CNN interviewed Serena Williams when she was 9. Here’s what she said about tennis:
Serena Williams was the only female player in the US Open before the age of 10, but she was also born to a father who was a basketball coach and a mother who played tennis and was a tennis coach.
Her father was Jamaican, and her mother — who had been a professional tennis player in the U.K. and in some of the top professional tournaments around the world — was from Barbados.
So, Serena’s mother was involved in her life from a very early age.
That is something she has been very happy about. I think the biggest part of making it was the whole idea that my mother played tennis and was a tennis coach.
I was also involved by watching my mom and actually being at tournaments and taking lessons there and getting coached. So I had a lot of exposure to tennis from before I was born.
I was born around the same time as Serena was when her mother was still a professional player. [I was] actually born nine months after her mom retired. She was a very successful professional.
So she was actually the only female player at that time besides Serena.
Serena also mentioned that her mom was a tennis player as a child. She said:
I grew up in the era of my mother being a tennis star and my father was also a tennis star. He was so involved in the sport and he coached me at the beginning of my career. My mom was actually a coach of one of the biggest champions in the world.
But, it was my father that played the sport at the park, because I don’t think I could handle going to the practice facility because I was a terrible athlete.
I didn’t have the skills or strength to play tennis. I couldn’t catch it. I couldn’t throw it. I couldn’t do anything. But, my father was like “you can do this.” If I could only have played tennis with my dad, it would have been great.
That is something that I appreciate now. I feel like I’m blessed, because he was just as passionate about the sport as I am.
I would rather have him not play tennis with me, but I get to play with him. So I’m very