Serena Williams: I wouldn't encourage my children to play tennis
Serena Williams has revealed that if she were to have children, she would not encourage them to take up tennis.
The American, who turned 35 on Monday, has won as many grand slams as any woman in the Open Era but would be wary of any child of hers taking the same path.
Speaking to Sky Sports News at the opening of her coach Patrick Mouratoglou's new academy in Nice, Williams said: “I wouldn’t put them [my own children] in tennis. I wouldn’t stop them if they wanted to play tennis, but I wouldn’t encourage tennis.
“I wouldn’t want the stigma of mummy Serena, I think that would be a lot of pressure and I would like for them to do their own thing and have their own name and be the best at whatever they wanted to do.”
The world No 2 also discussed the fitness problems that have dogged her this summer, during which she exited the Olympics in the third round and was knocked out of the US Open in the semi-final by Karolina Pliskova.
“I have been dealing with a lot of health issues since Wimbledon, that has been really frustrating, I told Venus that it ‘ruined my Olympics’!”, Williams said.
There has been speculation that Williams' knee problems could prevent her from overtaking Steffi Graf and winning a 23rd grand slam singles title, but her coach Mouratoglou was bullish about her chances. The Frenchman said: “Of course she can win another slam. Winning one more is more than probable”.
For the moment though Williams is taking some time away from the sport, and it's possible she won't play again in 2016. Last year the American did not play after her heartbreaking US Open semi-final defeat to Roberta Vinci until the Australian Open four months later, where she was beaten in the final by Angelique Kerber.
Kerber, who has taken the No 1 ranking away from Williams after an unbroken spell of 186 weeks, has emerged as a genuine rival for the 35-year-old, and looks to be the main obstacle to her breaking Graf's record, which has stood since 1999.
To watch the full interview tune into Sportswomen at 11:30am today on Sky Sports News HQ. Sportswomen is the UK’s only dedicated weekly women’s sports show.