THROWBACK: Serena Williams Received a Special Gift from NBA legend Michael Jordan at Australian Open

Published 12/24/2020, 2:06 AM EST
Serena Williams of The United States is congratulated by her sister and opponant 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)


Serena Williams has made no secret of the fact that she ‘likes surprises’! Over the course of her long and illustrious career on court, the American has reached the pinnacle of women’s tennis and has made millions in prize money and endorsements. 

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Yet, she bursts into childlike excitement when a surprise gift lands in her kitty. And one such moment arrived, on air, after Serena clinched her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in 2017.

The championship took her past German legend Steffi Graf’s haul of 22 Major titles and put her a gallop or two ahead in the race for ‘GOAT’ in women’s tennis.

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The American was on a live show on ESPN SportsCenter when one of the anchors directed her attention to a package that had arrived for her. It was, as the anchor put it on air, a surprise gift from a fan who by no means is less accomplished than herself.

The Air Jordans were in Serena’s favorite colors

An ecstatic Serena took hold of the package and unboxed it to find two pairs of sneakers from American basketball legend Michael Jordan. Apart from the special sneakers, or Air Jordans as they are called, the package also had a note from the legend himself.

“Winning is hard, it takes years of hard work, mental toughness, and a willingness to accept the fact that you hate to lose. Congratulations with much respect on winning number 23. It will be a privilege to keep watching your determination on the court. Your friend, Michael Jordan,” said the note, which Serena read out loud on the show.

The two pairs of sneakers were in cherry red and pink, which Serena said were her favorite colors. The super trendy footwear was custom made, with the number ‘23’ inscribed on each one of them.

Serena Williams said she couldn’t believe she’s saying ‘thank you’ to the ‘greatest’

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Gushing over the heartfelt gesture and token of appreciation from her special friend, Serena said, “This is so awesome! Thank you Michael, thank you Michael Jordan. I can’t believe I’m saying ‘thank you’ to Michael Jordan and he’s still the greatest. That’s pretty awesome!”

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WATCH – When Serena Williams Received a Gift From Micheal Jordan at Australian Open

about 1 year ago

Serena lifted her 23rd Major trophy, beating sister Venus Williams in straight sets. She later revealed that she was eight weeks pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia at the time.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

835 articles

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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