US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed
(CNN) — Serena Williams is the greatest player who has ever lived, even if her game has evolved.
“I was a player, but I used to be a person,” she said. She added, “I am more a person now than I ever was as a player.”
That is true in a way, but how does she feel about the racism that she and her husband, Kevin, are subject to by fans on the tennis court and on the road?
“I love that we can do whatever we want,” she said of her critics. “I don’t have to explain to people that I am someone who lives in America. I just live.”
Williams has not played for seven months due to an injury. She missed the Australian Open and will not be able to defend her Wimbledon title. In her place is one of the greatest players of her generation, Serena Williams, the youngest of seven children born to an African-American mother and a Caucasian father living in the small rural town of Brookline, Massachusetts.
“If I can find the strength to get back and to do my job, I will be that much better, for sure,” she said.
But that strength, she said, will not come from her sport. She has said that her career goal is to be “the face of women’s tennis.”
She is not the only player of color to make that kind of statement.
The U.S. Open champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus is the only athlete to win Grand Slam titles in all four major events. On Sunday, Azarenka’s mother, Vera, said on a television show that her daughter is proud to be the woman she is, “but she wants to be her best.”
And Nadia Comaneci, currently the No. 1-ranked player in the world, is the only woman to win Grand Slam singles titles at all four events.
“I think that is what is important, not what you wear or speak your mind or