Venus Williams’ Involvement In The Tennis Community And Beyond Goes Unmatched

Venus Williams

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The fierceness of Venus Willams goes unmatched, literally. And if you’ve seen her make a grand slam on the court (seven-time Grand Slam singles championships, to be exact), you’ll know why. Aside from being one of the world’s most celebrated women tennis players of all time, Williams’ involvement in and beyond the tennis community is second to none. 

Since her childhood, Richard Williams, father of Venus and sister, Serena Williams, has instilled a momentum in her that she has carried throughout all her ventures, which was exquisitely showcased in the recent film King Richard, with two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith staring as Richard. Amidst her commitment to the game, she created EleVen to give women quality activewear and has taken a stance on women’s equal pay, all while continuing to build upon her best self. 

While Williams has as of late taken a step back from the game, this has not stopped her from recognizing the tennis pros who have come before and after her. To kick off the upcoming tennis tournaments, the city of Miami, Florida was dominated by the annual Citi Taste of Tennis event. 

The night was spent eating cuisine prepared by leading chefs, drinking fine wine and signature cocktails, with a guest list of Venus Williams, Alexander Zverev, Monica Seles and Garbiñe Muguruza to name a few. As a Taste of Tennis veteran and fellow “food junkie and wino,” Haute Living had the chance to sit down with Venus to chat about each aspect of her life that has made her exceptional, on and off the court. 

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Venus Williams and Alexander Zverev

Photo Credit: Citi Taste of Tennis

We are here at the Citi Taste of Tennis event to kick off the upcoming tennis tournaments. What is the synergy between tennis and food?

I think that Citi Taste of Tennis has been creating a new synergy between tennis and food. All the players have loved this event for so long and it’s just synonymous with the tournaments. We have an opportunity to do amazing things for the community but also have some fun, and I’m not against fun. 

Would you describe yourself as a “foodie?”

I am a junkie and a wino, of course, I love food too. The fattier and sweeter, the better. 

As we are surrounded by leading chefs and top culinary perspectives of the world, how do you employ clean eating in your everyday life?

I have to, for vanity, even just for that, but also for health. You know, I want to wear my short dresses and I want to feel good when I wake up in the morning - all those different things. I’m a junkie, when you eat too much sugar you feel awful the next day. It’s all about balance. 

Do you think it makes a difference in your game?

I’d like to think so, if it hasn’t then I've been doing it all wrong for a long time. 

Chef Dayanny De La Cruz

Photo Credit: Citi Taste of Tennis

As one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time, how do you “pursue being your best self,” the mission statement behind your brand EleVen?

There is no other option. If you don’t pursue your best self then it is a life of regrets and I can live that way personally, it is too painful, so why not. 

In the film, King Richard, your dad said he knew that you were going to shake up this world. When did YOU know? What is the greatest lesson he’s ever taught you?

There were just a thousand lessons. There was one from the movie where he says “there is nothing more dangerous than a woman that can think,” and we all know that to be true but I am glad that is out there in the world right now. My dad was always out there just announcing it to anyone who would listen, the kings or the bums on the street, he was talking about how my girls are going to be the best. After some time,  I started to believe the rhetoric.

Do you think Will got it right?

I love Will. He got right, he took it personally, he took it to heart. 

Karina Rivera, Private Pastry Chef and Founder of Women Chefs 305

Photo Credit: Citi Taste of Tennis

Seeing your involvement in expanding equal pay, what is the one piece of advice you’d give women who are trying to distinguish themselves in the business landscape?

Take that chance on you. Whether you are an entrepreneur or whether you are working at any organization, bet on you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to point out what’s not right, otherwise, nothing happens. 

What makes you feel the most beautiful?

Lashes. I love lashes. I don’t wear a ton of makeup but the lash is the thing. 

And what beauty treatment can you not live without?

Scrubbing my face. That is pretty much how I keep my skin glowing. It is so simple but it works.