Watch: "I love Paris a lot" - Video resurfaces of 17-year-old Serena Williams touring Paris before 1999 Roland Garros

Serena Williams has been out of action for almost a year.
Serena Williams has been out of action for almost a year.

While Serena Williams hasn't played competitively since Wimbledon 2021, a video of a 17-year-old Williams roaming the streets of Paris in 1999 during Roland Garros has resurfaced, giving insight into her mentality and goals for her career.

In the video, Williams walked down the Champs Elysses in the French capital and talked about how much she loves Paris and bakery shops.

"Right now, we are along the Champs Elysses. I love Paris a lot. ... I love French shops and bakery shops. It's really exciting. I love the Arc de Triomphe. It's right over there. Everything about Paris is just great. Paris is in my heart, and it's very exciting for me," Williams said.

Williams added that her favourite thing to do in Paris is to taste French bread, which she described as 'quite tasty'.

"My favourite thing in Paris is to go for some of the breads here. I love them. Always quite tasty."

In the video, Williams stated that she was getting stronger physically and could take home the title.

"Physically, I'm getting stronger. I know actually I can go out there and win. I think I can reach the quarterfinals. ... I could actually take home the title."

Having won the Open de Gaz in Paris and Indian Wells, the then World No. 9 said her goal was always to reach the top-10. Williams added that she was a better player than her ranking suggested at the time.

"Reaching the top ten was always one of my goals. My career high was no. 9. I'm actually a better player than No. 9. I'll definitely try moving ahead of that. Indian Wells ... it was a big title ... biggest I've ever won."
A 17-year old Serena Williams tours Paris.This feature aired during the 1999 French Open.

How did Serena Williams fare at 1999 Roland Garros?

Serena Williams (right at the 1999 French Open.
Serena Williams (right at the 1999 French Open.

Serena Williams had said before the tournament that she could reach the quarterfinals at 1999 Roland Garros. However, the then 17-year-old lost to Mary Joe Fernandes in three sets in the third round.

Earlier in the tournament, Williams beat Laurence Courtois and Mariana Diaz Oliva in straight sets. She lost the opening set against Fernandes in the third round and fought back to force a decider, but ran out of steam in the third.

On September 11, 1999 @serenawilliams won her first grand slam title at the @usopen after defeating World No.1 Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-6(4). Serena also won the #USOpen doubles title with @Venuseswilliams in 1999.

Williams would go on to win her first Grand Slam title that year at the US Open. She also won the doubles title with sister Venus Williams, completing a rare singles-doubles title.

Edited by Keshav Gopalan


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