'This Isn't Normal, Let's Not Let Her Win': Serena Williams On Major Pushback Early In Career

'This Isn't Normal, Let's Not Let Her Win': Serena Williams On Major Pushback Early In Career

by Zachary Wimer

Serena Williams had a target on her back early on in her career, and she recently admitted that it was very tough to handle.

The American came into the sport as a super-talented player who was predicted to set the tennis world on fire. At age 17, she did just that by winning her maiden Grand Slam trophy, which unleashed a flood of interest in her, but also hatred.

Serena had a target on her back, which was very difficult to deal with. Being in a sport where you're all alone on the court didn't make things easier, as Williams thinks that it's easier for teams than individual athletes.

"I definitely had a red “X” on me. And it was hard. People assume that you’re not friendly, and that’s usually not the case. You’re just there to win, and people don’t really want to talk to winners in a singles sport."

"It’s like they say, Birds of a feather flock together, and there’s only one winner, so who are you gonna flock with? If I were playing soccer, it’d be a completely different situation, because you have a team of players."

The way Serena broke into the sport was like a fairytale. She was 17, playing at her home Slam in New York, winning a major. Not only did this shock everybody in the United States, but it also shook the world, which certainly contributed to the overall situation.

"I do feel like it shook the world. I mean, come on: A Black girl wins a Grand Slam at 17 years old, and she’s from Compton! Obviously they took notice. Tennis had been dominated by Caucasians, so it was like: Whoa. We’re having a change in our sport. We don’t like that. This isn’t normal. Let’s not let her win."

Over the years, Williams has come to be respected, and even more than that. She's widely considered the greatest female tennis player of all time, but even now, there are people who, undeservedly, doubt her.


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