A new ESPN documentary series about Serena Williams is promising to be "the most complete, intimate and compelling" account of her legendary tennis career.
Williams herself was on hand in New York on Tuesday to unveil the new series, titled 'Serena Williams: In the Arena,' at Disney Upfront, the annual showcase for the company's upcoming programming. (ESPN is owned by Disney.)
In addition to ESPN, the multi-episodic series will be co-produced by Religion of Sports; Williams and Caroline Currier’s production company Nine Two Six Productions; and Tom Brady's 199 Productions. Seven-time Super Bowl winner Brady himself was featured in the last installment of the 'In the Arena' series in 2021 and 2022.
A premiere date for the series has yet to be announced.
"Several of Serena’s most significant Grand Slam tournaments and defining personal milestones are examined and decoded in detail," an accompanying press release by ESPN read. "The series juxtaposes Serena’s spectacular on-court achievements and cultural impact with dramatic personal challenges. Through it all, Serena fights to maintain her place atop the tennis world while juggling the transformational experience of starting a family.”
The series won't be the first documentary to chronicle the life and career of the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion; in 2018, 'Being Serena' aired on HBO and documented her first pregnancy in 2017; the complicated birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympian Ohanian, Jr.; and her subsequent return to tennis. (In 2021, the Academy Award-nominated film 'King Richard' offered a dramatized version of Williams and her sister, Venus', childhood, with actor Will Smith playing the role of their father, Richard.)
After playing her last professional tennis match at the 2022 US Open, Williams and her tech entrepreneur husband Alexis Ohanian announced earlier this month at the Met Gala that they are expecting their second child.
“You’re talking about building connections with fans, and our family is super-obsessed with Disney," Williams said during the presentation, per Deadline. "My big plan was to break my baby news at the Disney Upfront, but the Met Gala got in the way of those plans.”