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post #1291 of 1294 (permalink) Old Feb 4th, 2017, 01:15 PM
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Re: Interviews & Articles

Beautiful layout and the pictures of her are GORGEOUS! If someone knows how to paste the article where it includes the pictures, please tell me


HUMANITY: So, you’ve been a professional tennis player for three decades. What keeps you motivated?

VENUS WILLIAMS: Three decades? I’m 36.

HUMANITY: But you started playing professionally in the ’90s …

VW: But I feel like it’s probably been more like two decades. I don’t need another decade added to my life and career—don’t make me older than I already am, please!

HUMANITY: No, of course not. You’ve just accomplished so much. When you’ve accomplished as much as you have, what gets you going?

VW: I love what I do. I love the challenge and I appreciate it. I think that makes a big difference, when you appreciate what you do. It makes you want to strive and be the best at it and bring out your best. That’s what I want to do every time: Bring out my best and prove that to myself.

HUMANITY: Did you feel that way when you were a little girl starting out?

VW: Perhaps. But I really didn’t think too much. I just loved playing. Subconsciously, or when you look back, you have to think … you have to love it because it’s a ridiculous amount of work and you give up so much. If you don’t love it, it’s impossible to keep that sort of pace.

HUMANITY: What do you love about it?

VW: Of course, I love competition. I think that’s the best part, but also I love the physicality of it. I love putting in the work, and then when you go out and get the results, I think that’s probably the best part. But when you don’t get the result it’s upsetting because you know you have to go back and work even harder, and oftentimes you go back and work harder and harder and harder until you get to where you need to be.

HUMANITY: What advice would you give to kids who dream of being a professional athlete? What would you tell them?

VW: I would say, first off, enjoy it. Enjoy it and believe in yourself, because a big part of it is believing. Everybody’s good, everybody’s trained hard, a lot of people have put in the work, but at the end of the day, do you have the confidence? If you step out there confident, then it’s pretty hard to be beaten. But it’s not easy to step up confidence. It’s a challenge. It’s tough.


HUMANITY: Where do you find that confidence? How did that get instilled in you?

VW: I think I was raised to be confident. That was how I was taught, but also, you’re not going to feel confident every time. So sometimes it’s about portraying that confidence. It’s about faking it. It’s about doing whatever it takes to step out there and do what you need to do to perform, and that’s on the tennis court but also off of it, just in life. You can’t expect to be a hundred percent always, but if you believe in yourself things can start to fall into place.

HUMANITY: The meaning of success can change over time, and I imagine maybe what you thought when you were younger is different now. How did you think of success when you were starting out versus how you think of it now?

VW: In my family, success wasn’t really defined by anything at all. It was more or less defined by being a good person. We weren’t really taught, “Oh, you have to win to be successful” or you have to do this or that. We were taught to go out there and try to be a success at the things that you try, so I think I have a more relaxed definition of success, even though I’m a really hard worker and I push hard. I don’t really define my life on the wins or losses or any of those things. I feel like those aren’t the defining moments in my life.

HUMANITY: So what does success mean to you now?

VW: Success for me is being able to live my life with no regrets. To be able to look back and say “I enjoyed my life. I had a good time whether it was win, lose or draw. Whether it was a tough time in life or a good time, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed living.” I think that’s very important. It can’t be a successful life if you didn’t enjoy it. Then what’s the point? Just giving your best every single time. You can look in the mirror and say “I tried. I gave it all. I know I left nothing.” That, to me, is success.

HUMANITY: As a kid growing up, who were your sports heroes?

VW: I only watched tennis, so … I loved Boris Becker and I loved Monica Seles, but I wasn’t like, “Oh, my God. I’m so wrapped up into this, I have to be exactly like them.” I thought they were cool, but I also was just focused on my own goals. But I always just admired their game style and of course their tenacity.

HUMANITY: Who are some of your heroes off the court?

