One thing I love about Serena is that she keeps so much out of the public eye - she knew that people were (and still are) doubting her fitness, but only now that she feels vindicated does she talk about it. It makes me think of how before the final she was asked how she would spend her time until the match and she replied that she’d be hanging out in her hotel room. For all we know, her hotel room has a built in gym, or Nintendo Wii tennis! She’ll never give away her secrets! A true competitor…
Speaking here on Saturday night after her victory, Williams recalled struggling to breathe during one training session at Bradenton, having been ill the day before. “I said: ‘Nick, I’ve been running stadiums, I’ve been doing stairs, I’ve been working out, I’ve been running miles.’ I was so frustrated and I was in tears. Nick said: ‘Serena, don’t worry about it. It’s going to come.’ That was awesome.
“I remember another time when I did a five-kilometre run. Afterwards Nick said in his rasping voice: ‘Serena, it’s going to happen.’ It’s little things like that I remember. OK, I didn’t go on to win the US Open last year, but I stayed focused, kept working, kept running those stairs and those miles.”
Until her victory here the cynics still doubted her desire. Williams said that what had hurt most were the suggestions that she was unfit and overweight, particularly as she says she is the same size and weight as five years ago.
“I felt I was really fit,” she said. “Because I’m larger in some areas than other girls and don’t have a flat chest and a flat ass, people said I wasn’t fit. But I was looking in the mirror today and I said to myself: ‘Am I fit or what?’ My waist is 28 inches.
“I went three sets with Shahar Peer and Nadia Petrova here and the next day I practised at seven in the morning. I wasn’t tired at all. I was ready for the whole tournament. I was never not ready, even though I feel I could be better.” Independent Online