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‘Never Been Free’ Serena and Venus Williams discuss life after retirement

“We were never free” – Serena and Venus Williams discuss life after retirement

In a candid interview, Serena and Venus Williams shared that they “never planned on just being tennis players” and revealed that Serena was the most dubious of the formidable duo.

Over the past two decades, Serena and Venus Williams have cemented themselves as two of the greatest players of all time. Individually, Serena has won 23 Grand Slam titles, while her sister Venus has won seven.

The sisters also played doubles together and won 14 other Grand Slams and 3 Olympic medals, as well as a gold medal each in singles.

However, neither of them has featured recently as both have endured hardships for injuries. Serena has been ruled out since June with a hamstring injury, while Venus also suffered a leg injury last year.

With their career seemingly coming to an end, the sisters have turned their attention to a life outside of tennis.

Speaking to American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, Venus said: “We never planned to only play tennis and be only tennis players.

“We planned to do more. Serena and I say we’re going to be bodybuilders after tennis. It may be extreme. It might not turn out exactly like that, but you never know.

“From an early age, we did nothing but work. So I think for Serena and me to explore that freedom is surreal. We have never been free.

Older sister Venus also revealed that of the two, Serena was the most doubted as a young player. Although it was Serena who became the most successful sister.

Venus candidly explained that “generally in a family there is a good player and the other is not so good. And I think people told Serena she wouldn’t be great.

“[But] the fearlessness with which she approached the game was something I’ve always really admired.

“She does not accept the second. She explicitly told me herself that she was playing for first place.

Serena chased an elusive 24th Slam that would tie her with Margaret Court’s record. However, Serena said “that [legacy] is something I don’t think about and don’t want. I don’t want to think about what I’m leaving.

“I just think about who I am every day behind closed doors and behind cameras. And that’s what I focus on.

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Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes