Venus Williams is an African-American professional tennis player and is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women’s tennis. The 41-year-old is also the older sister of Serena Williams. In her prime, she became the first African-American to attain the world number 1 ranking. She is currently ranked world No. 53 in the WTA singles rankings.
Venus is a senior of the Williams Sisters and the only biological daughters of Richard Williams and Oracene Price. Aside from Serena, Venus has eight other siblings, who were all from prior marriages. Venus was born on June 17, 1980, in Lynwood, California.
When she was 10 years old, Venus and her family relocated from California to West Palm Beach, Florida. Her parents enrolled her and Serena in Rick Macci’s tennis academy. In 1995, Richard pulled his two daughters from Rick Macci’s tennis academy and took over the coaching of his two daughters.
While at Rick Macci’s tennis academy, Venus held a 63-0 record on the United States Tennis Association junior tour and was ranked No. 1 among the under-12 players in Southern California. She turned professional in 1994 and made her debut in the Australian Open in 1998 against her sister Serena in the second round and the two have since faced each other 24 times in their professional careers.
Venus has played in 16 Grand Slam finals and has also won 14 Grand Slam Women’s doubles titles with her sister Serena as her partner. Her dominance in the women’s tennis division started in 2000, winning 35 consecutive singles and six tournaments.
Venus has won seven Grand Slam titles. Also, has won 798 career matches, lost 264 matches and has won career prize.
Venus is also an Olympic gold medalist. She won gold at the Sydney Olympics after seeing off stiff competition from Sanchez Vicario, Seles and Elena Dementieva in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals respectively. She also has three Olympic gold medals in the women’s double to her credit.
Career earnings, endorsement and net worth
According to Wimbledon, she has won 798 career matches, lost 264 matches and has won career prize money amounting to $42, 280, 540. She is among the highest-earning female tennis players of all time. Off the court, she makes around $5 and $10 million per year from endorsements.
Her first endorsement deal was with Reebok, which earned her $12 million over four years. She renewed the contract for a reported $40 million, making it one of the richest endorsement deals ever for a female athlete.
Besides her deal with Reebok, she also has endorsement deals with Wilson, Electronic Arts, Kraft, Ralph Lauren and Tide.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Venus has a net worth of $95 million.
Entrepreneurship and investment deals
Venus’ earnings come from on and off the court. Just like her sister Serena, Venus is also an entrepreneur. She is the CEO of interior design company VStarr Interiors and of the athletic wear brand EleVen.
Venus and Serena became part-owners of the Miami Dolphins in August 2009, making them the first female African Americans to have an ownership stake in an NFL franchise. The Miami Dolphins is reportedly worth $1.3 billion and ranked among “The World’s 50 Most Valuable Sports Teams 2015” list by Forbes.
Venus is also a franchise owner. She is a franchise owner of Jamba juice and has four locations.
Venus holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Indiana University East and an Associate of Science in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.