"Why I have so much respect for my mom & dad" - Serena Williams lauds her parents' "commitment"; jokes about lacking it herself with daughter Olympia

Serena Williams expressed her respect for her parents for their commitment to push her in tennis (Source: Getty Images, Instagram/Serena Williams)
Serena Williams expressed her respect for her parents for their commitment to push her in tennis (Source: Getty Images, Instagram/Serena Williams)

Serena Williams has hailed her father Richard Williams and mother Oracene Price for the way they gave their all to push her towards a career in professional tennis. However, she also hilariously admitted to not having the same kind of drive when it comes to pushing her elder daughter Olympia.

Serena Williams was only four when Richard and Oracene encouraged her to pick up the racquet. Trained in tennis and homeschooled alongside elder sister Venus Williams, it would not be until she was nine that she would experience life outside Compton, California. The family moved to Florida and roped in prominent coach Rick Macci in a bid to further the development of the two sisters.

Both Venus and Serena Williams would go onto become legendary names in tennis, across both singles and doubles categories. While Venus Williams who is still playing, has won seven singles Majors, Serena Williams, who retired in 2022, won an Open Era record 23 of them.

The sisters also won an Olympic gold medal each for their singles displays in 2012 and 2000 respectively. They triumphed on fourteen occasions as a pair in doubles Grand Slam finals as well. Last but not least, they won three Olympic gold medals in doubles.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Serena Williams was full of praise for Richard and Oracene, hailing their "commitment" to see her and Venus Williams succeed.

"It also takes a lot of commitment from the parent, and that’s why I have so much respect for my mom and my dad," the 42-year-old said.

However, she joked that when it came to her 6-year-old daughter Olympia, things were quite different.

"Because I was like, “OK, Olympia, we’re going to play tennis every Wednesday.” And now I’m like, “Ugh.”," Williams added.

Serena Williams' past takes on father Richard and mother Oracene's paramount roles in shaping her as a person and a tennis player

Serena Williams at the 2022 US Open
Serena Williams at the 2022 US Open

In 2021, Williams told GQ that her father Richard "was and still is way before his time". The former World No. 1's praise stemmed from Richard's protective nature, which shielded the entire family, especially when Williams and sister Venus began to make waves in tennis, a predominantly-white sport at the time.

"My dad was and still is way before his time. You see, when someone is different—when they don’t act or look how a person assumed they would—the first reaction is often fear. They think, How do we break them? My dad anticipated that, but he would not allow himself or his family to be broken," Serena wrote in an email to GQ.

At the 2001 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Williams likened her mother Oracene to "the spine" of a body.

"My mom, if you take a human being, you have a body, she would be the spine, where you can't move without it, you can't do anything. I would say that's her. She was there in the beginning of our career, and she really supported us the way your spine would, help you stand straight. She was there the whole time," Williams said.

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Edited by Neelabhra Roy
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