As anticipated, tennis powerhouse Venus Williams lost to her younger sister, Serena, in a quarterfinal match-up during the U.S. Open on Tuesday night — but you better believe Venus won't let the loss get her down for long. "She's the toughest player I've ever played in my life, and the best person I know," Serena told press immediately after their match, according to The New York Times. Of their 26 matches against one another, Serena has won 15 so far, while Venus has won 11. As ever, Venus handled the defeat gracefully: "We don't have anything to prove. She has nothing to prove. She's really the best ever," the paper reported Venus saying in the match's immediate aftermath. These seven inspiring Venus Williams quotes prove that she's a powerhouse in her own right.
Recently, Venus has been enjoying a comeback after a series of injuries that sidelined the tennis superstar off and on since 2003, the most recent being a back injury she sustained in 2013. In addition to Venus' impressive record, she's also established herself as a highly regarded interior designer, as well as an author.
She also has her own clothing line — EleVen — putting her fashion degree to use and providing Venus with an eye-catching, unique wardrobe on and off the court.
Williams' 2010 motivational book on inspiring those in business, the medical profession, and the creative set by way of sports, Come To Win, is filled with great quotes, from the professional to the personal.
This particular gem from Come To Win particularly sticks out. Williams describes the ways in which failure can be a growing experience.
When you lose, you're more motivated. When you win, you fail to see your mistakes and probably no one can tell you anything.
On "Having An Attitude"
Likewise, her unapologetic quote in Come To Win on being your biggest advocate is incredibly motivating:
Some people say that I have an attitude. Maybe I do. But I think that you have to. You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.
On Being A Sister
One of Williams' sweetest quotes about her relationship with her sister, Serena, comes from an interview following Wimbledon in 2008. Venus beat Serena to net her fifth Wimbledon championship at the time, her last win at the tournament before being bested by Serena the following year. Despite the heated match-up Venus said her main priority was the bond between herself and Serena:
My first job is big sister and I take that very seriously! I've been working really hard and fighting for everything and I'm so happy at least one of us was able to win. We're just glad to be in the finals again and we hope it can keep happening.
On Learning From Your Losses
In an interview with USA Today about Come To Win, Williams talked about only the power of achieving your dreams but what losses can teach us. She had this to say about the way she internalizes loss:
Losses have propelled me to even bigger places, so I understand the importance of losing. You can never get complacent because a loss is always around the corner. It's in any game that you're in — a business game or whatever — you can't get complacent.
On Achieving Her Goals
Williams' determination and acumen is what sets her apart from other athletes and has propelled her to the top 25 tennis players in the world, despite facing a serious back injury that sidelined her from Wimbledon just two years ago. She's slowly returned to form and it is that tenacity that has continued to inspire people the world over. This particularly moving quote was included in Inc.'s list of motivational phrases for entrepreneurs:
I don't focus on what I'm up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.
On How She Lives Her Life
In addition to being one of the most famous tennis players in the world, Williams is also one of the most famous Girl Scouts. For the troops' 102nd birthday last year, the International Business Times included this inspiring quote in their list of famous quips from celebrity Girl Scouts:
My ambition is to enjoy my life and to do exactly what I want to do. And I'll do that. I will be free.
On Fighting For Equal Pay
Williams has not only advocated for the power of hard work and tenacity but has been a vocal proponent of equal pay, specifically in her industry of tennis. Speaking with espnW.com in 2013, Williams had this to say about the battle for fair compensation after working just as hard, if not harder, then her male counterparts:
I'm used to winning. I've lost, too, but in the overall scheme of things, I'm used to winning, and I'm used to not just winning by chance, but putting in the work and getting prepared enough to know I can get the win. I'm not afraid of hard work. None of us were. That was how I saw it — whatever it takes.
The U.S. Open as well as the French Open and Wimbledon stand as the three major tennis tournaments to fairly pay both male and female competitors. Winners of the U.S. open receive $3.3 million for besting their foes in the final alone, to say nothing of the prize money awarded as players make their way up the ranks.