- Serena Williams, multiple winner of the Grand Slam title, says that she is nothing without God
- She is a recent mother
She recently gave birth to her daughter, Alexis, and is preparing to go back to the tennis circuit as early as January of next year.
Ranked as the #1 women’s tennis player in the world, and the sister to an equally impressive tennis champion, Venus, Serena attributes all her fame and success to “Jehovah God,” which is usually the first thing she says after a big win.
The 36-year-old and her sisters are Jehovah Witnesses, a faith that encourages members to separate from the broader world and discourages them from competitive sports on the grounds that it promotes nationalism, violence and celebrity.
Yet Williams and her sister, who have seemingly gone against the tenets of their faith, look at their faith as a secret weapon and choose to use their celebrity as a blessing that allows them to evangelize their beliefs.
“I have to thank Jehovah God for this,” said Williams after one of her wins at the Australian Open. “I was down and out and He helped me today and I just said prayers, not to win but to be strong and to be healthy and in the end I was able to come through so I have to give the glory to Him first and foremost.”
Williams and her sisters were introduced to this belief system by their mother.
However, this blessing has also been a curse at times.
Once, Williams was summoned before local church leaders after she allegedly threatened the life of a line judge who ruled against her, causing her to be disqualified.
Williams has also being in the negative limelight, at least in the eyes of her fellow Witnesses, for her skin-showing tennis attire and nude magazine portraits, which goes against the modesty that all Witnesses should convey.
Nonetheless, her faith has seen her through some tough times like the killing of her oldest half-sister in a shooting, career-threatening injuries and a hematoma.