Who better to put on the cover of an issue tagged ‘Women Are Strong As Hell’ than Serena William?
The Tennis Champion is the cover star for Glamour Magazine’s latest issue and in the accompanying interview she talks, Tennis, being the world’s greatest athlete, Drake and more.
See excerpts below.
On whether the game is still fun for her after almost two decades: Yes! When I first started really playing, in ’98, I was super excited to see all the people I grew up watching. … I loved Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, and Pete Sampras. … Now it is different yet somehow more exciting. Everything now is a bonus.
On being called the world’s greatest athlete:Oh my gosh, I don’t know. That’s so hard to say. I try to be the best that I can be every day. I have bad days. I had a bad day the other day. I hit for only, like, 30 minutes, and I stormed off the court. But that was the best I could do on that day. So am I the greatest? I don’t know. I’m the greatest that I can be.
On Twitter blaming Drake for her loss at the U.S. Open:No. I don’t think that was fair. I’m the one who’s playing, who’s making mistakes or making winners. I’m not one to blame anyone else for anything. And I don’t think anyone else should either. I played a really good opponent that day. And I wasn’t at my best.
On inequity in sports: These sports have a lot of work to do. And I really hope that I can be helpful in that journey because I do believe that women deserve the same pay. We work just as hard as men do. I’ve been working, playing tennis, since I was three years old. And to be paid less just because of my sex—it doesn’t seem fair. Will I have to explain to my daughter that her brother is gonna make more money doing the exact same job because he’s a man? If they both played sports since they were three years old, they both worked just as hard, but because he’s a boy, they’re gonna give him more money? Like, how am I gonna explain that to her? In tennis we’ve had great pioneers that paved the way—including Venus, who fought so hard for Wimbledon to pay women the same prize money they pay men, and Billie Jean King, who is one of the main reasons Title IX exists.
On if she wants kids someday:Yeah. I definitely want to have kids one day. That’s something I’ve always wanted since as long as I could remember. And the older I get, the more I’m like, “I’m too young!” [Laughs.]
On what she learns watching her sister, Venus play:It’s remarkable she plays at all, given her Sjögren’s syndrome [an autoimmune disorder that can cause joint pain]. She’s back, winning tournaments. She didn’t allow society to tell her, “You have this disease; you can’t do that anymore.” I look at her, like, “She’s not playing at 100 percent. You are. You don’t have excuses.” Knowing what she went through helped me try to be a more positive person.
On the legacy she would want to leave: I never thought about leaving a tennis legacy. I always thought about leaving a legacy of fulfillment, living out your dreams, and giving back. I’m proud to have opened [two] schools in Africa and one in Jamaica [through the Serena Williams Fund and its partners]. I was given a lot. I was given two parents. That’s already starting above a lot of kids. And then I was given the opportunity to play tennis and parents who supported that. I feel I can give back.
Read the rest of her interview here.