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"Venus played and I literally do everything that Venus does" - Serena Williams, Billie Jean King, Borna Coric, and Reilly Opelka reveal why they started playing tennis

(From L) Billie Jean King, Venus and Serena Williams.
(From L) Billie Jean King, Venus and Serena Williams.

Serena Williams recently joined other tennis stars for a fun chat where they revealed why they took up the sport in the first place and why they chose to continue playing and become professional tennis athletes. Williams said that she always wanted to follow in the footsteps of her sister Venus Williams and joked about "doing everything Venus does."

Williams sat down for a dinner-time chat with the likes of Billie Jean King, Borna Coric, Reilly Opelka, Linda Fruhvirtova, Clervie Ngounoue, and Nicholas Godsick, all of whom are on the sponsorship roster of tennis manufacturer 'Wilson Tennis.' They spoke about all things tennis and reflected on their earliest days in the sport.

The 41-year-old, who recently bid goodbye to one of the greatest careers of all time, spoke about Venus and their dad Richard Williams' influence during her early days in tennis. She then said that continued playing the sport after realizing she was very good at it and kept winning.

"I played tennis because my dad put me into it. Venus played and I literally do everything that Venus does, or I used to," Serena Williams said when Billie Jean King asked her why she started playing tennis.
"That's literally why I played and then I got pretty good at it and I love to win. So yeah, I just kept going," she added.

Williams returned the question to King, who spoke about her passion for the sport, which stemmed from her pursuit of perfection. She also said that she enjoyed "being in the zone" and the feeling of "hitting the ball right."

"I love it, I love the way the ball feels against the strings, the sound! I'm a perfectionist, I'm a pain in the 'you-know-what.' I want everything, I wanted to get better. Obviously, I like to compete, but it's more about hitting the ball right though. There's a sense of perfection I know I'm never going to achieve, but I loved the process of trying to. I love being in the zone, I think when you're in the now and you're in the present, I play my best...And I hate to lose," Serena Williams expressed.

Meanwhile, Opelka had a different take on the same, saying that he likes to be in a position to hire his own coach and physio and make adjustments to his game.

"Obviously I like the competition, but I like all of it. I like being able to hire my own coach and physio, be able to make adjustments and stuff. I like kind of being in that position," the towering American player said.

The other players also all highlighted that the "competitiveness" drew them towards tennis. Coric revealed how his parents played a huge role in introducing him to tennis before the competition and the challenge kept him engaged.

"I started playing tennis because I had so much energy and my parents knew they need to put me somewhere, so they put me on a court. That's why I started. I continued because I just love the fact that I like the competition," Coric said, adding, "There's no challenge otherwise for me, so I like the challenge."

Serena Williams jokes about taking up tennis as a profession as she "can't sing"

Serena Williams ahead of The Championships - Wimbledon 2022.
Serena Williams ahead of The Championships - Wimbledon 2022.

Serena Williams further opened up about enjoying tennis as a profession. She said that she had a lot of fun doing a "really cool" job and likened tennis to performing on stage.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion joked that she could never sing well and tennis was the "next best thing" as she always wanted to perform on stage.

"It's fun, I think I had a lot of fun and it's cool, it's a really cool job. You get to travel the world and be on big stages and it's like you're performing. I can't sing so it's like the next best thing," she said with a chuckle.

While Serena Williams recently called time on her career after the 2022 US Open, she has been subtly hinting at a comeback ever since. She recently teased the tennis world again with a photo of her new tennis racquet.

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Edited by Anirudh
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