‘Fearful My Whole Life..’- Chris Evert Takes Own Example to Prove King Richard’s Grit to Train Venus and Serena Williams Like True Champions

Published 08/27/2022, 5:50 AM EDT

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Arguably the greatest female tennis player of all time, Serena Williams will play her last tournament at the US Open this year, as the fans are getting ready to give farewell to one of their most beloved tennis players. Meanwhile, another great American Chris Evert gave credit to Venus and Serena’s father Richard Williams for making the Williams sisters fearless, both on and off the court.

In a recent interview with ESPN, Evert opened up about the lives of many retired players, as she talked about Serena and her success off the tennis court.


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Chris Evert talked about Richard Williams’ influence on Serena’s career

In the interview, Evert said, “What impresses me the most is just off-court influence and how she’s influenced young women to own their power, to speak their mind, to be fearless… And you have to give Richard Williams a lot of credit for that because he taught his girls to be fearless.


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Moreover, she compared her own career with Serena’s, as she talked about living in fear. When you grow up with a parent or parents that teach you to be fearless, I think that’s a plus. And that’s really important because I was, like, fearful my whole life. [Laughs] It was like, can I start over? I’ll start over in my next life, be fearless,” Evert further said. 

Earlier, Evert compared Serena with the great Billie Jean King, as both of them changed women’s tennis for the better. Apart from that, Evert also praised the 23-time Grand Slam champion for her amazing work off the court, as she has become a very successful businessperson.

Evert once slammed Serena Williams for her off-court distractions

In 2006, Evert wrote an open letter to Serena where she urged the tennis star to focus on her career instead of spending her time on other endeavors. Notably, Serena had many injuries during that phase of her life, which sidelined her for many months. During that time, she was focusing on business and starring in movies, among other things.


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Watch This Story: Serena Williams’ invincible winning streak once made Chris Evert retract her words from her open letter

Such off-court involvements irked the likes of Evert as she slammed Serena and told her to focus for the next five years of her career, to get the most of her prime. In 2007, Serena made a tremendous comeback to tennis, as she won the Australian Open as the world no.81 in the WTA rankings.


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Later, she went on to win a few more Grand Slam titles, which made Evert to apologize to Serena. The 18-time Grand Slam champion felt that staying away from tennis may have saved her from burning out too early. Since then, Evert has been praising the American tennis player constantly, as Serena has become one of the greatest tennis players, if not the greatest.

Currently, Serena is gearing up to play the last Grand Slam tournament of her career at the US Open. She will start her campaign on day 1 (29th August) against Danka Kovinic.


Written by:

Debkinkar Maity


One take at a time

Debkinkar Maity is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. His desire to become a sports journalist inspired him to take up a degree in journalism and mass communication, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Following the sport for over a decade now, Debkinkar has an ardent love for Roger Federer.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas