“I should have been about 30 or 32 (grand slam titles),” Williams told DailyExpertNews’s Christiane Amanpour.
“I should have had it (the record), really, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to have it. But I’m not giving up.”
Williams told Amanpour in Paris that she will play in May at the French Open – the next grand slam on the tennis calendar – if her body allows it.
“Paris is one of my favorite cities and I really like the clay. So we’ll see what happens. Hopefully if my body lasts I’ll be there for sure.”
Changing the story
Williams’ rise from a young girl who learned to play tennis on dilapidated tennis courts in Compton, California, to one of the most successful and distinguished athletes in history is legendary.
Now immortalized in the Hollywood movie “King Richard” — which Williams and her sister Venus executive produced — their father was pivotal in the duo’s development as players.
Played by Will Smith, the film shows Richard Williams catapulting his daughters to tennis stardom.
Often portrayed as a divisive and eccentric character, Williams told DailyExpertNews how the sisters wanted to change the story surrounding their father.
“Unfortunately, getting into a new sport where it’s mainly, you know, White and that my dad has such a villainous character when it just wasn’t true, I’ve just been dealing with that my whole career from day one to the ending, was just really important for us to tell the truth,” she said.
“You know, to be an athlete, especially in a single sport, it takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication. And I look at my daughter and I say, ‘Wow, I don’t think I could do what my father used to do every day. day did.’ It is a lot of work.”
Serena’s older sister Venus paved the way, turning pro a year before her and winning seven grand slam titles in her career to date. Venus is still on the tour, aged 41.
Initially, Serena lived in the shadow of Venus.
“My sister was way better than me. I wasn’t very good growing up. And so everyone was focused on Venus. And in the movie it goes on that, how when we had the chance to have better coaches, they saw that Venus was it.
“And so, that was devastating to me…but helpful. Because if that hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have had the career that I have because I felt like I just had to prove myself and just win.”
Williams turned to her mother, Oracene Price, who played a pivotal but often overlooked role in her success.
“I just had to work with my mother. I didn’t get to work with the prestigious coaches or anything. And my mother made me mentally strong,” she added.
‘We had to be better’
When asked by Amanpour how they saw and overcame the racism they experienced as tennis players in a predominantly white sport, Williams replied: “We’ve turned it from two great black champions to the best ever, period. And that’s what we did.” We took color, and we just became the best.
“And yes, we had to play harder, and we had to be better, but it made us better.
“And at the end of the day, every time we faced a challenge and every time we overcame that challenge, we created Venus and Serena.”
Williams also discussed her venture capital fund Serena Ventures, which announced this week that $111 million had been raised to invest in founders from diverse backgrounds.
“It’s really about diversity,” Williams told Amanpour, explaining that she was spurred to action when she learned that less than 2% of all venture capital money went to women.
“Tennis has given me a way to influence VC in a different way and bring diversity into that as well,” she said.
She was heavily criticized and fined over the episode.
Amanpour asked Williams if she thinks there is a double standard in sport, as men routinely act against referees, often with impunity.
And as she chases Court’s grand slam record, Williams is also aware that her career and life won’t just be defined by how many titles she could win.
“I am who I am, I love who I am — I love the impact I’ve had on people, that I still have on people,” said Williams, who interviewed Amanpour on Feb. 28, four days after Russia was taken over. invaded Ukraine.
“Right now the world is in such turmoil… if you look at what’s happening in Ukraine and Russia, it’s just sad to see,” Williams added.
“Human life…is so precious, and no matter who you are, where you come from, it should be wonderful and valuable.”