Serena Williams: 15 Most Scintillating Photos of Serena's Career

Zachary D. RymerMLB Lead WriterJanuary 21, 2012

Serena Williams: 15 Most Scintillating Photos of Serena's Career

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    Serena Williams could retire this very day, and she would still be one of the greatest players in the history of women's tennis.

    But to think of Serena merely as a tennis player doesn't quite do her justice. She's much more than that, as she's dabbled in numerous ventures off the court, steadily becoming one of the most influential female athletes in the world.

    In all honesty, words can only say so much about Serena.

    Thankfully, we have plenty of pictures that we can use to reflect on Serena's career.

    I've picked out 15 memorable ones that paint a pretty telling picture of exactly who we're dealing with.

All She Does Is Win

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    Let's make one thing clear about Serena Williams. Though she has focused her attention on many different things throughout her career, all she cares about at the end of the day is winning.

    This is something she's done quite well, of course. As things stand right now, Serena has won exactly 501 singles matches, 13 Grand Slam singles titles, 12 doubles titles and two Olympic gold medals.

    Not a bad career. Not a bad career at all.

    The scary part is that Serena is only 30, and she still looks plenty strong. She still has one or two good years left in her.

Pure Power

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    So what makes Serena so good?

    It's simple, really. She's easily the most powerful player in the history of women's tennis, and her style of play has always reflected that reality.

    She hits the ball with authority, allowing her to easily overwhelm her opponents. 

    It's also no secret why Serena is so powerful. She has enough muscles to star in a 1980s action movie, and she could probably be a strong safety in the NFL if she wanted to.

Powerful Sense of Style

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    But Serena isn't just some freakish brute. She's always had a sense of style, and she's always gone out of her way to make that abundantly clear.

    For example, this photo pretty much says it all. And given what we know about Serena, it actually wouldn't be at all surprising if she took the court in heels for a given match.

    And you know what? She would probably still win.

Style off the Court as Well

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    Serena is not the first female athlete to be invited to do a photo shoot, and you can rest assured that she won't be the last.

    But photos of Serena tend to stand out more than most. She's just plain hard to miss, and she has certain assets that photographers love to capture.

    This photo shows off one of them. I'll leave you to figure out which asset it is.

Free Time Is Fun Time

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    If you type Serena's name into Google and go looking for pictures, 90 percent of the results are going to be pictures of her on some dreamy beach that happens to have a bright sun and a small populace of indigenous paparazzi.

    Seeing as how Serena lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., the beach she's on in these pictures is probably her backyard.

    If so, there's absolutely nothing wrong with Serena catching a few rays in her backyard.

    There's also nothing wrong with her impersonating Honey Ryder during her free time too. 

It Doesn't Have to Stay on the Beach

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    You can say this much about Serena: she's not afraid to leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. Even when she's doing her job in front of millions of people.

    You occasionally hear people complain about this, but most of the general public seems to be just fine with Serena flaunting what she's got. 

    Besides, one can't be restricted when he or she is playing tennis. A full range of movement is absolutely necessary.

The Catsuit

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    There were a lot of big sports stories in 2002, but the black catsuit Serena wore at the U.S. Open may have been the biggest.

    As you may or may not recall, it was kind of a big deal. I recall ESPN freaking out over it, and some argued that it went too far.

    One thing we can all agree on is that the catsuit was definitely a first for women's tennis. Depending on your point of view, it either showed us where the boundary is or showed us that there are no boundaries. Not as far as Serena is concerned, anyway.

    Besides, the catsuit worked. Serena won the U.S. Open that year.

The Pink Good Dream

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    If you're not following Serena Williams on Twitter, you should be. On occasion, she reveals some breaking news that you can't get anywhere else.

    For example, she tweeted back in April 2011 that she was back out on the court after missing close to a full year recovering from various ailments.

    To honor the occasion, she wore pink.

    Upon looking at the picture, it was clear that Serena's time away from the court hadn't changed her sense of style all that much.

The Controversial Twitter Avatar

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    Sometimes Serena doesn't even have to tweet to create news. All she has to do is change her avatar.

    The one you're seeing here caused a bit of a stir when it first appeared in May 2011. In fact, it made people start debating.

    On one side of the fence, you had people like Greg Couch of The Sporting News arguing that the picture signaled Serena was only interested in selling sex, "with tennis as an afterthought."

    Chris Chase of Yahoo! Sports, on the other hand, thought the picture was "strong and beautiful."

    Eventually, Serena decided to end the debate by taking the picture down. She apparently didn't think it was worth the fuss.

ESPY Awards

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    No matter what that Twitter avatar may have suggested, there's no denying that Serena knows how and when to be classy. When she has to grace the red carpet, she does so in style.

    The ESPYs are a good example. Serena is a frequent guest at the ESPYs, and she's won her fair share of them over the years.

    And why not? Serena has been good for ESPN's business.

    More on that in just one moment...

ESPN the Magazine Body Issue

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    Like, really good for ESPN's business.

    You remember this one, which of course is the cover of the very first issue of ESPN the Magazine's "Body Issue." It appeared in 2009, and it's arguably the most famous photo of Serena's career.

    In fact, I daresay it is. 

    It's possible that Serena will top this some day down the line, but that would require something a little more drastic. She would have to pose for that one publication that doesn't cover up the naughty parts.

    Actually, there are a lot of those these days, aren't there?

Australian Open

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    We can talk all we want about Serena's loveliness, but I want to wrap this thing up by steering us back to the only thing that matters to Serena: winning.

    This is something Serena does best in Grand Slams, particularly the Australian Open. Serena has won five of them throughout her career. She won her first in 2003, and then again in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

French Open

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    The French Open has been much tougher for Serena throughout her career, as her game just doesn't work very well on the red clay of Roland Garros.

    But Serena managed to win the French Open back in 2002. Maybe it was the blonde hair that did the trick.

    If so, she should bring it back. It certainly couldn't make things any worse, as Serena hasn't advanced past the quarterfinals since 2003.

Wimbledon

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    The All England Club has been much kinder to Serena in her career, as she's won Wimbledon four times. She won it twice in a row in 2003 and 2004, and then twice in a row again in 2009 and 2010.

    One more win at Wimbledon, and Serena will tie her sister Venus' mark of five. As long as she stays healthy, a fifth win at Wimbledon is very much in the cards.

U.S. Open

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    Last but not least, we have the U.S. Open, which Serena has won three times.

    The U.S. Open will probably always hold a special place in Serena's heart. She won her first Grand Slam there in 1999, beating Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-6 (7-4). She was a mere 19 years old at the time.

    "There's my name right there, Serena Williams," she said while holding the trophy, per Sports Illustrated.

    Since then, Williams' name has appeared on quite a few trophies. It will appear on a few more before she calls it a career.

     

    Thanks for reading, folks.