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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 28: Serena Williams of the United States celebrates winning her semi final match against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during day 11 of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 28, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
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Serena Williams Heads to the Australian Open Finals

Call her "Slayrena!" Today's win (Jan. 28) advanced the tennis player to her seventh Australian Open as the returning champ.

2015 was a good year for Serena Williams. She became the first female athlete to have a Sports Illustrated cover to herself, and the first black woman and first active tennis player since 1976 to be named its Sportsperson of the Year. Her body positive attitude challenged societal standards. Millions tuned in to see her beat her older sister, Venus, at the U.S. Open. Her championship titles at three of the four major tournaments plus one more left the world in awe. Her tenacity left them hooked. She finished 50-2 and ranked No. 1 in the world.

READ MORE: 2015’s Magnificent 7: People Who Championed, Changed & Challenged Us

But Williams' presence on the court has been quiet for the last four months. The star took recess from the competitive world of tennis, following defeat at the U.S. Open semifinals in September. Her Grand Slam wins still totaled 21, trailing behind her goal of reaching Steffi Graf's 22 and beyond. The defeat knocked the player's eligibility for the first true Grand Slam—champion of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open in one calendar year—since Graf's 27 years ago. Less than two months ago though, Williams signaled redemption, "2016? #letsdoit"—the foreshadowing of her first individual tournament since her loss, currently taking place on Melbourne hard courts.

Williams bounced back without a flinch today against Agnieszka Radwanska. Her opponent's climbing performace record proved no match for the mindset and body strength months of rest gave Williams. The athlete told the New York Times, "Been really going hard since probably before the Olympics in 2012. That’s a long time. So I felt like I really committed myself, and I need to commit myself and my body and take some time off, restart.” Since her return, Williams overcame Camila Giorgi, Hsieh Su-wei, Margarita Gasparyan, and Maria Sharapova in addition to today's semifinal win at 6-0, 6-4. Her final competitor in the tournament will be Graf's cosign, Angelique Kerber, on Friday (Jan. 29).

The Australian Open every January starts the range of tournaments towards achieving a Grand Slam. The next one, the French Open, does not occur until May, with the rest following up into September. If Williams takes home the title in Melbourne, we can only imagine the slayage the determined athlete has ready for the months ahead.

Williams already has six U.S. Opens, three French Opens, six Australian Opens, six Wimbledons, and a Career Grand Slam.

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Marshawn Lynch Reportedly Plans To Retire From NFL Again

Pro-footballer Marshawn Lynch might take another indefinite break from the National Football League. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Lynch will step away from the turf "after two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders."

CBS Sports reports Lynch prepared to share his decision on staying in the league or exiting after the NFL Draft, which is set to take place on Thursday (April 25). He's been with the Raiders since 2017.

Prior to suiting up for his hometown's team, Lynch launched his pro career with the Buffalo Bills where he was stationed from 2007-2010. Following that stint, the 33-year-old entrepreneur traveled across the country to play for the Seattle Seahawks from 2010-2015.

Following his last year with the Seahawks, Lynch publicized his retirement by posting a picture of hanged up cleats on Twitter. In 2017, Lynch laced up once more to join the Oakland Raiders. During a press conference, Lynch shared that he wanted to play for the team before their move to Las Vegas, as a symbol to young children that someone from their town is a part of this movement.

"With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see someone who actually did it, who is from where they're from, someone they probably idolized," he said, per USA Today. Lynch also shared the atmosphere he would encounter on game days.

"The way we feel about where we're from, and why we represent so hard is because we know what the struggle is and how we get down," he said. "Every home game that I get to come to this [stadium], I'm probably going to be riding with the whole town."

After two seasons playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders, Marshawn Lynch is not planning to play football again, league sources tell ESPN.

Now, with the three-day draft kicking off Thursday night in Nashville, the Raiders have one more potential need to address: running back.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 24, 2019

✌🏿 pic.twitter.com/wesip4IhOR

— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016

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Russell Wilson Buys Amazon Stock For Select Teammates

Russell Wilson recently made history as the National Football League's (NFL) highest paid player. To celebrate this wealth, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback purchased Amazon stock worth $12,000 apiece for 13 of the team's offensive linesmen, TMZ reports.

The premise behind the gesture is to help set the players on a lucrative path post-NFL. "We all have dreams of what we can build and accomplish off the field," he wrote in a memo. "One important lesson I have learned thus far in my career: The memories on the field will last forever, but we have to constantly prepare for life after football."

In the letter that was sent to his teammates, Wilson said he was indecisive on what to give them as a sign of his appreciation for their protection on the field. "Some were flashy, some were cool, but I wanted to give you something that had a lasting impact," he said. "Something that would affect the lives of you, your family, and your children." According to CNBC, each linesmen's stock could be worth $270,000 in the next 10 years if Amazon's shares continue to result in a return of 2,200 percent.

Earlier this month, Wilson signed a $140 million contract. He'll suit up with the Seahawks for the next four years. The re-signing follows a previous four-year agreement the 30-year-old athlete made with the team.

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

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Russell Wilson Reportedly Becomes Highest-Paid NFL Player

At the end of the NFL's season earlier this year, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson expressed his desire to remain in the Rain City but only if his deal could be renegotiated. As of April 15, it appears that Wilson, with the help of his agent Mark Rodgers, received exactly what he asked for.

According to ESPN, Wilson and his team of seven years signed an agreement of a $140 million extension, plus an added $65 million signing bonus, currently making the 30-year-old the highest paid player in the NFL.

With this renegotiation, Wilson not only takes the spot as the richest athlete in the league from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he also set a record with his signing bonus being the highest ever.

Wilson took to his Instagram page to announce the good news with a video featuring his wife, R&B singer Ciara. "Hey Seattle, we got a deal," he said in the clip while lying in bed with Ciara. "Go Hawks. But I'mma see y'all in the morning. Time for y'all to go to bed."

 

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SEATTLE. Let’s get it. @Seahawks #GoHawks

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:43am PDT

News of Wilson's deal comes after four days of negotiating between the quarterback's agent and the Seahawks. Wilson and Rodgers had a deadline for midnight for the Seahawks to make a suitable decision. On Tuesday (April 16), prior to the negotiation being set in stone, Rodgers stated that "at the end of the day my guy wants to live, work, thrive in Seattle. Loves this town and its fans. He compromised to stay here. I respect that."

Wilson's move was welcomed with open arms from Ciara, who took to his Instagram comments to say "So proud of you baby! God is so good! #GoHawks."

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