Serena Williams’ rivals should shudder at the thought of what she might achieve with her baby girl’s help.
The 36-year-old tennis superstar told Vogue in an interview published Wednesday the arrival of her baby girl has changed her mindset in a way that will benefit her performances in the sport she has dominated for years.
Having given birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. on Sept. 1, Williams believes the changes she has undergone as a result of motherhood will help her break Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam victories.
“… Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams,” Williams said. “I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights on 25.
“And actually, I think having a baby might help. When I’m too anxious I lose matches, and I feel like a lot of that anxiety disappeared when Olympia was born. Knowing I’ve got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don’t have to play another match. I don’t need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don’t need them. That’s a different feeling for me.”
Williams currently has 23 Grand Slam titles, but that number won’t climb this month at the Australian Open because she’s not fit enough to compete at that level due to post-delivery complications.
But extra time away from the sport and with her daughter might help Williams reach new peaks later this year and beyond.
Thumbnail photo via Martin Richard/Presse Sports/USA TODAY NETWORK