Social media was recently flooded with wishes for 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who celebrated her 40th birthday on Sunday. Williams' husband Alexis Ohanian led the band of well-wishers with a heartwarming Instagram post.
Williams' birthday also gave the entire tennis community an opportunity to reminisce on the American legend's long career. In that context, MTV News shared an old interview featuring a 21-year-old Williams.
In the video, which was shot in 2002, Serena Williams reflected on her season and discussed her future ambitions. The American began by saying her immediate goal was to win the trophy at the Wimbledon Championships. The then-21-year-old added that it would be "perfect" if she could win all three remaining Majors that year.
"My future plans [are], I really want to win Wimbledon this year," Williams said. "I definitely want to win a couple of Grand Slams, there's three left. It would be perfect, it would be a great ending if I could take all three."
Serena Williams wasn't just about the talk though; she actually went on to win the remaining three Slams of the year, just as she publicly declared she wanted to.
Williams won the first of her seven Wimbledon crowns in 2002, along with a second US Open title and a maiden Roland Garros trophy. She beat sister Venus in all three finals, and made it four in a row at the Australian Open the very next year.
During her conversation with MTV News, the American, who had won only one Slam title at the time, predicted that 2002 was just the beginning of "an unbelievable story" for her.
"I'm always smiling, always enjoying myself and I really like it," Williams said towards the end of the video. "So, this is just the beginning of an unbelievable story of Serena Williams."
Williams currently has 23 Grand Slam titles, one short of Margaret Court's all-time record.
"When I stop having fun, I'll stop playing" - Serena Williams at 21
During the course of the interview, Serena Williams also spoke about her desire to become No. 1 in the world. But she was quick to add that the most important thing for her was to enjoy her tennis.
Describing herself as a "positive" person, Williams said she always looked to have "fun" on the court. She declared that she would hang up her racket the day she stopped enjoying her tennis, but admitted she did not see that happening for "a long, long time."
"I would love to be the year-end No. 1, but we'll see," Williams said. "I'm always thinking positive. We're having a lot of fun, and, I don't know, I'm really looking forward to playing these events and moving up in the world."
"But most of all, [I'm looking forward to] just having fun," she added. "When I stop having fun, I'll stop. But I don't see that happening for a long, long, long, long time."
True to her word, Williams continues to wield a racket even at the age of 40.