The 35-year-old is due to give birth in the next four or five weeks but hopes to return in January at the Australian Open
SERENA Williams says she has been the victim of racist stereotyping as she reveals plans to return to tennis after the birth of her first child.
The 35-year-old is due to give birth in the next four or five weeks.
But as she announced her plan to defend her Australian Open title in January, just three months after having a baby, she claimed the public see her as “mean” because she is black.
Serena said: “I feel like people think I’m mean. Really tough and really mean and really street.
“I believe that the other girls in the locker room will say, ‘Serena’s really nice.’
“But Maria Sharapova, who might not talk to anybody, might be perceived by the public as nicer. Why is that?
“Because I’m black and so I look mean? That’s the society we live in. That’s life.
“They say African Americans have to be twice as good, especially women. I’m perfectly OK with having to be twice as good.”
Serena, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, announced she was pregnant in April, and missed this year’s Wimbledon.
She recently showed off her bump at a 1950s-themed baby shower with Destiny’s Child star Kelly Rowland, 36, singer Ciara, 31, and actress Eva Longoria, 42, in Florida.
Her amazing record now stands at 23 grand slam titles, one behind Australian Margaret Court’s long-standing record of 24 major titles.
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She revealed her comeback plan in an interview with Vogue magazine.
Serena said: “It’s the most outrageous plan.
“I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth. I’m not walking anything back, but I’m just saying it’s pretty intense.
“If I lose and I lose again, it’s like, ‘she’s done’.
“Especially since I’m not 20 years old. I’ll tell you this much: I won’t win less. Either I win, or I don’t play.”
The American added that she could have a few new tricks up her sleeve after analysing her game on television over the last few months.
She added: “I learn by watching. Or I watch old matches of myself on the Tennis Channel.
“I hit amazing shots and these girls are running them down and hitting winners, and I’m beginning to see why. It’s because I have patterns.”
During Wimbledon in June, tennis legend John McEnroe caused outrage by saying Serena would only be ranked no 700 in the world in the men’s game.
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