Serena Williams Explained Why She Didn’t Want Daughter Olympia to Play Tennis

Serena Williams' tennis lessons with her daughter Olympia are consistently adorable—but Williams didn't always want her daughter to pursue her sport, she said.

  • Serena Williams didn't plan on daughter Olympia playing tennis, she revealed in a new interview with Stephen Colbert.
  • "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," Williams shared.
  • "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," she explained.

Serena Williams' tennis lessons with her daughter Olympia are one of the most delightful things on Instagram—but Williams didn't always want her daughter to pursue her sport, she shared in a recent appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. As Entertainment Tonight reports, Williams revealed that her daughter's already demonstrating her mom's skill with a racket, while explaining why she didn't plan to introduce Olympia to the "all-consuming" sport.

"She's a perfectionist on the court. I'm not quite sure where she got that from, but yeah, she loves it," Williams said of her 3-year-old daughter, who she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian. "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."

"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 added. "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.' And I'd be rooting for her and supporting her, but it wouldn't be the first thing that I would do."

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paris, france september 26 serena williams of the united states training on court philippe chatrier in preparation for the 2020 french open tennis tournament at roland garros on september 26th 2020 in paris, france photo by tim claytoncorbis via getty images

(Image credit: Tim Clayton - Corbis)

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.