CNN interviewed Serena Williams when she was 9. Here’s what she said.
On the occasion of her 9th birthday, CNN sat down with Serena Williams to chat about her life, career and tennis.
The first few minutes of the interview are relatively light-hearted, with Williams waxing about her love of the sport and the lessons she’s learned from her personal life.
But Williams quickly turned serious toward the end of the conversation, where she gave a frank assessment of what it’s meant to be a world-class athlete.
Williams explained that in some ways, she views her tennis career as a means of pursuing happiness:
“There’s a lot of people who see tennis and I see it as a job, or a way to make money, or not a way to make money and just to play. But I also get to be happy doing what I love. I also get to work out every day and meet so many great people who are so inspiring to me and I just feel that happiness is something that I really shouldn’t have to ask for. I should be so blessed that I am where I am, that’s what makes me happy. But I’m trying to be really happy every day and be as grateful as I can be.” – Serena Williams
But to make that happen, she acknowledged that she has to maintain her perspective and think about what else she could be doing — which is something she’s already doing:
“I have a lot of good memories. I have friends that I see from time to time. I have family — I have family that I see and I call them pretty often. I’m very grateful and I’m blessed to have so many people in my life that I never thought I’d have as a part of what I do. I’m blessed to be able to have so many good feelings and memories.” – Serena Williams
Beyond the obvious things that she gets to do as a tennis player and a mother, Williams added, it’s also been an incredible opportunity to build herself as a human being:
“It’s not only tennis. It’s been such a wonderful opportunity to be able to learn a lot of stuff and grow a lot as a person. But, you know, I’ve got to take these as lessons and learn from them.” – Serena Williams
What she added was incredibly powerful, and it’s clear she sees the world through a unique