Game, Set, Match

Did You Know Serena Williams Trained at IMG Academy?

Williams, who recently announced her retirement and is currently competing in the U.S. Open, trained with legendary coach Nick Bollettieri.

By Megan McDonald September 1, 2022

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Serena Williams is one of the greatest athletes of all time. But did you know she has a local connection?

Yep, it's true. Williams attended Bradenton's IMG Academy when she was about 14 years old, and trained there with another tennis great: legendary coach Nick Bollettieri.

"She spent a lot of time here connecting with Nick and being at the academy," Margie Zesinger, IMG's head of female tennis, told Fox 13 Tampa Bay earlier this week. "It's been such a remarkable career—to see how she changed the game."

Williams, whose historic career includes 23 Grand Slam titles, said this month in a cover story for Vogue that she's "evolving away from tennis toward other things that are important to me," including spending time with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and their young daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

However, Williams's retirement plans are on hold for the moment: she's currently powering her way through the U.S. Open. She beat Danka Kovinic in her first round on Monday night, then stunned No. 2 world seed Anett Kontaveit on Wednesday, which means she'll move into the third round of the tournament on Friday. Tonight, she'll also play a doubles match with her older sister (and fellow tennis star) Venus.

We'll be watching it all—and we love knowing there's a little piece of Bradenton on the court with her.

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