11-Year-Old Serena Williams Predicts the Future in A Totally Adorable Video

"I'd like others to be like me." 

That's what Serena Jameka Williams said as an 11-year-old aspiring athlete when asked, "If you were a tennis player, who would you want to be like?" And that statement couldn't be more true today, as hundreds of girls all over the world work to emulate her game, power and charisma. 

Even from a young age, Williams had the bounding confidence and faith that just saw her expand her legacy to include an 18th Grand Slam singles title at the U.S. Open.

More than two decades ago, when IMG Media's Trans World Sport traveled to the United States to film Venus and Serena Williams, the superstar tennis players were just 12 and 11 years old, practicing in Florida and staying away from competitive tennis.


In the video, their father Richard Williams tells how he wanted tennis to be a ticket out of the Los Angeles-area Compton ghettos for his daughters. He wanted Venus and Serena's dreams of winning at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open to come true so his friends could see their matches from the coveted box seats and know that anything is possible.

Richard Williams said he decided to make tennis players out of his daughters when he saw a female player winning a $40,000 check on TV. "I thought, 'I make $56,000 in a year and she gets 40 to play for four days,'" he said. "'I'm surely in the wrong business.'"

Not for some decades now. Serena collected $4 million in prize money with Sunday's win, surpassing $60 million in career earnings, and accepted the victory in the most gracious way. "I never dreamed that I could be compared to Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova," Williams said after she tied them for 18 Slams. "I was just a kid with a dream and a racket living in Compton."

Image Credit: Getty Images

With 18 Slam titles, 13 in doubles and gold medals in three Olympic games, her absolute domination in women's tennis in the last decade is hardly questionable, but her legacy has gone far beyond that. She's being touted as the best female athlete and American tennis player ever, male or female, with more singles titles than Pete Sampras (14), Andre Agassi (eight) and John McEnroe (seven). 

And she's not done. 

"I'm just beginning," she said Sunday with a smile.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Smriti Sinha

Smriti is a multimedia journalist trained at the Columbia School of Journalism. Before moving to New York, she was a sports reporter at The Indian Express in New Delhi. She continues to cover issues in sports, women's and LGBT rights.

MORE FROM

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's website hacked with pro-ISIS propaganda

The same attack also hit government websites in Brookhaven, New York, and Howard County, Maryland, according to reports.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

10 of the DUP's MPs will vote alongside May's party in exchange for more than $1 billion of funds.

Supreme Court will hear case of baker who refused service to gay couples on religious grounds

The Supreme Court will take on the case of a bakery owner who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Health care opposition, Trump on Russian meddling & Pakistan tanker explosion

The important stories to get you caught up for Monday morning.

Dozens missing after tourist boat carrying more than 160 passengers sinks in Colombia

At least six people are confirmed dead and dozens more unaccounted for.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's website hacked with pro-ISIS propaganda

The same attack also hit government websites in Brookhaven, New York, and Howard County, Maryland, according to reports.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."