Serena Williams is gracing the cover of TIME and opening up about everything from motherhood to her return to tennis. She also took time to share her thoughts on Colin Kaepernick and the ongoing NFL protests.
Williams is currently preparing for the U.S. Open in NYC. The tournament is her chance to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of Grand Slam singles wins.
Here are 6 gems she dropped in the interview:
On why she dedicated Wimbledon to mothers everywhere: “I dedicated that to all the moms out there who’ve been through a lot,” she says. “Some days, I cry. I’m really sad. I’ve had meltdowns. It’s been a really tough 11 months. If I can do it, you guys can do it too.”
She’s determined to keep playing despite her postpartum emotions: When asked why she continues to pursue her tennis career despite the fact that it’s getting even harder to leave her daughter, Serena Williams knows the answer. “I’m not done yet, simple,” she says. “My story doesn’t end here.”
Moms need fun too. Serena revealed that she has a bar in her daughter’s playroom. “Sometimes you need it,” she said. #truth
“I still have to learn a balance of being there for her, and being there for me. I’m working on it. I never understood women before, when they put themselves in second or third place. And it’s so easy to do. It’s so easy to do.”
She put breastfeeding first despite advice from her coach. “You have the power to sustain the life that God gave her…You have the power to make her happy, to calm her. At any other time in your life, you don’t have this magical superpower,” she says before recalling her coach Patrick Mouratoglou telling her she should stop nursing to help her tennis game.
“It’s absolutely hard to take from a guy…He’s not a woman, he doesn’t understand that connection, that the best time of the day for me was when I tried to feed her. I’ve spent my whole life making everyone happy, just servicing it seems like everyone. And this is something I wanted to do.”
On the unfair drug-testing: “Look at me,” she says. “I was born this way. They’re like, ‘Oh, she can’t be that great, she must be doing something.’ I don’t even lift weights.” Serena laughs. “It’s all God, you know,” she says. “But whatever.”
She supports Colin Kaepernick. “He hasn’t lost his joy,” she says of Kaepernick. “Colin is happy with what he’s doing…Some people are different. He’s just different.”
While Serna Williams doubts he will be given a spot on an NFL team, she thinks he could win the Super Bowl if given the chance. “He’d have so much to prove,” she says. “I would. I can’t imagine he would be any different. ‘Man, I’m about to show out. Y’all gonna see stuff you’ve never seen before.’”
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