Serena Williams on How To Win At Life

The six-time Wimbledon champion on how to conquer everything

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My iPhone's weather app reads 25 degrees. I'm sitting with tennis legend, Serena Williams and I’m trying to play it cool.

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The tennis powerhouse is all #IWokeUpLikeThis with immaculate eye brows and her makeup on point. This is a woman who has previously described herself as being a ‘bit obsessed with make-up’ – Wimbledon nail art, case in point.

She needs no introduction, but I’ll refresh your memory. Ranked number one in women’s singles tennis, Serena has won 36 Grand Slam Titles, is the most recent player (male or female) to have held all four Grand Slam singles titles simultaneously and has four Olympic gold medals to her name. If anyone knows how to win at life, it’s her. 

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What’s your personal theme song right now?

Blank Space by Taylor Swift. I think she wrote that song about me. I should have sung it.

How so?

Because ‘I’m a nightmare dressed as a daydream.’

So I’ll see you on the dance floor if that tune comes on?

Yeah. I’ll be doing the Whip.

What’s the whip?!

It’s in a song by Silento. 'First you whip, now watch my nae nae.'  Pusha T did it in his video too and it’s now this big dance move in America. You can Youtube how to do it. [Watch Below.] I like to go out in my downtime. Ladies night with dinner, talking and dancing.

Do you shop?

I’m a great online shopper but I never go out shopping. In fact, I think I am going to do that later today. I need some new outfits!

On the rare occasion you do go out to buy clothes, where do you go?

I actually wish I lived here because then I could go to River Island. At home I do Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales. 

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How do you balance work, family, friends and love life?

Everyone understands that I have to work so I’m a little ‘off’ during tournaments. I am focused, so I have to stick to myself.

How do you maintain drama-free relationships?

You know, I’m just honest. Hence why a lot of my relationships… [Conversation trails off.] Ha! They say honesty is the best policy right?

How do you conquer disappointment?

I think it's necessary. Without disappointment you won't be driven to do better. When I’m stressed out, I go to a happy place and stay calm.

Where is your happy place?

In front of my computer watching Netflix. Right now I’m watching re-runs of How I Met Your Mother because I’m saving Orange is the New Black. I know I will want to watch it in one day.

Speaking of your day, how does it go?

When I’m not doing a tournament, my day starts whenever I want to get up. I need a release from routine when I don’t have to be following one. But if I’m playing, I get up at about 8am ritually. I normally eat porridge with honey. You can’t eat it plain.

What do you eat if you’re not training?

If I've had a night out and want breakfast, it has to be pancakes. 

How do you handle conflict on and off the court?

Ha! I try to handle it with poise. I think you should definitely confront conflict, but do it with poise.

Is that how you handle trolls?

I laugh at them! I don’t really read comments, but on Instagram there are a few that pop up and honestly, they crack me up. You can’t take that stuff seriously. People are entitled to think what they like. I don’t let it bother me.

What tip would you give for women who want to get into sport?

First off, if you train hard and work hard you will go far. You have to love it and then after that you have to go out there and make some sacrifices to get it. Sport is great. It’s a great confidence builder and it's so important for younger women.

How do you get around so smoothly on court?

My NikeCourt Flares. This shoe really is an extension of my foot and when you think about it, if you're at home in your house and you don't have shoes on, you just don't think about anything else. It's just your body. And that’s what this shoe is all about.

The NikeCourt Flare is now available in select Nike retailers and on nike.com/nikecourt

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