So Serena Williams has won Wimbledon again, and it's all over for another year. No more discretely trying to watch big matches on your screen at work or using holiday days to stand in the drizzle queuing for tickets. But even though the tournament is over, our massive girl-crush on Serena Williams shows no signs of abating. Why? Because she's totally ace. (When a pun works, you work it hard.)
She's a straight talker
When a journalist asked her at a press conference last week how she felt about being called one of the greatest female athletes in the world, she replied 'I prefer the words 'greatest athletes of all time.'
She's for equal pay
When asked if she thinks female tennis players should get the same prize money as male ones, Williams responded, ‘I don’t deserve to be paid less because of my sex. Yeah, I think we deserve equal prize money. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you happen to write a short article, you think you don’t deserve equal pay as your beautiful colleague behind you?’ Mic drop.
She's an incredible friend
Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg had said that Serena was a constant support to her in the early stages of her bereavement when her husband died. 'I just kept getting these messages from Serena, literally every couple of days—for months. Texts, messages, voice mails. She would write, "You have all my strength" or "You are the strongest woman I know. You will get through this."'
She's all about supporting other women
Just because she's competitive on the court, doesn't mean that attitude translates to her real life. Serena is a massive advocate for supporting each other. 'The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you're very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.'
Even losing doesn't deter her
Playing professional sport means that sometimes you end up losing in front of a world audience, but when that happens, Serena refuses to be crushed. 'With a defeat, when you lose, you get up, you make it better, you try again. That's what I do in life, when I get down, when I get sick, I don't want to just stop. I keep going and I try to do more. Everyone always says never give up but you really have to take that to heart and really do never definitely give up.'
Confidence isn't a problem
Serena is seriously feeling herself, with confidence in spades and she's not ashamed of it. She basically embodies #ConfidenceGoals. 'I’m really exciting. I smile a lot, I will a lot, and I’m really sexy.'
Family means everything to her (even when she's playing her sister)
It can't be easy competing against someone who shares your DNA, but Venus and Serena haven't let the game come between their relationship with each other, even if things get pretty heated on court. 'Family’s first, and that’s what matters most. We realise that our love goes deeper than the tennis game.'
Hard work, not good luck
Serena is a grafter and she's not ashamed to admit it. It takes a life time of work to become one of the world's greatest players, and Serena isn't pretending otherwise. 'Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.'
And she's a seriously tough cookie
'I'm not used to crying. It's a little difficult. All my life I've had to fight. It's just another fight I'm going to have to learn how to win, that's all. I'm just going to have to keep smiling.'
She's competitive AF
Which might explain why she's won pretty much every trophy going. Even better, she's got no qualms about admitting how much she likes being on top and how much she wants to stay there. 'I can’t become satisfied, because if I get satisfied, I’ll be like, "Oh, I’ve won Wimbledon, I’ve won the U.S. Open. Now can I relax.” But now people are really going to be fighting to beat me.'
She's a straight up inspiration
'I’ve had people look down on me, put me down because I didn’t look like them — I look stronger. I’ve had people look past me because the colour of my skin, I’ve had people overlook me because I was a woman, I’ve had critics say I [would] never win another Grand Slam when I was only at number seven — and here I stand today with 21 Grand Slam titles, and I’m still going.'
Our one takeaway from this? #BeMoreSerena.
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis have to miss an A-list event for a very relatable reason
By Jenny Proudfoot
Kate Middleton's Monica Vinader necklace is currently 30% off in the Cyber Monday sale
Snap it up before they sell out
By Penny Goldstone
Princess Kate's "image change" is reportedly down to her upcoming portrayal in The Crown
By Jenny Proudfoot