"I was really happy to get this far. For all the moms out there, I was playing for you today"
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 14, 2018
An emotional Williams spoke after her defeat and told mothers that they can still achieve great things after having a child and not to give up on career goals. “It was obviously disappointing but I can’t be disappointed. I have so much to look forward to. You know, I’m literally just getting started, so, you know, I’m looking forward to it,” Williams said. She shrugged off the label of “supermom,” saying she was “just me.”
Williams continued in the postgame interview, “To all the moms out there, I was playing out there for you today, and I tried… I look forward to continuing to be back out here and do what I do best.”
The tennis star was a single victory away from matching tennis icon Margaret Court’s record: 24 Grand Slams. This was only Williams’ fourth tournament since her daughter, Alexis Olympia, was born in September, with complications and surgery necessary for Williams following the birth.
Williams posted an inspiring, warm message on Instagram to her fans.
“These past 2 weeks was amazing. It also was a sound for all moms stay home and working you can do it you really can! I’m not any better or diff than any of you all. Your support has meant so much to me. Let’s keep making noise everyday in everything we do. I’ll be back (and soon too).”
At a press conference after her defeat by Angelique Kerber, Williams talked about how her priorities have shifted since Olympia was born. “Like, my priority is my baby,” she said. “You know, just being with her and doing things with her and spending time with her — it’s totally my priority. But it’s weird; I set my schedule so I have time. Like, I train in the morning and I spend the rest of the day with her, so I don’t get to be with her the full day, but a pretty good chunk out of the day.”
She continued at the press conference, “I just feel like to tell all the moms, like, I had such a long struggle to come back, and it was really difficult, and honestly, I feel like if I can do it, they can do it. I’m just that person, that person, that vessel that’s saying, ‘You can be whatever you want to be if you want to go back to work.’ And to me, after becoming a mom, I feel like there’s no pressure to do that because having a child is a completely full-time job but those that do want to go back, you know, you can just do it. You can really do it.”
At our SheKnows BlogHer ’17 conference, Williams spoke to attendees to explain how her own mother had served as her role model: “My mom has always been so strong for me. She’s been the woman that is just literally unbreakable. It’s something I’ve always looked up to and I think all my sisters look up to. So, in the midst of having a child, all of a sudden you start to think of lessons your parents taught you, especially my mom… I feel like all those lessons that she taught me of being so strong, of being proud of who I am, of being able to look anyone in the face and have confidence and speak with so much confidence is something I really have been able to embrace, and I would love to teach my kid that.”
Williams has proven time and time again — on and off the court — that she is a champion through and through. And Olympia is one lucky baby to come from that kind of strength.
P.S. We’re pretty sure her mom is going to break plenty more records.