Serena Williams: Iron Woman of Tennis

Last year, the world got to watch Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes of all time, complete an epic sports season. She tore through the tennis world on her historic quest to win all four major tennis tournaments in a year, known in tennis as a calendar year Grand Slam. She ended up winning three, losing the US Open at the end of the year, and finished 2015 with a 53-3 overall record.

She also got her second “Serena Slam,” winning the four major championships consecutively, though not in the same year (’14 US Open, 2015 Australian Open, French Open, & Wimbledon). With a new year comes a new tennis season, and another chance to watch greatness in action and history unfold.

Here are reasons why Serena Williams is an absolute Iron Woman.

She’s Resilient.

Serena has faced many peaks and just as many valleys during her long career. After a series of injuries and setbacks in 2011, she hired a new coach, worked on her strengths and weaknesses, and came back stronger than ever, winning eight Grand Slams since 2012.

The feat is even more incredible when you consider she did this after turning 30!

Serena Williams

She’s Healthy.

Although it was suspected throughout 2015, at the end of the season, Serena revealed that it wasn’t a tournament she played in where she wasn’t sick. It was more evident during the French Open and Wimbledon, but Serena battled illness all year, which makes her three championships and 53 wins even more epic.

Serena Williams

She is Comfortable with her Body.

Serena Williams physical appearance is a symbol of female strength and beauty. However it also has been the subject of public criticism and body shaming, a double standard that is not burdened by most male athletes. Instead of listening to her detractors, Williams is confident in her body. I realized that you really have to learn to accept who you are and love who you are,” Williams told the New York Times earlier this year. In an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts, she also noted, “I am a full woman and I’m strong, and I’m powerful, and I’m beautiful at the same time.”

William’s body confidence sets a great example for all female athletes, especially runners. Instead of picking apart our perceived flaws, it’s important to be comfortable in our own skin.

Serena Williams

She is Confident about her Goals.

It’s not enough to just set goals. We also have to believe in them 100 percent. Even at an early age, Williams has been committed to being the best. In a new Gatorade commercial, Williams is interviewed as a young athlete and asked who she wants to be like. Her response: “I want other people to be like me.”

Our goals may not be winning a Grand Slam, but they are no less important. When doubt begins to creep in, think about this quote from Serena: “I don’t have time to be brought down, I’ve got too many things to do. I have Grand Slams to win, I have people to inspire, and that’s what I’m here for.”

Serena Williams

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