At 11 years old, when Serena Williams was asked “If you were a tennis player who would you want to be like?” Serena responded: “Well, I’d like other people to be like me.”
That’s the legacy of Serena Williams starting to take shape. In many people’s opinion, its their mental strength that helped propel them into stardom. Their father, Richard Williams, constantly spoke them up to in front of others as well as at home. He always spoke to them as champions, even before their first tournament. But by age 11, Serena’s sister Venus was already a champion, and Serena herself had won 50 of 52 junior championships.
It was the mental wear and tear that prompted Richard to pull his daughters out of competition early on when the family moved to Florida. “These girls aren’t ready, mentally or physically. It’s too hard on the family,” Richard said. “Bringing the girls out later in their life will be better for our family, for the girls and for tennis.”