Nike just released an exclusive special called Open Court with Serena that features a beautifully candid interview with tennis superstar Serena Williams. The virtual experience is hosted by Storm Reid, star of Disney‘s A Wrinkle in Time and will be available online to Nike members for the next 24 hours. Williams shared a special message on the site that read, “Welcome to Open Court! Enjoy my special conversation with Actress & Producer, Storm Reid, about the power of sisterhood, life lessons learned through sport, my thoughts on health, wellness, and so much more. Don’t forget to check out the game, custom graphic design, and lots of community resources!” Here are some of the things Williams had to say during the interview.
At the start of the interview, Reid asked Williams about any fights or arguments she used to have with her sister Venus. Williams said Venus would always let her win and gave some advice to other little sisters out there, “Little sisters should be humble” she said. “We were always the last and for me it was always hand me downs... I loved it. I‘m the youngest of five. So, for me it was always just about... learning from them, learning from their mistakes and not making the same.”
When asked how she handles criticism, Williams said it was “apart of her job” as an athlete. In order to improve at your sport, you are going to need to accept and deal with criticism. Reid then asked Williams about her style and what you can do to feel good. Williams brought up her older sister and said, “Venus always says ‘look good feel good.’ So that goes deeper too. Not just skin deep or what you have on, it‘s also inside.” She continued, “I love style and study fashion, I have my own fashion company and you work so hard. And even with Nike we designed some crazy stuff that is really avant guard, from wearing tutus on the court, to wearing boots- style is my thing. I like to be different. It’s natural for me. I don’t like it because it’s cool to be different, I like it because it’s me.”
Williams had advice for young people dealing with insecurities and explained, “Feeling insecure is really normal.. But that‘s just a part of life. I think you have to embrace it. Actually as a young lady you’re going to feel insecure, you’re going to go through a different time where you feel insecure and that’s okay. Embrace it, accept it, feel it, but then be able to come out of that hump.”
Reid asked Williams what being a ‘leader’ meant to her and she replied, “It just means being ready to accept responsibility. Being ready no matter who on your team is not doing the right thing.” “It also means being the first and that‘s not always easy… And it also means accepting that you’re going to make some crazy mistake and that’s okay too because that’s what leaders do.”
And when asked to speak about some of the injustices she has gone through as a woman and in the sport. Williams calmly replied, “I‘ve been through so many injustices. But I think the world has changed. Or hasn’t changed. But, I think the eyes of people have recently changed. They could see the injustices that not only myself but millions of other people are going through, or have been through, or are dealing with. And there’s so much to be said about this topic. But ultimately I think that having a strong voice and standing up for yourself and standing up for what you believe in is important.”
Williams is currently competing in the U.S Open.