How Serena Williams rewrote the playbook for female athletes juggling motherhood and sport
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Serena Williams made her U.S. Open debut as the most dominant woman in women’s tennis. Just two weeks ago, she was battling for the number-one spot and she barely had a prayer of holding off the No. 1 player, Maria Sharapova, in a second-set tiebreaker that had the audience on its feet. And now? Serena is the number-one player and Sharapova came in second. The new number-one player is Victoria Azarenka, the No. 2 after winning the French Open. That’s how Williams rewrote the playbook for women’s sport.
“It’s what she does, and she’s really good at it,” Williams said of her longtime coach, Martina Navratilova. “I think that’s a talent. I think that’s just her ability to see her kids and then to play. I mean, look what Serena has done. I just have such admiration for her. She’s doing this for a reason and that’s why she is.”
There’s no denying Williams’s incredible mental and physical ability. And for a woman who is already three years removed from her own child bearing, Williams’s dedication and skill shows what can be accomplished when athletes aren’t afraid of hard work. And for a woman who also has an innate talent to not only be the best, but also to be a better mother to her child than any mother, it’s the ideal combination.
“I hope that this is the first step in that process,” Williams said of her decision to start a family so early in her career. “I hope it’s not my last act, I hope it’s not the last performance I give, I hope that it is a stepping stone to a different place I would like to go down. I hope this is the beginning of something else, so that when I say goodbye to my role for