Serena Williams is considered to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Just last week she was named the highest paid female athlete in the world, but even she has insecurities.
Serena premiered her new documentary, “Serena” in New York City Monday night and revealed that she has struggled with her curves and accepting that she doesn’t have the “typical” tennis figure.
“You know when I was younger I wasn’t really comfortable with my body, I just wasn’t. If you look at most athletes they have a totally different figure than me,” she said during a Q&A with Gayle King after the Cinema Society screening. “But if you look at the physique of track players or tennis players, they just have a different physique and I just didn’t fit that.”
But Serena says she eventually embraced the body that carried her to win 21 Grand Slams. “It took me awhile to find the strength and the courage to embrace [my body] and then to come to feel like, ‘I love my physique.’” Serena said. “It doesn’t matter what people say about you or how people feel, you have to love yourself. When you love yourself, it will manifest in everything that you do.”
The documentary follows Serena’s emotional journey to the highly anticipated 2015 U.S. Open in 2015, which she devastatingly lost to Roberta Vinci. Immediately after, Serena went into a self-imposed hiding but explains why it was important to show fans such personal moments.
“I really wanted to share this experience with everyone, with the public, just of what it takes to be an athlete, the top player and the pressures that I feel,” Serena told CNN. “And then you know, show a different side of me as well. A little bit off the court and how I approach life. I also wanted to motivate people … my main goal was to be an inspiration and motivation.”
The documentary premieres on EPIX June 22 at 8pm ET.