VW: Definitely my mom and my dad, and Serena is a huge hero for me. I think all my heroes are close to home, because those are the ones that motivated me through the tough times.


HUMANITY: What values did they instill in you or did they have that really makes you look up to them and appreciate them so much?

VW: My parents taught us to be our own person and to be confident and take risks, to work hard, to believe in ourselves—all those things that you’re supposed to do but sometimes don’t. That was everything. Then of course Serena is so courageous, and I’ve learned so much from her in life and in tennis. She’s definitely been there for me every single moment whether she meant to or not, just showing the way.

HUMANITY: Did your parents teach you any mantras growing up that have stuck with you?

VW: My dad always said a lot of different things, like “A slow walker is a slow thinker.” And I’ve always walked very fast. I don’t know. My dad and my mom said a lot of stuff. But we were always taught to put God first.

HUMANITY: Sounds like you had incredible support growing up. Any thoughts to how you would approach parenting?

VW: I don’t know. I would hope to be not lazy. I have a dog, and taking care of him seems like a lot sometimes. I do my best, but last night I came home and his water bowl was empty and I felt like such a bad mom. I was literally thinking to myself I don’t know how I’m going to have a child. It would be so hard. That’s the hardest job in the world.

HUMANITY: You broke a lot of barriers of race in tennis—were you aware of what you were doing at the time?

VW: I wasn’t thinking about that. It was about reaching my goals, and I wanted to play pro and to play in major tournaments. I was more focused on that than anything else.

HUMANITY: Was there a point, though, where you did realize that what you were accomplishing was really a big deal?

VW: I don’t see myself as a big deal. I see myself as someone who’s working toward her goals, and I’m still fighting to live my dream out there. So maybe at some point I’ll step back, I don’t know. I feel like I’m caught up in still trying to be more.

HUMANITY: What about the idea of you being a role model to so many?

VW: It’s not necessarily that I ever think “Oh, I’m a role model” or that you’re aiming to be one. It’s just that you realize there’s certain things I probably shouldn’t do because that just wouldn’t be good for myself or others. There is a point when you think about that.

HUMANITY: You’ve advocated for equal pay in sports for women. Why is that important to you besides the obvious? How did you decide to get involved?

VW: I think oftentimes people find themselves involved in things that they weren’t planning on. It’s just about standing up for what you believe is right. For me it’s more and more important to get involved and give back to the next generation. Tennis has given so much to me that I feel I’m at the point where I just want to try to find ways to support others in their goals. And obviously, with equal pay in sports it’s the greater issue of inequality that exists everywhere, unfortunately. It’s sad that we still have to fight for that. The fight for equal pay was really just a bigger conversation of what’s happening around the world with women in the workplace, and I just want to be a part of correcting it.


HUMANITY: What kind of messages do you hope to put out into the world? What do you hope people can take away from your story?

VW: I hope people are inspired to live their dream, because there’s nothing as exciting and amazing as living your dreams. I definitely hope to inspire people to do that.

HUMANITY: As a professional athlete your career ends when you’re still very young. Have you thought about a career after tennis?

VW: We were taught to think about our life after tennis and to develop who we were. That was part of our upbringing. I guess our parents just wanted us to not just be an athlete because that would be so one-dimensional. They really encouraged us to not be defined by our accomplishments in sports.

HUMANITY: You just got your bachelor’s degree last year, and did I read that you’re working on another?

VW: Yes, in business. I’m working on my MFA for interior architecture now, and if I go back again it will be to get my doctorate so people can call me Dr. Williams!

HUMANITY: One thing that women seem to struggle with in general all over the world is this feeling like they need to be beautiful. You’re someone who is really beautiful and in the spotlight. I think sometimes it can be hard for people to see someone like you and ever imagine that you struggle with different things, like feeling not beautiful or feeling not valuable. Have you had moments like that, and can you share what gets you through them?

