Sports Parenting

In The Presser With Serena

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I was really excited to see Serena Williams play Sloane Stephens yesterday in Arthur Ashe Stadium. I, as many did, figured it would be an incredible match with both women coming into the US Open playing top-notch tennis. The first set was pretty competitive, but Serena really buckled down in the 2nd, winning 6-4, 6-1.

When the match ended, I hustled into the Media offices to catch Serena’s press conference.  I didn’t get a front row seat in this one, but I was still pretty darn close! The interview started with several questions directly related to Serena’s match with Sloane. I sat patiently waiting my turn to ask a question.

“Growing up with your parents as your coaches, what advice do you have to parents of young players that are trying to get them to the place you’re at in your career?”

Serena answered: “Wow. I’ve always said if you work hard, you’re diligent, you have fun, there’s nothing that can stop you. I’ll continue to say that because I think it’s very true.”

After a few more questions that had absolutely nothing to do with tennis parenting (!), I got a chance to ask a second question.

Me: “If or when you have kids, will they be tennis players?”

Serena: “I don’t . . . I hope not.”

Me: “Why?”

Serena: “You know, it would be tough, I guess. I never thought about that. Whatever they like, it will be fun.”

It will be interesting to see what happens in a few years with this current group of pros. I wonder if their kids will follow in their parent’s footsteps or will forge new and different paths in life . . .

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