Birthday tribute to Serena Williams

By Lisa-Marie Burrows

Serena Williams celebrates her 31st birthday today. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Today is the 31st birthday of tennis star, Serena Williams and to celebrate her birthday, it seemed fitting to share some of her inspirational quotes, which have become infamous for shaping her professional and personal life over the years and during a flourishing career. Like a fine wine, she has continued to get better with age and her fantastic 2012 season proves just that.
Serena Williams has experienced many highs and some painful lows, but throughout these roller coaster times, she has never held back on sharing her thoughts and occasionally they have been somewhat controversial. Either way, as she has said: “I am not a robot. I have a heart and I bleed.” Here are some of the heartfelt quotes she has shared with the world during her acceleration towards tennis superstardom:

Her love for tennis
Despite having the world at her feet and the opportunity to explore many different things in life, Serena has always stayed faithful to her one true passion – tennis:

‘I definitely have found a balance. I’ve had so many offers in the past to do different movies or different things and I always choose tournaments over it.’

A fighting champion
Being on the tennis court has not always been plane sailing for Serena Williams, as over the years she has been embroiled in some tough battles against great competitors and her inability to give up has put her in good stead to stare defeat in the eyes and refuse to back down. The final against Victoria Azarenka in 2012 is a perfect example of her resilience and winning attitude where she delivered this inspirational quote:

“I believe that a champion is defined as such for their achievements but also for the times when they have fallen and were able to get back up again. I’ve fallen several times and every time I have got up. I’m stronger than before.”

A battle against her health
Like every athlete, Serena Williams has become accustomed to dealing with sporting injuries that can plague a sportsperson during their career, but she has dealt with preventing injuries well and always ensured her physicality is a top priority in her training sessions, however, there are some things which you cannot prepare for, which she has had to bravely overcome, including the deadly blood clot which prevented her from playing on the circuit:

“I was so tired at that point. I had a tube in my stomach and it was draining constantly. Gosh, I mean, right before that I had the blood clot. I had lung problems. I had two foot surgeries. It was a lot. It was a lot. I felt like I didn’t do anything to bring that on. I just felt down, it was just the lowest of lows.”

On her physique
Many have talked about Serena’s incredible physique and the power and intensity she brings to the game. There is no doubt she is a great physical specimen, but for her, she prefers a different part:

“My smile is my favorite part of my body. I think a smile can make your whole body.”

Family and friends
Throughout her career, Serena Williams has always credited her family and friends for her success and confessed that without them, many of her achievements would not have been possible:

“Tennis is just a game, family is forever.’

Of course, we cannot get forget her beloved sister Venus who has shared so many of the triumphs with her little sister:

“I don’t know what I would have done if Venus didn’t exist. I don’t even know if I would own a Grand Slam title or if I would be playing tennis, because we do everything together. Growing up I copied Venus. She was a really big influence for me. So when she started winning, I wanted it so bad. When she became No.1, I had to be No.1. I had to work harder. I had to do everything in my power to get there. I have no idea what would have happened if she weren’t around.”

Serena is enjoying a fantastic 2012 season and still has much more to look forward to. Happy birthday Serena Williams!