When Serena Williams isn't competing on the tennis court, you can find her gushing over her new baby.
On Sept. 1, 2017 she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. A little over a month after that, on November 16, she tied the knot with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Sr. in New Orleans.
In a recent cover story for Vogue, the 36-year-old opened up about the impact motherhood is having on her career and the No. 1 lesson she hopes to teach her daughter.
Williams plans to return to the court in March, and has made it no secret that her eyes are still set on winning 25 Grand Slams titles. Currently, she holds 23 wins and is just shy of surpassing Australian tennis player Margaret Court, who holds 24 titles.
When her goal was 18 wins, in order to tie with tennis legends Christine Evert and Martina Navratilova, Williams recalls how she made the mistake of allowing the stress of the game to negatively impact her performance.
"I had lost every Grand Slam that year," she said. "I was in the U.S. Open, and Patrick [Mouratoglou], my coach, said, 'Serena, this doesn't make sense. You're so stressed about 18. Why not 30? Why not 40?'"
She had a light bulb moment and realized there was no benefit to limiting her success.
"Why would I want to stand side by side when I can stand out on my own?," she said. "I think sometimes women limit themselves. I'm not sure why we think that way, but I know that we're sometimes taught to not dream as big as men, not to believe we can be a president or a CEO, when in the same household, a male child is told he can be anything he wants."
She says the simple lesson she learned from her coach is the same lesson she hopes to pass on to her daughter.
"I'm so glad I had a daughter," she says. "I want to teach her that there are no limits."
In an episode of "Kneading Dough," an interview series on which athletes discuss financial topics on LeBron James' website, Uninterrupted, Williams elaborated on her wishes for her daughter, especially if she decides to play sports.
"If my daughter were to play a sport, and she was able to have equal prize money and equal pay or equal rights," she says, "I feel like that would be a success, too."
Since giving birth, the tennis star says her daughter has changed her outlook on many things, including her career.
"Knowing I've got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don't have to play another match," she explains. "I don't need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don't need them. That's a different feeling for me."
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