Serena Williams: From Grand Slam Tournaments to the Olympics in Beijing, Tennis Champ Pushes Summer Fun to the Next Level

By Cannick, Jasmyne A. | Ebony, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Serena Williams: From Grand Slam Tournaments to the Olympics in Beijing, Tennis Champ Pushes Summer Fun to the Next Level


Cannick, Jasmyne A., Ebony


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From the romantic streets of Paris to the sunny beaches of Southern California, Serena Williams is poised for her busiest summer yet. In addition to competing in the Beijing Olympics this summer, the 26-year-old tennis star is hoping to reclaim her title as the world's No. 1-ranked female tennis player with the upcoming Grand Slam tennis events--the French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon tournaments. Serena, who has held titles in all four Grand Slam tournaments (the Australian Open's the fourth), gave EBONY the scoop on how she plans to spend the summer on and off the court--and hints at a yet undeclared romance with recording artist Common.

EBONY hung out with the 5-foot-9 beauty in Malibu, Calif., where she enjoys soaking up sun and learning French when she's not training. Having recently purchased a home in Paris, she wants to be able to order her meals in French at her favorite restaurant in Paris, El Mansour, which offers traditional Moroccan cuisine. With a place in Paris, Serena says it would be perfect to be able to win the French Open this summer and showcase the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen trophy in her new home.

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When Serena is training in Palm Beach, Fla., she spends time at a home she shares with her sister, Venus Williams, a six-time Grand Slam champion who has been taking some time off but is looking to get back in the game soon.

Serena readily admits that her favorite thing about summer is the weather. "It's great beach weather. Summer means you can just relax, even though I don't relax necessarily because I have to play so many tournaments," she says. "But still, I have a couple of weeks where I can take time off and just be with my friends."

When she's in Paris, Serena prefers to be low-key, "almost like a chameleon," she says. "I'll wear a hat, but ever since I cut my hair and colored it black, no one recognizes me as much, so it's been awesome. Before [when she was blond] I stuck out like a sore thumb, but now I am much more low-key."

Serena holds fond childhood summer memories of playing Uno with her four sisters. To recapture that time in her life, she plans to spend time this summer on the beach in Malibu soaking up the sun with family and friends, eating watermelon and playing her favorite game.

"Attending day parties where I eat hot dogs and hang with friends would be an ideal way to spend [a summer] day," she says, clearly focused on fun. "I love Uno. When you're out there on the water and there are no paparazzi around and you don't have to watch your back, you can just let your hair down and hang out. Now that's fun for me."

As for fashion, Serena, who keeps up with the trends, says that this summer, it's all about color, and the brighter the better. …

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