Venus changed the game of tennis and has been turning heads on the court since she debuted professionally in 1994 as a 14-year-old. Her father, Richard Williams, began instructing her from a young age.
Her skill was easily apparent, and that young teenager developed over time into becoming an all-time great tennis player, among both men and women. Her powerful approach to tennis inspired the next generation of female tennis players looking to add that extra zip to their arsenal.
Venus and Serena are joined by Maria Sharapova as the only active female tennis players to reach the finals of all four Grand Slam events. Williams won at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, but placed second at the French Open and the Australian Open.
Despite Williams boasting a glaringly accomplished resume, the one-time Grand Slam champion, five-time winner at Wimbledon and two-time U.S. Open champ, the 40-year-old was the frequent recipient of abuse from fans, particularly to do with her race, body and gender.
While most star athletes are accustomed to having their share of haters, the audacious comments made in regard to Williams were scarcely to do with her play on the court. Well, one way for the female tennis player from Lynwood to silence her haters was to feature on ESPN the Magazine's "The Body Issue."
Venus Williams Stripped Down for ESPN's The Body Issue
Venus Williams aced the 2014 photoshoot, and ultimately graced the magazine's front page as its cover athlete upon its release.
The tasteful, nude pictures of Williams naked was shot in a sandy environment, during which she was topless and without a swimsuit. The Olympic champ and former World No. 1 tennis star stole the show with her beautiful pics.
Other celeb athletes photographed in the 2014 issue included boxer Danyelle Wolf, golfer Carly Booth, WNBA star Swin Cash, NFL tight end Vernon Davis, boxer Marlen Esparza, NBA player Kenneth Faried, driver Courtney Force, seven-time X Game Medalist Tarah Geiger, MLB pitcher Matt Harvey, and many more including Colin Kaepernick and Gary Player.
— THE BEAT GOES ON! (@DrumMagazine) July 11, 2014
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Williams is one of the highest-earning female athletes of all time, boasting an estimated net worth of $95 million.
Haters will continue to attack her in exchange for a view likes on Twitter, but at the end of the day there's only one winner here, and it's not the one spewing out insults from a keyboard.
Enjoy all things sports?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.