Serena Williams: I never wanted to be the sportswoman that I am.

Serena Williams has done it all in tennis, but there’s so much more to come from this legendary U.S. Open champion. This interview is with CNN’s Dr. Sanjana Kukathas. She’s director of the Program on Women and Gender at Northeastern University, and author of the new book, “Playing with Power: Women and Sports in America.”


SANJANA KUKATHAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Serena Williams is one of the most successful tennis players in history. But in her new book, “Playing with Power,” she says she hasn’t always been who she is today.

SERENA WILLIAMS: I never wanted to be the sportswoman that I am. I wanted to be the player that I was. I thought I was a very big-time athlete, and I wanted to just have fun.

KUKATHAS: But when she turned professional, she says there was a shift. She had to make adjustments. She had to figure out what fit and what did not fit in her new life, that’s what she would tell me.

WILLIAMS: I felt like I could be successful only if I could be the most powerful and attractive person in sports, but they didn’t want me in the sportswoman’s body that I am…. They wanted me to be the athlete that I wasn’t, and they wanted me to be the athlete that I am not. You know, so everything that I didn’t like about myself, they didn’t see me that way.

KUKATHAS: Williams was born in Houston, Texas, and was adopted when she was two days old from India. Her parents moved a lot while she was growing up. But as she got older, she didn’t want to move.

WILLIAMS: You know, I always want to be home. I always feel like I have to be home. I never felt

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