Serena’s father is a former sharecropper from Louisiana. But while he was doing that dead-end, back-breaking job he developed a plan. And he brilliantly executed it and was undeterred and unapologetic about implementing his game plan. Determined to see his two youngest girls succeed used what he’d gleaned from tennis books and videos to instruct Serena and Venus on how to play the game. At the age of 3, practicing on a court not far from the family’s new Compton, Calif., home, Serena withstood the rigors of daily two-hour practices from her father. (www.womenstennisblog.com).