Stephen M. Silverman
July 24, 2003 10:20 AM

Already a net star, Serena Williams is now ready to become a network star.

(Okay, a cable network, but a star just the same.)

Serena, 21, who recently defeated her sister, Venus Williams, 23, to win her second straight Wimbledon title, will play a reformed gang member on parole in the Oct. 1 episode of the Showtime series “Street Time,” reports Reuters.

The show, which stars Rob Morrow, begins its second season Aug. 6.

“As a fan of ‘Street Time,’ I told myself that if given the opportunity, I’d love to be on the show,” Williams said in a statement. “I am taking this role very seriously, because I want to excel and because I have respect for the series.”

Richard Stratton, the cable show’s co-executive producer, tells Reuters that the role was created especially for the athlete.

“Anyone that has seen Serena perform on the tennis court understands her commitment to being the best,” he said. “We are confident that she will bring that same type of energy and devotion to ‘Street Time.'”

Before this, Williams has appeared in TV commercials with Venus and last played a kindergarten teacher in an episode of the ABC sitcom “My Wife and Kids.”

Of course, she’s best known for her work on the court. Williams stands 40-1 at major tournaments dating back to the 2001 French Open. And last week, she was also honored as female athlete of the year and female tennis player at the 11th annual ESPY Awards.

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