Serena Williams Shares How Her Daughter Comforted Her After Losing A Big Match
“And I literally wanted to cry... it was the sweetest thing ever...”
Among Serena Williams’ biggest supporters, aside from her family and husband, Alexis Ohanian, is definitely her daughter, Olympia. During an appearance on The Drew Barrymore Show on Sept. 28, the G.O.A.T shared how her 5-year-old daughter comforted her after she lost to Emma Raducanu in the women’s singles opening round and little girl’s words might make you emotional, too.
“Apparently, she was saying, like, 'Go, Mama. I'm so proud of you.' And I was like, 'What?’” Williams, 41, shared with Barrymore about what Olympia had said in the stands at the match. And following her loss to Raducanu at the US Open tournament in Cincinnati, Olympia was there to tell her what she needed to hear.
“After I lost in Cincinnati, she came back and she's like, 'It's OK, Mama. You just have to do what you feel.' And I literally wanted to cry... it was the sweetest thing ever, and I was so proud of her,” Williams shared.
She also revealed that her daughter didn’t start coming to her matches until very recently, to prevent Williams from being too distracted. “Well, I just was afraid I would get distracted 'cause I would be like, ‘wait, is she drinking?,” she shared with Barrymore.
Indeed, Williams recalled one time Olympia came to one of her matches and the thoughts that were going around in her head. “I was like, oh my God, is she wearing sun cream? Like, is she? It's nuts,” she said. “And so I would get stressed out. I'm thinking, ‘oh my goodness, wait a minute, I gotta serve. This makes no sense.”
Williams and Ohanian welcomed their daughter to the world in September 2017, and the tennis pro has always made motherhood her top priority. “We’re not spending a day apart until she’s 18,” she told Vogue in a 2018 cover story with Olympia, who was an infant at the time.
After 27 years, 23 Grand Slams, and four Olympic gold medals, Williams announced her retirement from tennis last month in an essay for Vogue. “I have never liked the word retirement,” she wrote. “It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people... Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Between the release of her new children's book The Adventures of Qai Qai and whatever career ventures she takes on next, Williams will always have Olympia to turn to when she needs some comfort.