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Serena Williams Explains Why She Didn't Want Her Daughter to Play Tennis

The star originally wasn't sure about her three-year-old following in her footsteps.

Serena Williams may be one of the most decorated tennis players of all time, but that doesn't mean that she was automatically going to push her three-year-old daughter Olympia Ohanian into the sport. In fact, in a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the sports star explained that she originally didn't want her daughter playing tennis at all. Keep reading to find out why and what changed Williams' mind on the subject. And for more insight into her home life, Here's a Rare Photo of Serena Williams' Adorable Family of Three.

Serena Williams said she originally didn't want her daughter getting into the "stressful" sport.

Serena Williams with daughter Olympia

"It's all consuming. It's stressful. It's a lot of work. It's a huge commitment, and it might be a little dab of pressure on her," Williams told Stephen Colbert in a Jan. 26 interview. Given that Williams has 23 Grand Slam titles, it makes sense that she'd be concerned about her daughter feeling as though she had to live up to her success.

But that doesn't mean that Williams would have tried to keep Olympia out of the sport if it was something she decided to pursue on her own.

"I wouldn't naturally put her in it, but if that was something that she wanted to do, I would absolutely be like, 'Oh my gosh, you should totally do that,'" the player continued. "And I'd be rooting for her and supporting her, but it wouldn't be the first thing that I would do." For more celebrity news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

But COVID-19 changed the tennis star's plans.

Serena Williams' daughter Alexis

Like most of the rest of the world, Williams and her family have been sheltering in place at home due to coronavirus restrictions. And, as you probably guessed, they have a tennis court on their property.

"I never thought I would let my daughter play tennis, but then during this pandemic, it was the only thing that we could do safely, so I'm like, well, tennis it is," she continued. For more on Olympia's progress, check out Serena Williams Is Absolutely Beaming Over Her Daughter Playing Tennis.

Williams already sees herself in her daughter's playing.

Serena Williams' daughter Alexis

"She's a perfectionist on the court. I'm not quite sure where she got that from," Williams laughed. "But yeah, she loves it."

The tennis star isn't taking all of Olympia's training on herself, however. Back in October, Williams shared a video on her Instagram Story explaining that she'd signed her daughter up for tennis lessons. As Insider reports, Williams told her followers that the new instructor had "no idea" that their new pupil was the daughter of a Grand Slam champion, but she wanted her daughter to learn proper technique from someone other than herself. For more on the Ohanian-Williams family, check out Serena Williams' Husband Defends Her Against Body Shaming Comment.

Williams is preparing for her first tournament of the year.

Serena Williams competing at the 2015 Madrid Open
Jimmie48 Photography/Shutterstock

Williams was speaking to Colbert from Australia, as she's preparing for the Australian Open. She explained that players, staff, and their families have to quarantine for 14 days before being able to safely gather and eventually compete.

"It's insane and it's super intense but it's super good because after that you can have a new normal like what we were used to last year this time in the United States," she said. "So they're doing it right and it's definitely hard with a three-year-old to be in a hotel all day, but it's worth it, because you want everyone to be safe at the end of the day." The Open kicks off officially in early February. For what you need to know about the current state of the virus, check out This Is How Many Cases of the New Strain Are in Your State.

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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