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‘I DON’T WANT TO OVER-PUSH’: Serena Williams Asked Her Dad to Coach Daughter Olympia Because She’s ‘Too Nice’

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Serena williams and her daughter,

 

 

Serena Williams isn’t sure how to give her daughters that same extra push her dad gave to her and sister Venus Williams.

Speaking to The New York Times about her new documentary series In the Arena: Serena Williams, the tennis pro and mom of two, 42, was asked about her dad, who famously coached his two daughters to become tennis greats after seeing something in them when they were little. Williams is mom to daughters Olympia, 6½, and Adira, 9 months, whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian.

Asked if she sees something yet in her two daughters, Williams says she’s not sure. “I always look at my dad, and I think, ‘How were you able to do that?’ Because I’m like, ‘Oh, they’re so cute. I just want them to relax and I don’t want to over-push them,'” she responds.

“But I would be devastated if I wasn’t pushed, because we wouldn’t be having this interview and there would never have been a Serena Williams. So I feel so fortunate that I had an opportunity to have that extra oomph.”

 

Serena williams and her daughter

However, Williams shares that she’s having a hard time “connecting to that extra push,” which is something she’s been trying to figure out. “Because it’s definitely worth it, I can confirm from experience,” adds the professional athlete.

“But what do I see? The 8-month-old is so tiny, but Olympia is such a bright light, and she’s so athletic, to the point where it’s just not even humanly possible,” Williams continues. “Even Venus, she was like, ‘That kid has more talent than you and I combined,’ and she’s not lying.”

“So I can see how my dad may have seen some potential in us. I’m just trying to figure out a way to harness all that. I already told my dad, ‘Maybe you have to coach her, because I’m too nice.'”

In April, Williams spoke with PEOPLE for the 50th Anniversary cover story and said she’s started telling Olympia more about her career now that her daughter is older.

 

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“I told her the other day that she actually was in my belly when I won a big tournament, and she was surprised,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said. “She’s at an age now where I can kind of open up to her a little bit more and she can understand things more, whereas she didn’t really understand before.”

And there’s a few things Olympia has picked up on without her mom’s help. Williams said that while they live a fairly quiet life outside of big cities like Los Angeles or New York, Olympia realized her mom is kind of a big deal.

 

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“Olympia’s now at an age where she’s like, ‘Listen, I am wondering why are you so famous? Mommy, how do they know your name?’ I’m like, well…,” Williams said, laughing. “I don’t live in the heart of L.A. or anything, I’m in a more quiet area where I’m very low key and I try to do all the normal mom stuff and all the normal life things.”

“I said, ‘You know how mommy is a little famous?’ She’s like, ‘No, no, no, you’re really, really, really…’ And I’m just like, ‘Oh my god, no, no, no.’ She was like, ‘No, yes you are. You’re a great tennis player.’”

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