Mamamia gets up close and personal with tennis legend Serena Williams.

There’s a unique form of Jedi mind control that comes from being able to stand on a tennis court with the eyes of the world metaphorically on you, only a few centimeters of Lycra skirt actually on you, and still be able to hit a tennis ball 200 kilometres an hour. (Not a typo).

But that’s Serena Williams for you: the no.1 ranked female singles player, one half of the most famous tennis sisterhood on the planet, a powerhouse, an icon, a beauty, a fashion designer, and a brand ambassador for Berlei Sports Bras. In short, she’s busy.

Serena Williams at the Berlei Masters of Bounce Event in Melbourne.

But – right now – she’s in Australia for the Open. Hurrah. So we squeezed a break in Serena’s schedule and chatted all the important (to us) issues, such as what she buys from Myer, and how she beats the dreaded boob-bounce when competing.

Mamamia: What do you love so much about tennis?
Serena: I’m a naturally competitive person, so I love the challenge that my opponents present me with every time I step on the court.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this advertorial is sponsored by Berlei.

Mamamia: You’ve won five Australian Opens. What’s the secret to your success here?
Serena: Hard work and dedication, but I also have a strong team who help me train for the Australian Open. I prepare mentally too, as I need to be in the right mind frame. I love the Australian culture and crowds. Australians are extremely passionate about tennis and sport, so they always create a great atmosphere and are so supportive. The Australian Open has produced some of the most memorable matches I’ve played.

Mamamia: The court is a high-pressure environment. Do you have any superstitions?
Serena: I have routines that I like to follow: I bring my shower sandals to the court and tie my shoelaces the same way. I also bounce the ball five times before my first serve and twice before my second.

Mamamia: You trained with your sister as kids. Were you competitive or comrades? 

Serena: We’re both competitive, there’s no doubt about that, but we’re also sisters and best friends too! So while we would (and still do) compete against each other, she’s also my biggest fan, and her support for me never wavers.

Serena Williams at the in-store signing in Myer, Melbourne.

Mamamia: Who was your tennis icon growing up?
Serena: Monica Seles. I admired her fight and loved her grunts while hitting the ball.


Mamamia: What drives you to stay at the top of your game? 

Serena: Reaching new milestones and breaking records. Winning 18 grand slam singles titles is an achievement I’m very proud of. The next goal is to win the Australian Open and take that number to 19!

Mamamia: What’s one thing you can’t play without? 

Serena: A Berlei sports bra. My mom first discovered the brand in Myer on a trip to Australia almost 10 years ago, and I’ve been wearing their sports bras ever since. They reduce bounce by up to 60%, which is extremely important as an athlete, and the brand supports and celebrates real women of all shapes and sizes.

Mamamia’s Managing Editor Lucy Ormonde with Serena Williams.

Mamamia: You’re a fashion icon as well as a tennis player. Why do clothes mean so much to you? 

Serena: Fashion is what I like to focus on when I’m off the court; it is truly a passion of mine. As well as assisting with the design of some of Berlei’s latest sports bras, I had my first New York Fashion Week show for the Serena Williams Collection back in September. The support I received was overwhelming; guests included many industry icons that I have admired for years.

Who was your sporting hero growing up?

Check out Serena Williams in action at the Berlei Masters of Bounce Event and in-store signing in Myer, Melbourne: 

We’ve teamed up with Berlei, who are giving you and your ‘fiercest friend’ the chance to win 1 of 5 major prizes, including a Berlei Sports Contour Shift Bra (valued at $69,95) PLUS $200 worth of spa pampering for each of you to enjoy.

To enter, simply nominate a fit and healthy friend and tell us in 50 words or less why they are your fiercest friend and why you should both enjoy a ‘bra and spa’ experience. Bra-Vo!

CLICK HERE for your chance to win. Good luck!

For the competition T&Cs, click here.

Did you know an unsupported B cup can bounce up to 8cm during exercise?

Ouch! Protect your breasts from permanent ligament damage and breast tissue sagging with a Berlei Sports bra. The only Sports bras tested and proven by the Australian Institute of Sport to reduce breast bounce by up to 60%.