“I Thought I Was Hot”: Venus Williams Reveals How She Dealt With Criticism on Her Muscular Build

Published 06/24/2021, 1:28 PM EDT
New York Empire vs Washington Kastles from the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.


Veteran tennis star Venus Williams has opened up on facing criticism in her early years as a professional tennis player for having a muscular build. Younger sibling and 23-time champion Serena Williams had also faced similar flak over her physique in the initial stage of her career.

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During a virtual chat, to a question on the criticism that the Williams sisters copped, the seven-time Grand Slam champion said she couldn’t care less about the critics as she was safe in the knowledge that she was “hot”.

She said she simply shut her ears to all the external noise around her, knowing that her detractors can never reach her level.

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“My job was to win matches”

“I thought I was hot. About those people, I didn’t know what they were saying, they weren’t out there at the level that I was. So, many times, it’s people who — it’s literally their job to talk and write a story and sell a paper and be a commentator, whatever it is,” Venus said.

She added that her job was to play tennis and win matches and that is precisely what she focused on.

The five-time Wimbledon champion added that she had immersed her mind and body into tennis and didn’t bother what got said and written about her.

“My job was to win matches and that’s what I did. I was very focused on what I needed to achieve and I didn’t get involved in all that other stuff,” she added.

Venus said she seldom reads what the media writes about her, adding that as long as a person knows who or how he or she is, it matters little what others think.

She added that she got her self-assuredness from her other sisters and parents.

Serena Williams of the United States is congratulated by her sister and opponent Venus Williams of the United States following their ladies singles third round match on Day Five of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Recalling her upbringing, the 40-year-old American said she was raised to be a “confident, strong woman”.

Venus Williams says the tennis siblings were raised to be strong, confident women

“A combination of both, definitely parents, you weren’t allowed to be…you had to be strong and we were taught to be confident, strong women,” Venus said.

The veteran champion added that she took the lessons from her parents to heart and they helped her deal with all the unflattering talk and unsolicited opinions in later life.

Watch This Link: Legendary Siblings: Serena Williams and Venus Williams’ Cherishable Moments at the French Open

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“I believe what my parents told me and they brainwashed me in the very, very best way possible. My brain is clean,” Venus added.

DIVE DEEPER

“That’s the Dream”: Venus Williams Reminisces Facing Sister Serena Williams

3 months ago

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Still roaring at 40, the American is all set to return to Wimbledon where she made some of the best memories of her career.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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