Serena Williams Reveals Distressing Way of Punishing Herself After a Loss

Published 10/25/2021, 11:30 PM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 06: Serena Williams of USA looks on during her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan on day eight of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 06, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)


23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is inarguably one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports. However, she did not become one without having a fair share of losses. But for champions, defeats are only a learning lesson, and so were those in Serena’s case. Fascinatingly, the tennis queen disclosed how she punished herself when she was younger after every defeat she suffered on a tennis court.

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First of all, the now 40-year-old shared that she would watch the tapes of lost matches and punish herself. Later on, Serena admitted that it “helps you play better.”

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Serena Williams on what she learned from her match defeats

Tennis greats have a unique thing or two that helps them improve their game on the tours. Some custom themselves to rituals, whereas Serena Williams watched the tape of the matches she lost.

“One thing I did as a punishment when I was younger, if I lost a match, I would get a tape of the match and watch it. And it was like reliving the loss again,” Serena said.

LONDON – JULY 3: Maria Sharapova of Russia poses with her trophy after she won against Serena Williams of USA (R) in the ladies final match at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship on July 3, 2004 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in LondonSharapova won 6-1 6-4. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Although it was harsh, it seemed to push the four-time Olympic gold medalist in the right direction. Additionally, she also revealed how the tapes helped her play better.

“But in a way, it was always learning what I did wrong and watching and knowing all the mistakes I made and why I lost the match. And that’ll make you play better because, for me, it was nothing worse than reliving that lost moment,” Serena concluded.

Courtesy of all those tapes, the American professional has the record for most Grand Slam titles in the Open Era. And, she is still chasing her next one even today.

When will Serena return to the tennis tour?

Presently, Serena is undergoing recovery of her injured right knee. Hence, there is no confirmation on whether she will play any tournament until the end of the 2021 season.

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Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Serena Williams of the U.S. leaves court as she retires from her first round match against Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich after sustaining an injury REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Most likely, the tennis queen will make her comeback next year during the Australian Open 2022. Not to forget, she is only one major trophy behind Margaret Court’s all-time most Grand Slams record.

Hopefully, Serena will recover soon and return to training, as fans can’t wait to see her energy back on the courts. Until then, Serena continues to make the most of her break, spending time with her daughter Olympia.

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Do you think Serena will win a Grand Slam in 2022?

Watch this story: Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams Lead the List of Most-Followed Tennis Players on Instagram

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Purav Joshi

1357 articles

Purav Joshi is a Senior Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 1000 tennis articles.

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