Fans Are Rallying Around Serena Williams After She Claps Back At U.S. Open Reporter

·3 min read
Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images
  • Serena Williams has advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open, her last grand slam appearance after her retirement announcement.

  • After the win, Serena was asked by a reporter if she was surprised by her own impressive performance.

  • The tennis star responded with “I’m just Serena.”

Serena Williams knows who she is and what she’s capable of.

After she told Vogue that she is retiring, Williams is letting the world know that it’s not for lack of talent—just look at her U.S. Open performance. But, during a recent interview after her second-round win earlier this week, Williams was faced with a surprise off the court.

In a post-match interview, one reporter asked her an interesting question: “Are you surprised at yourself, with your level at the moment?” The reporter posed. And boy, did Williams clap back.

At first, she seemed to play off the cringe-worthy question, as if she didn’t hear it correctly, saying “what?” Then, when the reporter repeated the question, Williams simply smiled, laughing, and answered: “I mean…I’m just Serena, you know.”

After a follow-up question by the reporter, the tennis star continued to reply with confident answers: “Well, I’m a pretty good player. This is what I do best. I love a challenge and I love rising to the challenge,” she said. “I haven’t played many matches [recently] but I’ve been practicing really well…and the last couple matches here in New York it’s really come together.”

She then gestured to the crowd, saying “maybe I should have traveled with you all for all those years!” This wasn’t the first remark she’s made about her supportive fans attending her last few matches. The resounding applause at every play for Williams has been deafening, coming from the star-studded stands.

After the video of the post-match interview went viral, fans rallied behind Williams—because a woman should know her worth, just like the tennis pro is teaching us. In the U.S. Open’s Instagram post alone, the comments section was filled with much of the same responses, including remarks along the lines of: “What a dumb question!” one fan wrote. Another commented, “She has nothing to prove…she is just Serena.” And of course, too many goat emojis (referencing greatest of all time—GOAT) and comments to count.

Williams is, after all, one of the greatest tennis athletes of all time—perhaps even the greatest athlete of all time, period. With 23 Grand Slam titles under her racket, as well as a slew of Olympic medals, no one should be surprised by her performance.

And Williams has been vocal about her success. In a first-person account published in Vogue's September 2022 issue, the mother and olympian said, “I should have had 30-plus grand slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final,” she recalled, referencing her epic comeback after welcoming her daughter, Olympia, in 2017.

“I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression. But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually, it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”

Unfortunately, this is a choice too many mothers have to make. And by the way, she doesn’t like the “r-word”—retirement. “I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me,” Williams told Vogue. “A few years ago, I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family.”

So will the GOAT finish strong in her final matches? We know that we will be rooting for her!

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