‘Gonna Fight’ – Serena Williams’ Life-Long Fight for Equality on Tennis Tour Inspired Megan Rapinoe to Make a Giant Promise

Published 08/23/2022, 11:31 AM EDT
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 05: Serena Williams of the United States shows her emotion to the crowd after winning her Women’s Singles semi-final match against Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine on day eleven of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 05, 2019 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Serena Williams is one of those players who can’t turn a blind eye to injustice. The 23 times Grand Slam champion has been vocal about social evils and has expressed her thoughts bravely. She never shied away from speaking on important matters, regardless of the outcome it might bring. Though, she isn’t all philosophies either.

Williams has taken steps toward the betterment of society and her community. Speaking of which, there was a time when people demanded her to focus on her game rather than working on social issues. But instead of breaking her will, they, in turn, helped her motivate others.

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Serena Williams’ powerful response

Williams is one of the strongest entities of tennis, both physically and mentally. Owing to the same strength, she took her stance fearlessly against the crowd, which consisted of veterans such as Billie Jean King. When asked about the accusations of losing focus. She said, “The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I’m in my grave.” 

The former World no.1’s words were powerful enough to motivate many, including Megan Rapinoe. Later, the American soccer star, while in an interview with NBC, said, “You know what? I’m gonna fight for equal pay every day, for myself, for my team, and for every single person out there.”

Further, the resistance Williams showed at that time has helped her built an empire that now can help the society grow. The seven times Wimbledon champion runs Serena Ventures that supports futuristic and welfare-based startups. One such company in which she recently invested is Karat. A company that aims to help black software engineers land jobs and grow.

Williams’ retirement tour

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The 40-year-old, after keeping out of the circuit for a year, made a singles comeback in Wimbledon. Though she couldn’t live up to the expectations of her fans and walked out of the event in the opening round only.

Veteran U.S. tennis player Serena Williams returns a ball during her match against Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic during the National Bank Open in Toronto, Ontario, Canada August 10, 2022. REUTERS/Cole Burston

Following that, she signed up for the WTA 1000 tournaments in Canada and Cincinnati and broke the news of her retirement. Williams planned a perfect farewell. It comprised playing for her fourth Toronto and second Cincinnati Open trophy at first and then eventually ending her career in the home-based Grand Slam.

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Watch this story: Richest tennis players in the world revealed and it’s not Roger Federer, Serena Williams or Rafael Nadal 

However, she suffered initial round defeat in both the hard court tournaments and now is left with the US Open only. Even though chances of her competing in the finals are low. Fans are still holding hopes of seeing her say goodbye in ‘Pete Sampras’ style!

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Mahima Verma

1034 articles

Mahima Verma is a Tennis writer for EssentiallySports. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. A sports enthusiast, particularly Tennis since her childhood, Mahima believes that she is fortunate enough to witness the legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams play.

Edited By: Manaal Siddiqui

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