23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams says growing up in Compton gave her the ability to adapt to almost any playing condition during her career. Compton, a notorious Los Angeles neighborhood, is known for violence and gang activity.
Taking the first steps in tennis in Compton was far from ideal, since there were no luxury tennis courts and the balls that were used at the time were not that good either. But Serena and her sister Venus Williams were determined to make her dreams come true.
Now the Williams sisters are the tennis greats of all time and will forever be remembered as some of the greatest and most inspiring players in tennis history. "If it's not a storm, I don't feel it. Honestly, every time I try to feel something, I go back and say, 'Serena, you're from Compton' Yeah (I can adjust to anything).
For all the stuff we've been through, I think about the greens and the dead balls, and then I literally feel nothing. But when I feel something, I always look at my training partner or my coach and say: 'Something is wrong' Because if I feel it, then something is wrong," Williams explained during an event organized by Wilson Tennis, according to Sportskeeda.
Williams, 41, ended her amazing career after the US Open. In the last tournament of her career, Williams made some noise before leaving the tournament. In her debut at the US Open, Williams defeated Danka Kovinic. Afterward, Williams defeated Anett Kontaveit, who was the second-ranked player in the world at the time.
After beating Kovinic and Kontaveit, Williams fell to Ajla Tomljanovic in three sets in the third round.
Serena Williams is the GOAT
Serena Williams spoke about experiencing mental stress during her career and how she has learned to deal with it over the years.
"Mental fitness, for me is just really learning to shut down. You know, I did this years ago, even before mental health was like a topic among everyone's mind. It was like, all right, I'm shutting myself down today, just subconsciously and it is something I've always done," Serena Williams said.
"Now that I know that it's so important to just put yourself first, especially mentally. I always have shut down moments. I have serious boundaries and I don't let anyone cross them," she added. "I really don't do anything for me and I terrible at that.
Time and time again, I said, I'm working on it but more or less, at least prioritizing what I need to do and then when I'm turned off, I'm turned off," Serena Williams said.