At 40 years of age, Venus Williams may not be one of the top-ranked tennis players but there’s no denying that she’s a legend within the sport. After a first-round match, Williams spoke with the media and shared how she handles the media drama that continues to surround her with laser-like precision.
Williams, speaking after the loss to Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova at the 2021 French Open, was asked about how she’s handled the media pressure that’s been a constant in her life and that of her younger sister, Serena Willians.
“For me personally how I deal with it was that I know every single person asking me a question can’t play as well as I can and never will,” Williams said. “So no matter what you say or what you write, you’ll never light a candle to me. That’s how I deal with it. But each person deals with it differently.”
Williams’ response is no doubt due to the recent hubbub around Naomi Osaka, who has withdrawn from the Grand Slam tournament due to mental health concerns and stepping away from mandatory media appearances after matches. Osaka was fined $15,000 and threatened with expulsion from all the major tournaments but instead opted to sit this one out.
Serena Williams said something similar when asked about Osaka’s decision, saying that the criticism from the media and the tough and sometimes invasive questions made her “stronger,” to quote her directly. Other tennis greats have chimed in with support for Osaka, along with players from other sports such as Stephen Curry.
Check out Venus Williams’ epic response to the media below. Keep scrolling for reactions from Twitter.