The ambitious journey into becoming one of the greatest tennis players of all times started at just 4 years old in Compton, California. Fast forward 18 years and Serena Williams has won more Grand Slam singles titles than any other Open era man or woman.

Williams grew up as the youngest of five sisters, with a dad for a coach and a sister as her biggest rival and her greatest doubles partner. At just 17 years old Williams won her first Grand Slam singles title at the 1999 U.S Open. At 21 she won the 2002 Wimbledon Championship, becoming the third African American woman to hold No. 1 ranking.

Today, she is considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Williams’ success has and will inspire generations of young athletes to come. In this gallery we have gathered together some of the best images from where it all started…

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