VW: Everybody wants to be beautiful. I think it’s how we’ve been trained, not because being beautiful is important but because society has placed a value on it. So it’s really the psychology and philosophy of it all, but I think there are moments when you look in the mirror and think “Whoa, what happened to me?” But honestly I’m more focused on what I’m accomplishing than what I look like. That’s always been how I felt. What am I accomplishing when I wake up in the morning? It’s about how do I get better, what am I achieving? That’s pretty much what I recommend—focus on what you want to accomplish. It doesn’t matter what you look like on the outside. You can look amazing, but in the end it’s what we do.

HUMANITY: Can you talk a little bit about your relationship with Serena? How you manage to be the ultimate competitors and each other’s ultimate fans too?

VW: We walk on the court. We push each other whether we’re playing against each other or not. We’re playing side by side or in practice and I want to see her win. A win for her is a win for me, and I think she feels the same. It’s pretty much just that simple. We have a lot of fun and a really great time. She’s a blast and very funny. She’s my little sister but she always has a lot of great advice.

HUMANITY: What’s some of the best advice she’s given you?

VW: The best advice she ever gave me in terms of tennis or even life is, you have to show up, so why not compete? You have to be there. You can’t run away from it, so why not compete? That was the best advice ever. I try to apply that daily.

HUMANITY: You’re cemented in tennis history. What do you hope your legacy is, both in tennis and just beyond?

VW: I never really dreamed of a legacy that much. I’m definitely a very in-the-moment person, so I would just like to be remembered as a person who loved the game and gave back to the game and gave back to life.

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post #1292 of 1294 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2017, 09:28 PM
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Venus Williams Designed Her Latest Athletic Wear Collection to ‘Bring Energy to Your Workout’

Sometimes a cute workout outfit is all the inspiration you need to get to the gym (or tennis court), and Venus Williams’ new Intrepid collection for her active wear lifestyle brand EleVen is a must-shop for anyone who needs that extra push.

Her Spring Summer 2017 line (which will be available online Feb. 16 will also be sold at tennis clubs around the country) includes tanks, tennis skirts, zip-ups, leggings, sports bras and more in her new black and white “Intrepid” print, pink, yellow, black and white.

“My inspiration was bringing in energy to your workout, so there are some bold colors, like the pop of berry pink,” Williams, 36, tells PeopleStyle. “And black-and-white is so easy to wear, so it just makes it easy to put it on. It’s motivation to start moving your body and to start doing something healthy for yourself.”

Fit and function were paramount to the star when designing the line.

“Our clothes have UV-ray protection, they wick sweat, they’re antimicrobial, and at the same time they allow you to move,” says Williams, who worked directly with her line’s technical designers. “We went through every single new piece and talked about the fit, exactly how it works, and translating my own drawings. It’s a whole process and I love it.”

When it comes to buying athletic apparel, the sports bra is sometimes the most difficult to shop for — but Williams promises her line’s bras are supportive for women of every size.

“We have a joke that our bras fit every woman in our office,” she says. “Some are a little light on top and some are a little heavier, so we all give it a try and see how it goes. What’s important is the fabrics that you choose, the construction, the layering of the fabrics — it all goes into making a bra that works for everyone.” Fun sidenote: Her sister Serena also designs ultra-supportive sports bras!

Williams’ favorite piece from her new collection is the Raceday Tank, which features a racer back and a back pleat.

“I wear that all the time,” says the tennis pro. “It works for every body type, and it’s a top that’s somewhat form-fitting but you get a little room for error, so it’s very flattering and comfortable to wear.”

As she gears up to compete at the BNP Paribas Showdown in N.Y.C. in March, Williams has more than just the match to look forward to.

