Whether you’re an avid fan of tennis or you’ve never picked up a racket or watched a game in your life, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of Serena Williams.
Born in 1981, Serena took up tennis at the age of four. She and her older sister, Venus (also a world-renowned tennis star), were schooled by their father, Richard Williams, who taught them how to play on public courts in Los Angeles, California. Serena immediately developed a love for the game, and in 1995, at 14, she started playing professionally, just a year after Venus went professional.
The duo garnered great attention thanks to their powerful serves, impressive groundstrokes, and incredible athleticism. In 1999, Serena won the Grand Slam singles title and the US Open.
Her career took off; since then, she has earned millions of dollars in prize money and numerous awards. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranked her the singles world No. 1 for an astounding 319 weeks. She also has a joint record of 186 consecutive weeks in that position.
Serena has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most won by any player in the Open Era. In addition, she holds the record for the second-most singles titles of all time, following Margaret Court. In 2016 and 2017, Serena was the highest-paid women’s athlete in the world, earning $29 million. In 2017, she was the only woman to appear on the Forbes list of 100 highest-paid athletes.
These are just some of Serena Williams’ claims to fame. Recently, she added another incredible title to her repertoire: Mom. In April 2017, she shared with the world that she was pregnant. Then, on September 1, 2017, she welcomed her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr.
How does Serena manage such a highly demanding and high-profile life? The following is a snapshot of a day in the life of one of the greatest female tennis players.
Serena rises at around 7:00 a.m. and starts the day with her family over a healthy breakfast.
Breakfast foods vary, but examples of items on the menu include oats, fresh fruit, almond butter, and supplements to boost her metabolism. She admits that pancakes and honey buns are two of her favorite treats. Often, she enjoys them when she’s taking a break from training.
In an interview with CNBC in 2019, Serena revealed that eating healthy is easier than it sounds. She said, "I just got off tour, and the week after, for like four or five days, I ate so bad,” and that she “… felt so sick from eating badly, eating stuff that I’m not supposed to eat."
After breakfast, Serena usually grabs her racket and starts playing at about 8:00 a.m. She frequently plays with her sister and father. The trio plays together for several hours while Serena perfects her game.
At about noon, Serena heads off the court and breaks for lunch, which often includes a light salad with mixed greens, mandarin oranges, cherry tomatoes, and other healthy foods.
After she’s had some downtime, Serena goes back to training. She has said that she loves dancing. “I’ve been taking dance classes because it’s actually super challenging. I have a lot of friends that take it with me.” She also does plenty of stretching and recovery; physiotherapy and massage are significant parts of her recovery. She told CNBC that she finds stretching is “actually quite rejuvenating."
After a day of training, working out, and stretching, Serena Williams spends the rest of her day with friends and family. She’s been quoted as saying, “tennis is just a game; family is forever.”
While she does love the game and is very serious about it, she loves her family and friends even more. She is committed to finding a balance between training and her personal life.
Serena is quite active on Instagram, and at about 8:00 p.m., she checks in and updates her social media accounts. She has been open about her sleep struggles and co-founded a company with other celebrities called Sleep Sheets, a natural sleep aid containing melatonin. Her ideal bedtime is 11:30 p.m., and she says she tries to avoid staying up past 1:00 a.m.