amount in endorsements. The answer is simple, looks come first.

According to an article written by Rolling Stone Magazine’s Stephen Rrodrick, “Sharapova is tall, white and blonde, and, because of that, makes more money in endorsements than Serena, who is black, beautiful and built like one of those monster trucks that crushes Volkswagens at sports arenas,” Rrodrick wrote.

In contrast to her fellow tennis players, Williams’ victories will always have the racial, dark cloud hovering above it, but her tenacity and persistence allows her to overcome all the antagonists. Through her dominance in sports and overwhelming sense of professionalism in the face of frequent racial bias, Serena Williams proves that she is the most dominant female athlete in the history of sports.

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