Serena Williams had an interesting interview with Sky Sport in which she spoke about her idols who allowed her to believe that she could be a good tennis player.
‘I grew up watching Monica Seles and Steffi Graf. They inspired me a lot because they were champions. But without any doubt my true inspiration has been Venus. She pushed me to keep going and to give my best every day. What we learned on the tennis court, we applied in life. When she became the world no. 1, I wanted to do it as well, when she reached the US Open final at the beginning of her career, I wanted to do it. I wanted to be like her,’ the world no. 1 said.
But the secret behind their success is their father Richard. According to Williams, ‘My dad is an incredible coach, the best one I have ever worked with. Probably he is the best coach of all time. He started from nothing, he picked up a book, a racket and he did it at the age of 40.’
This is Williams’ 18th year on the WTA Tour and she has passion of a 20-year old player. Talking about it, the 34-year old said, ‘Every time I reach a Grand Slam final or a final in any other tournament I am excited. I am starting to appreciate these moments even more because I know I am not eternal. It's incredible that I have played so much. I never thought that I would have done it. I have been winning my first and last Grand Slam title in three different decades, I am grateful for the chance I had. When I was a kid I never thought to become a global icon, I only thought about reaching US Open final, I only focused on tennis. Now it's different, people watch me with admiration and they hope I am successful.’
Then, talking about the best players she’s played with, Williams said, ‘It's a tough question. I will obviously I say Venus. Martina Hingis, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters also had great moments. Lindsay Davenport was a very interesting player too and now there is the new generation with many high quality players.’
Speaking of the new generation players, Williams was defeated twice this year by two younger players – Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza – in the Australian and French Open finals respectively. These losses meant that she’s still one short of equaling Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Slams. When asked how she felt about these losses, Williams said, ‘I do not think it helped me to grow, I have already grown. There was much pressure and I tried to give my best. I made too many errors and she played better, it happens.’
Apart from a successful tennis career, Williams has a lot of off-court commitments too like her personal fashion collection. Speaking about this aspect, she shared, ‘Off-court I am attracted to a classical style, a way that is not out of fashion and that I love to combine with more trendy objects keeping the elegance. My next goal is to set up a second fashion collection. I am going step-by-step but I obviously want to let my thoughts wander, for example, on shoes.
On-court or off-court, there’s however only one aspect that’s important for Serena Williams. To have dreams and fulfill them, as she put it, ‘There are always dreams to fulfill, I think that without dreams you cannot get results.’