“We’re going to have some of the ushers and some of the ball persons wearing our clothes!” she says. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re playing in Madison Square Garden, which is so historic, so it’s going to be great to play there and also to showcase the line there.”

source -> Venus Williams Launches New Intrepid Collection for Her EleVen Activewear Brand

Simona Halep. Sorana Cîrstea,Jelena Janković,Samantha Stosur,Victoria Azarenka,Sabine Lisicki,Caroline Wozniacki,Monica Niculescu,Petra Kvitová,Belinda Bencic,Irina-Camelia Begu,Lucie Šafářová,Madison Keys,Donna Vekić,Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova,Angelique Kerber,Elina Svitolina,Agnieszka Radwańska,Venus Williams,Andrea Petkovic,Camila Giorgi,Zarina Diyas,Karolína Plíšková,Carina Witthöft.
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post #1293 of 1294 (permalink) Old Mar 10th, 2017, 07:57 PM
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Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, and More Celebrate World Tennis Day at the Annual BNP Paribas Showdown

“It was awesome,” said Venus Williams. “We appreciate those moments more and more. When you look across that net and see your sister, that’s the dream.”

“Dreams” were the go-to theme on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, as World Tennis Day was celebrated at the annual BNP Paribas Showdown—wherein all-star doubles teams face off on the tennis court—and by the United States Tennis Association Foundation, which raised $130,000 at a cocktail party and fundraiser before the matches.

Venus was, of course, talking about playing Serena Williams in the final of the recent Australian Open, but the USTA Foundation assists dreams of a different kind, bringing tennis, education, and opportunities to more than 225,000 under-resourced youth each year.

“Tonight is about the kids,” said Dan Faber, executive director of the foundation. “We’re trying to raise awareness and we’re trying to raise money to fulfill our mission, which is serving up dreams to help under-resourced kids across the country through the powerful combination of tennis and education. We just reached the 25 million dollar mark of moneys that we have distributed out through our grassroots programs.”

The night included panels—emceed by ESPN’s Chris McKendry and 18-time grand slam winner Chris Evert—made up of top stars like Venus, Andy Roddick, Nick Kyrgios, Jack Sock, Kei Nishikori, Garbiñe Muguruza, Juan Martín del Potro, and Lleyton Hewitt.

Evert, who grew up playing on public courts, said that playing with other kids in programs “made it a team sport for me . . . That’s the best thing any sport can do for a kid . . . help make them part of something bigger,” she told a crowd that included donors like the Scharf family (dad David Scharf had tuckered himself out on the court earlier, hitting with Del Potro) and actors such as Scandal’s Norm Lewis. Later, Nancy Kerrigan and her Dancing With the Stars partner, Artem Chigvintsev, conducted an auction, selling off tickets to a taping of DWTS. “If you’re going, can you at least please vote for us?” Kerrigan asked the winner.

When Del Potro took the stage, so tall he had to duck, Evert asked him about his wrist injuries, which took him out of the game for much of last year before he returned to win a silver medal at the Olympics and lead Argentina to their first-ever Davis Cup victory. He lamented returning to tennis after an absence to face a raft of young players, who move so quickly and hit the ball “so hard.”

“Yeah,” said Evert, who played her first major tournament when she was 16, in 1971, “You’re old.”

Age won’t be stopping Ms. Williams. “Venus just told me she’s going to play ’til she’s 60, which will be fun to watch,” said Andy Roddick—who first caught a glimpse of the Williams sisters when he was 8 years old, at tennis camp—while onstage with Venus. He’s taken a step back from tennis to focus on his family. “I have a 17-month-old boy at home. Now that’s the best thing in my life. He’s pretty cool. He poops a lot.” The mediators noted Venus’s work in women’s rights, as a “champion of equality” as well as the good work she’s done on her own, and with her sister, in low-income neighborhoods, particularly Compton. What does it mean for Venus to give back? “It means everything.” A star and champion of both the courts and humility inspires the right kinds of dream.

source ->Venus Williams and Andy Roddick Celebrate World Tennis Day at the Annual BNP Paribas Showdown - Vogue

Simona Halep. Sorana Cîrstea,Jelena Janković,Samantha Stosur,Victoria Azarenka,Sabine Lisicki,Caroline Wozniacki,Monica Niculescu,Petra Kvitová,Belinda Bencic,Irina-Camelia Begu,Lucie Šafářová,Madison Keys,Donna Vekić,Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova,Angelique Kerber,Elina Svitolina,Agnieszka Radwańska,Venus Williams,Andrea Petkovic,Camila Giorgi,Zarina Diyas,Karolína Plíšková,Carina Witthöft.
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post #1294 of 1294 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 2017, 04:38 PM
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It’s about time we give Venus Williams the credit she deserves
The 36-year-old is one of the best tennis players in the world, so why is she underappreciated?


