“Effortless sense of style”: How 17-Years Old Serena Williams Handed Her Own Design For Million Dollar Deal

Published 10/05/2021, 1:00 PM EDT
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 17: Serena Williams of the United States plays a shot in her first round match against Belinda Bencic of Switzerland on day two of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 17, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)


Serena Williams’ exquisite professional tennis career began in 1995. In her career so far, the American has bagged 23 Grand Slam singles titles. She also has been the World No.1 for quite a long time. For years, Serena Williams outclassed every player on the WTA Tour including her sister Venus Williams.

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Back in 1998, the 17-years old Serena Williams signed an enormously huge deal with Puma. Williams received a gigantic sum of $12 million, courtesy of the agreement with Puma. And what’s fascinating is the American received this deal 3 years into her professional career.

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Serena Williams’ million dollar deal with Puma

Serena Williams is arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time, and as has been mentioned before, in 1998, Williams was involved in a $12 million endorsement agreement with Puma. Williams may have been creating a reputation for herself at the time, but $12 million was still a lot of money to invest in a teenager who hadn’t yet broken the Top 100 or won a WTA title.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 07: Serena Williams of the United States reacts during her Women’s Singles final match against Bianca Andreescu of Canada on day thirteen of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 07, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Amy Denet Deal, a former senior women’s designer for Puma, shared her experience working with Serena Williams. She said, “I just thought that was the coolest thing ever that this young woman showed up with a bunch of sketches. You’re talking about someone who was 17 and had no training in design.”

Moreover, she added, “she wanted to be the most powerful player. But this effortless sense of style that she’s developed over all these years that was in her heart.” Although Serena was just 17-years old, she handed over a few exotic sketches to the designer.

The American still struggling with the injury

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Serena Williams started off the season with a decent performance at the Australian Open. However, she was knocked out by the Japanese Naomi Osaka in the semi-finals of the competition.

Serena Williams in action during her first round ladies’ singles match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich on centre court on day two of Wimbledon at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Tuesday June 29, 2021. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, her season came to an end after she sustained a hamstring injury in the first round of Wimbledon 2021. The American was forced to retire in her opening round against Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

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Subsequently, she announced that she wouldn’t be participating at the Flushing Meadows. There’s still no certain update on the injury as the 40-years old continues to miss tournaments.

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Atri Bhatt

191 articles

Atri Bhatt is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analyzing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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