Serena Williams has just come back from tennis practice and collapses into a chair at her home in Beverly Hills. The only visible hints of her status as a tennis legend are the gold, racket-shaped earrings dangling discreetly from her ears.
“I’m exhausted. I’m going on, like, three hours of sleep in five days,” Williams says. “The baby got sick last night travelling.”
The hubbub at her house is not unlike family scenes unfolding at homes across America — except Williams is no ordinary working mom. For one, she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, (named after husband and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian), in September 2017, just seven months after winning her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open. Soon after she gave birth, blood clots travelled to her lungs, leading to a pulmonary embolism and several other serious post-labour complications that threatened to take her life. But even this hasn’t slowed her down.
It’s been a packed week for Williams. Just a few days earlier she was co-hosting a lavish baby shower for her friend Meghan Markle (now the Duchess of Sussex, following her marriage to Prince Harry, sixth in the line of succession to the British throne) at the Mark Hotel in New York. “Planning something like that takes a lot of effort. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m like, ‘Let’s make it perfect,’” she explains. “It’s been a lot the last few days.”
Today, Williams is gearing up for yet another star turn, this time at the 91st Academy Awards where she is set to introduce best picture nominee “A Star is Born,” featuring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
But that’s not all. On top of the tennis, the baby and her A-list social calendar, Serena Williams recently became the founder and chief executive of her own direct-to-consumer brand, S by Serena, her latest attempt to crack the fashion business.
I always joke with my husband that I never thought I would have my own start-up, but I have my own start-up now and it’s going pretty well!” she says enthusiastically. “It hasn’t even been a year. We launched 10 months ago officially, even though we’ve been working on it for two and a half, three years — and in my mind since I was a teenager.”
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@kalliminor and I have a lot in common—we both love tennis, and we both know what it’s like to be a young girl growing up in Compton. This courageous 12-year-old is launching a quarterly tennis clinic to give kids just like her the opportunity to learn how to play. Kalli knows equality doesn’t just happen, you have to make it happen. With kids like her in the game, it’s only a matter of time until we all win. What does #untilweallwin mean to you? #BHM