Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Serena Williams on Her Motherhood Fears: ‘I don’t Think I’m a Baby Person’

talks motherhood*It’s too late now that she’s had her baby girl, but Serena Williams opens up in Vogue’s September issue, sharing her fears about motherhood and how she’s still working on perfecting her game while pregnant.

She also dishes about fiance Alexis Ohanian. Williams announced her engagement to the Reddit co-founder on December 29, 2016. The news was met with criticism from racists and militant black folks who believe the black woman’s womb belongs ONLY to the black male.

Check out a few excerpts from Serena’s Vogue interview below.

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talks motherhood

On how she is still working on her tennis skills while being pregnant:

I learn by watching… Or I watch old matches of myself on the Tennis Channel. I hit amazing shots, and these girls are running them down and hitting winners, and I’m beginning to see why. It’s because I have patterns. I don’t want to say more than that. I don’t want these girls to read this article and get a leg up.

On why she was afraid to get pregnant:

This pregnancy was unexpected and accidental. But once I found out, something happened that surprised me, I became really calm. I thought, you have to win, but you’re allowed to lose, because you have something to look forward to. ’I’m nervous about childbirth; I’m not a spring chicken.

The one thing I really want is an epidural, which I know a lot of people are against, but I’ve had surgeries galore, and I don’t need to experience any more pain if I can avoid it. But the biggest thing is that I don’t really think I’m a baby person. Not yet. That’s something I have to work on. I’m so used to me-me-me, taking care of my health, my body, my career. I always ask, am I going to be good enough?

On deciding when she should end her tennis career:

It’s hard to figure out what the end of your tennis career should look like. I used to think I’d want to retire when I have kids, but no. I’m definitely coming back. Walking out there and hearing the crowd, it may seem like nothing. But there’s no better feeling in the world. Obviously, if I have a chance to go out there and catch up with Margaret, I am not going to pass that up. If anything, this pregnancy has given me a new power.

On the comments made by male tennis star John McEnroe:

Why the fixation on me playing dudes? It’s clear that men are stronger than women, and that’s just science. I’m very content to play on the women’s tour. John’s unapologetic, he says what he thinks, and people respect that about him. God forbid I do it, though.”

pregant photo
Serena Williams on the cover of the August edition of Vanity Fair. (Annie Leibovitz/Vanity Fair via AP)

On her finance Alexis:

Alexis is basically the guy I’ve always told my friends to look for, since I love to give advice, He’s
extremely smart but not a know-it-all. He’s curious about what he doesn’t know. Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it. Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.

On her plan B career:

My dad always told us to have a plan B. For me there was only one thing I connected to the way I’ve connected to tennis, and that’s been fashion. If you give me a garment, I can tell you what the fabric is, how it’s made, why something can or can’t be done because of the draping, et cetera. Who knows? Maybe I would have won more grand slams if I had been 100 percent tennis.

On her Vanity Fair cover:

I was really nervous about that shoot. I’ve not been that exposed, and I was unsure up until a couple of days before. But I’m happy with how raw and real it is. Being black and being on the cover was really important to me, the success of one woman should be the inspiration to another, and I’m always trying to inspire and motivate the black girls out there. I’m not a model. I’m not the girl next door. But I’m not
hiding.

Actually, I look like a lot of women out there. The American woman is many women, and I think it’s important to speak to American women at a time when they need encouragement. I’m not political, but I think everyone is worried, to a degree.

On her plans to go right into tennis after giving birth:

It’s the most outrageous plan; I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.”  In this game you can go dark fast. If I lose, and I lose again, it’s like, she’s done. Especially since I’m not 20 years old. I’ll tell you this much: I won’t win less. Either I win, or I don’t play.

Read the full interview at vogue.com.

 

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