It’s about time we give Venus Williams the credit she deserves
By Maya A. Jones

Venus Williams, of the United States, returns a shot against Angelique Kerber, of Germany, during a quarterfinal match at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams defeated Kerber 7-5, 6-3. AP Photo/Mario Houben

@MJay 615
March 31, 2017
Shortly after defeating No. 1-ranked Angelique Kerber in the Miami Open quarterfinals on Wednesday, Venus Williams found her father, Richard, to share her joy over the 7-5, 6-3 victory. It was her 15th career win against a No. 1 player and her first in three years.

Richard Williams gave tennis two of its greatest gifts in his daughters, who have dominated the scene for a little over two decades. He shielded his daughters from the harsh realities of growing up in Compton, California, while instilling in them the ability to dream big and focus on becoming the best tennis players they could be.

And that’s exactly what Venus Williams went on to do:

Forty-nine WTA singles titles and 22 doubles titles.
A combined singles and doubles record of 929-178.
Seven Grand Slam singles titles.
Four-time Olympic gold medalist.
One of the top 20 players in the world with a current No. 12 singles ranking.

Venus Williams of the USA reacts after defeating Angelique Kerber of Germany following their quarterfinal match at the Miami Open tennis tournament on Key Biscayne, Miami, Florida, USA, 29 March 2017.
She lost Thursday at the Miami Open, so the victory over Kerber will get some applause. There will be a few write-ups about the touching moments shared between father and daughter and at least one mention of her as an underdog. Then deafening silence.

Williams isn’t getting nearly enough of the credit she deserves.

And that’s our fault.

For the longest time, Williams was the face of African-American female tennis players. This is a fact that younger sister Serena never forgets.

Through the years, countless interviews, intoxicating highs and soul-crushing lows, Serena Williams has always been adamant about letting the public know that her big sister is the one who created the Williams legacy.

“There’s no way I would be at 23 without her,” Serena Williams said after beating her sister in the Australian Open to win her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam in January. “There’s no way I would be at one without her. There’s no way I would be anything without her.
“She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist.”
It’s a fact often forgotten when it comes to the Williams sisters. Though the pair are only a year apart in age, it was Venus Williams who made a name for herself and paved the way for Serena to shine through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Although the Williams sisters aren’t the first black women to dominate tennis, they are the face of today and remind us that racism and prejudice are still very much alive, and sometimes boldly expressed, when they step onto the tennis court.

In January, Venus became the oldest woman to reach the Australian Open semifinals. At 36, she continues to play very well for the love of the game and against her biggest competition: herself.

We often forget Williams’ heart and her ability to play through not only her diagnosis of exercise-induced asthma but also Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue, aching, swelling and debilitating joint pain. It’s a subject Williams never shied away from. She discussed the disorder in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue in 2014.

“I realized I can still perform, but all the stuff that I used to do and train and just be superhuman, there’s no need,” Williams said during the interview. “I can still win and compete and be amazing without having to drill myself into the ground, which I used to love to do.

“For me, it’s about being out there and proving something to myself. I gotta know that nothing was defeated, and I held my head up high no matter what situation I was in — win, lose or draw.”

So salute Venus Williams, a powerful black woman who isn’t afraid to fail, who laughs through the pain, who shows nothing but love and support for her little sister, who continues to paint the court with her own #BlackGirlMagic, unapologetically, for all to feel and witness.

We see you, Venus.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.

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