Tennis is often considered more of a mental battle than a physical one. Serena Williams has been on the "battlefield" for around 27 years and has emerged as the greatest in this period of time. In a recent virtual meeting for Wondermind, Williams and Selena Gomez discussed mental health issues, among many other topics.
Wondermind is a startup, co-founded by singer-cum-actor Gomez. The platform's main objective is to raise awareness and “democratise and destigmatize mental health globally." When Gomez asked Williams what mental fitness meant to her, the 23-time Grand Slam champion stated that over the years, she had developed a habit of shutting herself down.
"Mental fitness for me is just really learning to shut down," Williams said. "You know, I did this years ago, even before mental health was like a topic among everyone's mind. It was more just like, 'Alright, I'm shutting myself down today'. Just subconsciously, it was something that I've always done. And now that I know that it's so important to just put yourself first, especially mentally, I always have shutdown moments."
The tennis icon added that when she shuts herself down, she builds boundaries that no one is allowed to cross.
"I have serious boundaries and I don't let anyone cross those boundaries with time. For me, it's so important to make sure that every day, I have a period of, like... and it's so bad, because I really don't do anything for myself, I'm terrible at that. And I've said it time and time again that I'm working on it. But more or less, at least prioritizing what I need to do. And then when I'm turned off, I'm turned off," Williams added.
Serena Williams' match with Emma Raducanu postponed
Serena Williams and Emma Raducanu were scheduled to meet each other in the first round of the Cincinnati Masters on Monday. However, the match was postponed by a day and will now take place on Tuesday. A spokesperson for the WTA 1000 tournament said that the change was made "on account of a number of factors related to scheduling." The winner will face Belarusian Victoria Azarenka in the second round.
This will be the first and most likely, the last time that Raducanu will face her idol, who is set to retire after the US Open. The 19-year-old Brit is excited to share the court with the American legend, calling the opportunity a "great gift."
"I think it's going to be an exciting match. It's an amazing opportunity to play probably the best tennis player of all time. It's probably going to be my last opportunity to ever play her. Whatever happens, I think it's going to be a really good experience for me and something that I will remember for the rest of my life. It's a great gift to play the best on her way out from the sport," Raducanu said.