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Serena Williams
“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble.”
“I just never give up. I fight to the end. You can’t go out and say, ‘I want a bag of never-say-die spirit.’ It’s not for sale. It has to be innate.”
“I’m really exciting. I smile a lot, I will a lot, and I’m really sexy.”

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“Victory is very, very sweet. It tastes better than any dessert you’ve ever had.”
“Luck has nothing to do with it, because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.”
“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.”
“Growing up I wasn’t the richest, but I had a rich family in spirit. Standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen. I went on a court just with a ball and a racket and with a hope.”

“When you’re playing the best player in the world, you’ve got to play well.”
“I’m definitely not a fearless individual.”
“There’s one thing I’m really good at, and that’s hitting the ball over a net, in a box. I’m excellent.”
“I feel as a brand I’m here to be around for a long time.”
“I was just tired of losing… Life was passing me by.”

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“There’s always another record, then there’s always another person to catch up with or to pass.”
“With a defeat, when you lose, you get up, you make it better, you try again. That’s what I do in life, when I get down, when I get sick, I don’t want to just stop. I keep going and I try to do more. Everyone always says never give up but you really have to take that to heart and really do never definitely give up. Keep trying.”
“I am lucky that whatever fear I have inside me, my desire to win is always stronger.”

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“I am not a robot. I have a heart and I bleed.”
“If Plan A isn’t working, I have Plan B, Plan C, and even Plan D.”
“I love who I am, and I encourage other people to love and embrace who they are. But it definitely wasn’t easy – it took me a while.”
“If you can keep playing tennis when somebody is shooting a gun down the street, that’s concentration.”
“If anything, you know, I think losing makes me even more motivated.”
“I decided I can’t pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it.”
“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life – got to learn to keep smiling. If you smile things will work out.”
“Tennis just a game, family is forever.”
“You can be whatever size you are, and you can be beautiful both inside and out. We’re always told what’s beautiful and what’s not, and that’s not right.”
“Nothing comes to a sleeper but a dream.”
“I always say that when I’m playing well, no one can beat me. I’m not just saying that to sound full of myself or anything, but it’s true.”
“I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top position.”
“I’m an athlete and I’m black, and a lot of black athletes go broke. I do not want to become a statistic, so maybe I overcompensate. But I’m paranoid. Oprah told me a long time ago, ‘You sign every check. Never let anyone sign any checks.’”
“Think of all the girls who could become top athletes but quit sports because they’re afraid of having too many defined muscles and being made fun of or called unattractive.”
“Everyone’s dream can come true if you just stick to it and work hard.”
“I’ve always considered myself the best and the top. I never considered that I was out of it.”
“I’ve always been a fighter and I’ve always fought through things my whole life.”
“I’m not used to crying. It’s a little difficult. All my life I’ve had to fight. It’s just another fight I’m going to have to learn how to win, that’s all. I’m just going to have to keep smiling.”
“All my life I’d woken up to tennis, tennis, tennis. Even if I don’t go to practice, I’m thinking about it all day.”
“We all know who the real number one is. Quite frankly, I’m the best in the world.”
“I think in life you should work on yourself until the day you die.”
“Family’s first, and that’s what matters most. We realize that our love goes deeper than the tennis game.”
“People see me on the court only as a superhero, grunting and winning. They think you’re a robot, and I’m not.”
“Hopefully, we can build a rivalry and we’ll be able to do this a lot. Make a legacy, then retire champions.”
“I want to be a giving woman and just a nice person in general.”

Photo: Edwin Martinez

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