Serena Williams: Tennis Champion, Sports Legend, and Cultural Heroine



Record-breaking, trend-setting, polarizing, and controversial, Serena Williams often sparks conversation and debate. The 23-time Grand Slam champion has a team, an entourage, celebrity groupies, and a band of fans who call themselves "Serena's army." When not winning titles, Williams finds time to run her own fashion line, endorse luxury and financial brands, and fund schools for girls in Africa and Jamaica. Serena Williams transcends sports. More than a biography, Serena Williams: Tennis Champion, Sports Legend, and Cultural Heroine not only tells the story of her upbringing and remarkable career but also looks at Williams as a sports pioneer. Merlisa Lawrence Corbett explores Williams' influence on cultural and political issues such as body shaming, gender equality, and racism in sports and society. Corbett also analyzes Williams' impact on discussions of feminism, the sports celebrity, and the marketing of female athletes. Williams is one of the most intriguing and influential figures in sports, and this book is the first to provide a fully-rounded portrait of a tennis icon.

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
February 15, 2020
6.3 X 0.8 X 9.0 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett is a tennis columnist and veteran sports journalist whose work has appeared in Bleacher Report, TennisView, Yahoo Sports, and London-based LiveTennis.Com. She is a former reporter for Sports Illustrated.


A complex figure deserves a complex biography. Merlisa Lawrence Corbett delivers an ace from a daring angle.--Jon Wertheim, executive editor, Sports Illustrated
The Williams sisters have been inspirational in so many ways beyond tennis, most notably in their ability to remain close despite an obvious and inevitable rivalry in their sport. Merlisa Lawrence Corbett tells that story, and of how Serena was able to grow from her older sister's considerable shadow to become the predominant athlete of her age, with the sort of tenacity and grace one might have witnessed in one of those Williams vs. Williams finals from Grand Slams past.--Mike DeCourcy, Senior Writer, Sporting News
For as long as Serena Williams has been a superstar within and beyond the sports world, it has seemed as if we've known so much about her. Yet we have always sensed there was so much more to her, and hungered to know it and understand where she came from and how that made her who she is. Thanks to this biography--and this author and her blend of expertise, diligence, and journalistic skills--now we know what we were missing. The complete story of who Serena is, why she is, and why the world is different because of her, has been long overdue. Now it's here.--David Steele, award-winning sports journalist, co-author, Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith
A welcome addition to the collection of any Serena enthusiast. Merlisa thoroughly details both the on-court brilliance that has made Serena perhaps the greatest tennis player of all time, but also charts the shrewd and inspiring construction of a business empire once thought to be beyond an athlete's reach.--Howard Bryant, author, The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron
Merlisa Lawrence Corbett totally captures the essence of tennis icon Serena Williams in her new book, Serena Williams: Tennis Champion, Sports Legend, and Cultural Heroine. Merlisa has done what few others have as she offers an inside look at all things Serena. As a noted tennis aficionado and an accomplished writer, Merlisa reaches deeply into her own soul to help us understand who Serena really is--and that's what Merlisa really captures. Most of us see Serena only on camera during her tournaments, but there is so much more to her than her competitiveness in sport. In her book, Merlisa takes us behind the scenes for a new look at Serena. Who really is this activist, mother, wife, and business icon? With her wonderfully entertaining and informative style of writing, Merlisa addresses all of that, and so much more.--Barry Cooper, former journalist and Pulitzer Prize Nominee