Los Angeles Lakers: Magic Johnson and the 40 greatest L.A. sports athletes

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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Number 4: Serena Williams

If not the greatest female athlete of all-time, Serena Williams without a doubt Is the greatest female athlete of my lifetime. A product of the public tennis courts in Compton, California Williams was coached by her father Richard since the age of four. Serena and her sister Venus would move with their family to Florida to get formal tennis training at the age of 10 and eventually both sisters would rise to become tennis professionals.

Serena has been synonymous with winning ever since, she has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles the most of any man or woman in the Open Era. She has the record for grand slam titles on hard court (Australian Open and US Open) with 13. She twice held all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously (2002-3, 2014-15). Along with her sister Venus she has won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles and the pair have never lost a doubles final.

In her time, Serena has been ranked the number one payer for 319 weeks only behind two other players in the Open Era. As a representative of the United States, Serena has won four Olympic Gold Medals in tennis winning doubles titles with Venus in 2000, 2008, and 2012. In 2012 Serena added the singles title.

She is considered by many in the tennis world the greatest player in the Open Era, men or women, in 2015 she was named Sports Illustrated’s Sports Person of the Year, and in 2019 she was named the female athlete of the 2010s by the Associated Press.