Serena and Venus Williams inspire each other and grew up playing at the highest tennis level. But for Serena, who is one year older than Venus, it was not easy at the beginning. The 23-time Grand Slam winner was seeing herself in Venus.
'I was not myself. I was Venus. Just…Seren-us. I identified as Venus. I felt weird, like, my boobs were bigger than Venus's, and my body was thicker', said Serena in an interview with GQ Magazine. 'I was curvier.
I was like, 'Why am I not Venus?' And she was tired of me copying her. She was like, 'Get your own identity, please!' It was like a window into much bigger things that I would face in the future. I was different.
I looked different. And I played differently. And I hit differently. And I ran differently.' One of her sisters Yetunde was the key for Serena to convince herself to earn her own personality: 'I was really struggling, and she's like, 'You know, everyone is different.
You're not Venus, and you're never going to be Venus. You're never going to be as thin as her, and that's okay. And you're never going to be as tall as her, and that's okay. Nothing is wrong with that. You have a beautiful body on your own.
You have a beautiful face.' And that's when I first started being more comfortable with who I was But it was good that she taught me that lesson, because in a way she was teaching me a lesson about life. In a way, it had nothing to do with Venus.
It wasn't about her at all. Tennis players, in general, didn't look like me. Especially the top players or anyone that ever won Grand Slams. Nothing like me. So it was, Can I win looking like this? Can I perform looking like this? And that was something that I realized that I could do.
I just had to learn that it was okay to, you know, not be Venus.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title