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Serena Williams - What A Role...
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Serena Williams - What A Role Model

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

09:58 9 Jul 2018

Are you a girl looking to make a name for yourself in sport? 

Do you have a daughter hoping for sporting greatness?

We all suffer dips in confidence and get tortured by the question is your best good enough and even what does your level best look like?

Can you imagine the level of questioning when you make a name for yourself in world sport?

Staying there? How to break the glass ceiling? Are you being paid your true worth?

For direction on all of these issues you'd do a lot worse than follow Serena Williams career.

Ok there are some crazy things on her twitter timeline like this.

 

But as a north star for things like how to deal with things like pressure, greatness and rascism she nails it.

They are worlds apart in terms of titles and profile but 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and qualifier Evgeniya Rodina, who meet in the Wimbledon fourth round have one big thing in common.

Both are mothers - Williams' daughter Olympia is just 10 months old, Rodina's little girl Anna is five and a half years old. And the number of women who have returned to the professional game after taking time out to have children is still small enough that the presence of two mums at this stage of a Grand Slam remains a relative novelty.

Rodina, whose surname means 'motherland' in her native Russian, is enjoying her best ever Grand Slam performance, having never previously got beyond the second round. Williams, meanwhile, is chasing an eighth Wimbledon singles title and with just one of the top 10 women's seeds left in the draw she is becoming a lot of people's favourite.

The 36-year-old American's return to tennis has been to great fanfare - she has been the subject of a documentary, her daughter already has her own Instagram account and Williams' every match has been scrutinised for signs that she can return to her best form.

Rodina, 29, meanwhile, has a two-and-a-half-line personal biography on the WTA website, which says she likes swimming, listening to music and reading Dostoevsky.

It would be an incredible comeback for Williams to win the Wimbledon title just 10 months after giving birth, a difficult delivery during which, she has said, she "almost died". "It's amazing for me to be out here.

A year ago I was still pregnant," said Williams, who won the 2017 Australian Open while around eight weeks pregnant. "Then my delivery took a turn south fast, so that wasn't fun.

"But it's that that makes me appreciate that I'm out here, that I'm alive, that I'm able to be here and do well and to play well."

She's someone who has nothing further to prove and despite her success it's clear Serena remains grounded.

Herewith evidence that there are more important things in life.

 

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