Serena Williams Vogue Cover: “It’s Hard And Lonely At The Top”
Serena Williams talks about her friendship with tennis rival Caroline Wozniacki and whether she wants to start a family in a new Vogue cover interview. The 19-time Grand Slam champion has stayed dominant from her teenage years into her thirties, but her professional success has maybe given people the wrong idea about what kind of person she is.
For instance, Williams and Wozniacki may be competitors on the court, but they’re also extremely close friends. “Let’s just put an end to this myth that women players cannot be friends,” Williams tells the magazine. “We can!” She and Wozniacki both relate to Vogue just how concerned Williams was for Wozniacki in the wake of her split from fiancé Rory McIlroy.
Williams says, “On the court, I am fierce! I am mean and I am tough. I am completely opposite off the court. My confidence just isn’t the same. I wish I was more like I am on the court. Nobody would know that I am constantly crying or complaining.”
Another central relationship in the tennis star’s life is with her sister Venus, herself a champion player and a lifelong on-the-court rival. “I don’t look at Venus on the court. I can’t,” Williams tells Vogue. “If I am winning, I might feel sorry for her. If I’m losing, I will want to knock her out.”
“It’s hard and lonely at the top,” says Williams. “That’s why it’s so fun to have Caroline and my sister, too. You’re a target when you’re number one. Everyone wants to beat you. Everyone talks behind your back, and you get a lot more criticism. God forbid I lose. It’s like ‘Why?’ Well, I am human.”
She has her fair share of haters, like any high-profile person, but Williams has a response to that. “There are always people who aren’t going to like you,” she tells the magazine. “Look at Jesus; there are people who didn’t like him.” At that point, Wozniacki asks, “Wait, are you comparing yourself to Jesus?” Williams clarifies, “Oh, God, no, I am far from it. As everyone knows. But as a Christian, I do try to be Christlike.”
When the two stars vacationed together, men swarmed all over Wozniacki, but Williams says she was ignored: “I am really shy. I don’t talk to guys.” Wozniacki says that’s a “lie,” to which Williams responds, “Friends? Yes. But a potential? No. I get nervous that I will say the wrong thing, and then I just start laughing.” Does Williams want to have a family one day? “I guess,” she tells Vogue with a shrug. “I’m not even looking for it.”
As for all of her other endeavors, from tennis and endorsements to fashion and philanthropy, Williams says, “I feel like I have a desire to be better than ever. I am never, ever, satisfied. I always want to do more, be more, reach a new level. Not just in tennis but in everything I do.” What do you think of her Vogue cover interview?