Serena Williams Doesn't Love Tennis -- So What!

Serena WilliamsAfter winning her first round at the Brisbane International, Serena Williams made a couple shocking comments about the sport that has earned her so many tournament wins as well as a lasting career and a TON of money. She actually said she doesn't love tennis. Say what? "But I'm here," she continued, "and I can't live without it ... so I'm still here and I don't want to go anywhere any time soon." Whoah!

Upon hearing this, my first reaction was to be mad and blather on about how this goes against everything a sports superstar stands for. Athletes choose this profession because they're passionate about the game and they love it and they can't do anything else, right?

But then I thought about it a little more.

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Serena further explains: "It's not that I've fallen out of love; I've actually never liked sports, and I never understood how I became an athlete ... I don't like working out; I don't like anything that has to do with working physically."

I probably could have gone through life without hearing that she has no idea how she became an athlete, but I can understand where she's coming from. Many of us sports fans probably hold onto a somewhat false belief that all athletes who play sports for big money do so because they love it. Just like Serena said, because they "can't live without it." It's the romantic and hopeful side of the game. It's why so many of us love to watch -- it's for the "thrill of victory," the "agony of defeat,"  and all that wonderfully human drama of athletic competition.

But, like many of us who happened to stumble upon our careers, sometimes you end up doing whatever it is you're good at doing. For Serena, doing what she's good at just happened to mean lots of money and lots of fame. She doesn't necessarily have to "love" what she's doing simply because she's good at it. I don't see how we can fault her for acknowledging that, even if it bursts our bubbles a little. So let's give Serena a break on this one, shall we? We can talk about her crazy outfits instead.

What do you think of Serena not being in love with tennis?

 

Image via burnfilm/Flickr

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