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A look at Serena Williams' legacy as she nears retirement

August 30, 2022

Summary

This week, Serena Williams takes the court at the U.S. Open to compete in what is expected to be the last Grand Slam of her legendary career. No one denies that she’s changed the game and many consider her the greatest tennis player of all time. For a transcript of this story, click here.

Five Facts

  • Who is Serena Williams?
  • What will be some of the things Williams is remembered for, according to this story?
  • When did Williams start playing tennis professionally?
  • Why is Williams retiring now?
  • How will Williams seek to stay a public figure after retirement?

Focus Questions

How do you think Williams has impacted U.S. society and culture beyond her tennis records? What do you think will be the most important part of her legacy?

Media literacy: Do you think stories about leading sports figures are important to include in national news? Why or why not?

For More

What students can do: Check out these writing opportunities for students and teachers for a chance to be published on PBS NewsHour!

  • Student Voice: What will you remember about Serena Williams’ legacy, and how did she inspire you? Submit a 500-700 word piece for our Student Voice blog on PBS NewsHour Classroom. Write education@newshour.org and let us know if you have any questions. Use first person and include specific anecdotes. Just remember to write from the heart! That’s what makes the writing process special.
  • Educator Voice: Same question as above! What will you remember about Serena Williams’ legacy, and how did she inspire you or your students? Submit a 600-800 word piece for our Educator Voice blog on PBS NewsHour Classroom. Write education@newshour.org and let us know if you have any questions. Use first person and include specific anecdotes. Just remember to write from the heart! That’s what makes the writing process special.

For class discussion — how are the pressures faced by women athletes different from male athletes? How is Serena’s life and career an example of some of these differences? For more background on her life and legacy and the unique challenges she faced, read this story.

Serena Williams of the U.S. eyes the ball during her women’s singles semi-final match against Sara Errani of Italy at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 6, 2013. Williams defeated Errani 6-0 6-1. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe


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