We know Serena Williams is the G.O.A.T. athlete, but this week, we have evidence that she’s also on her way to being the G.O.A.T. mom. At least we are absolutely sure that she’s a champion multi-tasker, after her Top Seed Open match against Bernarda Pera in Lexington, Kentucky, on Tuesday.
It was Williams’ first match during the pandemic, and in the post-game press conference she told reporters that she actually appreciated playing without a crowd. But there was one very small distraction among the few people allowed to watch: her daughter, Olympia, who was sitting next to dad Alexis Ohanian.
“I didn’t even look over there,” Williams told a reporter who asked if she could hear her 2-year-old clap for her, since it was so quiet. “I think I heard her cough though. I know my baby’s cough.”
Oh, yes, we know that mama instinct. And here, she shared the most relatable mama worry: “She was drinking and she was eating grapes. And I’m then like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is she chewing? Make sure you chew.’ And then I’m like, ‘OK, Serena, stop looking over there.'”
Being the efficient athlete that she is, however, she managed the situation.
“So I didn’t look over there, but I kind of flashed my husband a look like, ‘Make sure she’s chewing her grapes because she shouldn’t be coughing while she’s eating grapes.'”
Dads probably also know that kind of look well, too. For his part, Ohanian seemed to have things covered.
“Mama back at work in Kentucky at the Top Seed Open,” he wrote on Instagram, captioning a photo of himself and Olympia in the stands. “And yes @olympiaohanian was busy on her phone probably checking up on @weareangelcity emails. Also proud #GirlDad flexing his hair routine on Jr today.”
Williams seemed able to embrace her instinctive reaction.
“That’s the new mom in me, and it’s good,” she said. “It was good to see her, even briefly.”
And then, unlike almost every other working mom, Williams was able to move on from that thought and win a freaking tennis match.
Maybe there’s a lesson in here for all of us, though: Sometimes, in order to win, you’ve got to hand over your parental worry to someone else and focus on your other goals — even if your baby is eating grapes.