Serena Williams’ secret to being the best? Competition.
After advancing to the fourth round at Wimbledon, the tennis pro sat for a press conference. The Telegraph’s Jamie Johnson paraphrased a comment from fellow player Madison Keys and asked Williams whether it was difficult to always be “the one to beat,” since all of the athletes she plays always up their game to be at her level. Instead of playing coy or being unnecessarily humble, Williams gave a pretty badass answer.
“I’m glad someone admitted that. Of course Madison does. She’s just so smart and so on it, but yeah, every single match I play, whether I’m coming back from a baby or a surgery or it doesn’t matter, these young ladies bring a game that I’ve never seen before,” Williams said. “It’s interesting because I don’t even scout as much because when I watch them play is a totally different game than when they play me. It’s what makes me great. I always play everyone at their greatest, so I have to be greater.”
The reporter continued on, saying, “It must suck to be you.” According to Williams, playing like this did at first, but she now credits her greatness to the healthy competition. “They play me so hard, and now my level is so much higher because of it — from years and years of being played like that,” she said.
“She took her first steps... I was training and missed it. I cried,” she tweeted. Fans rallied around Williams in support, with some even saying that “the first you see is the first time it happened.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Williams opened up about how she balances mum duties with her career, and her answer is similar to how she kills it on the tennis court. "I have this undying drive to be the best that I can be,” she told the site. “Whether it's [being] a mom or playing tennis or doing my designing. I just want to do the best that I can."
The takeaway: whatever you want to succeed at, be like Serena, and be unapologetic about it.