Professional tennis players. Serena Williams Born September 26, 1981, in Saginaw, Michigan. With her older sister, Venus, Williams born June 17, 1980 in Lynwood California took the tennis world by storm beginning in the late 1990s. The sisters harnessed their powerful groundstrokes and booming serves to rise in the rankings in both women’s singles and women’s doubles competitions. Coached by their outspoken father, Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams have been credited with raising public awareness of their sport and with bringing the women’s tennis game to a whole new level of power and athleticism. Growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, California, Venus and Serena were the two youngest of five daughters of Richard and Oracene (Brandi) Williams. Richard Williams dreamed of raising tennis stars, and Venus and Serena showed the most aptitude for the game—both began winning tournaments when they were 10 years old. In 1991, the family moved to Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, where Venus and Serena trained with Rick Macci, who had worked with such teen stars as Jennifer Capriati, and for a short time with Nick Bolletieri, the famed former coach of Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. Soon, however, Richard Williams took over the coaching (and promotional) duties for both his prodigious daughters, choosing to withdraw them completely from the junior tennis circuit so that they could concentrate on their studies. This controversial decision earned him a mixture of praise and criticism among observers of tennis.