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Nouvelles sportives

Podcast. Serena Williams, win it at all costs

On September 2, in the largest tennis stadium in the world, the National Tennis Center in New York, American player Serena Williams lost a match against Australian Ajla Tomljanovic in the third round of the US Open tournament. More than the others, this defeat had a bitter taste for the tenniswoman, who hoped to go further in this competition, which she had hinted a few weeks earlier would be her last.

Applauded by the approximately 24,000 spectators who came to watch the match, the player paid tribute to her family, to whom she owes her career. Because Serena Williams could never have obtained twenty-three Grand Slam singles titles (a list that places her just behind that of Margaret Court, who obtained twenty-four) without her father, Richard Williams, who pushed them, she and her sister, Venus, playing tennis when they were just 4 and 5 years old and lived in an underprivileged neighborhood in suburban Los Angeles. Nothing predestined two little black and poor girls to become world tennis champions.

How did the Williams sisters arrive at such a sporting level? What assets allowed Serena Williams to break through, more than her sister, in a sport where no one wanted her, and to become an icon beyond the tennis courts? In this episode of the « L’Heure du Monde » podcast, Elisabeth Pineau, who covers tennis at the Sports department of the Worldtells us.

An episode of Cyrielle Bedu. Directed by: Florentin Baume. Credits music: Amandine Robillard. Presentation and editor-in-chief: Morgane Tual. In this episode: excerpts from Serena Williams’ speech at the US Open, September 2; excerpts from an interview with Richard Williams in the English program “Transworld Sport”, in 1992; e2009 and 2018 US Open match clips.

« The Hour of the World »

« L’Heure du Monde » is the daily news podcast of the World. Listen every day, from 6 a.m., to a new episode, on Lemonde.fr or on Spotify. Find all the episodes here.

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