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