How Serena Williams rewrote the playbook for female athletes juggling motherhood and sport
“I never think that I will ever go to another Olympics and win a medal again,” said Williams, who won the silver medal in 2008. “I think that I will win more gold medals — and I’m not just talking about gold medal in the Olympics. My goal is to be World champion.”
A look back at the women’s tennis doubles rankings of all time.
A look back at the women’s tennis doubles rankings of all time. (Alisa Grill|Tim Clayton/Getty.)
For decades, women’s tennis had been an island, with its own separate, male-dominated culture and tennis-watching habits. It was not until the 1980s that fans began to realize that female tennis — who had only two events: the Olympics and the Fed Cup — could play a major role in the sport’s Olympic legacy.
“Tennis, in my opinion, doesn’t need more players — it needs more fans,” said Williams, who competed for the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “Female fans are a big part of the future of tennis. It’s a whole new audience that will be interested in who these women are and what’s going on around the world. We’re the people that we can go to and talk to about what’s happening in the world.”
So to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the women’s doubles rankings, we examined some of the sport’s most famous female players and players who helped change the dialogue about women’s tennis in the ’80s.
Caroline Wozniacki (right) and her sister Katarina. (Serena Williams)
Wozniacki, the top-ranked player at the time, was the first to break into the top 10 in the world. After she retired in 2004, she became a spokesperson for the women’s game and a role model for the new generation of players. After making it to No. 13 in 2006