In person, tennis champ Venus Williams is soft-spoken and humble. Not at all what you’d expect from someone who mixes goddess with monster on the court.
We caught up with the multi-Grand Slam and Olympic winner at Books & Books in Bal Harbour, where she met fans and signed copies of her new book, “Come to Win.” She chatted with us about her latest project, a collaboration with 50 A-list friends such as Vera Wang, Denzel Washington, Soledad O’Brien, Magic Johnson, Billie Jean King and Bill Clinton.
How did you decide who would share their story in “Come to Win?”
“The common denominator was that they are all unbelievable at what they do. They really brought something new to what they’re doing. At the same time, they all play sports. A lot of people didn’t know that.”
Tell us about the book.
“It’s really about bringing your best game and preparing yourself for that win. When you’re out there in your game, doing
whatever that is, it’s about preparing yourself for the mental, physical and emotional work. It’s about having that attitude going into life.”
What are secrets to success?
“On and off the court, it’s about reinventing yourself. Always staying fresh and new and revaluating your situation because it’s not always going to take the same thing to win. Whatever you’re a part of, you have to continually stay fresh.”
What would you say to someone stuck in a rut?
“My recommendation is to find something you love and enjoy. It’s hard to feel stuck when you’re doing something you enjoy. Try to find new ways to keep yourself educated — whatever field it is. For example, my main field is tennis, so I didn’t want to wear the same tennis dresses this year. I’ve taken it up another level to try to find ways of having fun on the court, even if it includes something I’m wearing.”
In the tennis world, you’re known as a fashion icon. What are your style tips?
“Find something you feel good in, and don’t feel self-conscious. You should be able to look in the mirror, like what you see and feel good about what you’re wearing. You can always choose a style icon. Someone you look up to. I think when you work on it, it comes with time.
In Iconoclasts, hip-hop singer Wylcef taught you how to play the guitar. Do you have any other musical aspirations?
“I was choking the whole time! It was too hard! I think I need to work on it a little more.”