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104 CSD


in the United States!


When did you start playing tennis, and what was your typical practice schedule as a child?


I started tennis at the age of 4. As children, we practiced a good three or four hours every day, six days a week and took Sundays off. Serena and I got to a point where we were hitting up to eight hours a day as young people. That was a lot of work—but clearly it paid off!


You have praised your parents for being great coaches as


well as great parents. Tell us about that—and what it has taken to achieve your goals in tennis?


My mom and dad never


forgot that they were parents first—not coaches or parents vicariously chasing a dream through their child. At some point, a parent’s goal has to become your own, since no one can do the work for you. To be a professional athlete takes a tremendous amount of work. Reaching the top in my sport became my dream—and one I’m still pursuing today.


We hear you and Serena are very close, both on and off the court. What has that meant to you?


The thing about playing doubles with Serena is that she knows exactly what we have gone through. There’s nothing like just being there for each other—and, of course, it’s wonderful to play with the best player in the world!


What motivated you to design your line of women’s active- wear?


I started EleVen to combine my two loves—design and


sports. But it was also an opportunity to share my life experiences and translate them into something that goes beyond just me. EleVen encour- ages people to improve their lives, move their bodies and be “better than their best.”


What is the essence of EleVen?


The message we want to send is to “be better than a 10”—in other words, be better than your personal best, not anyone else’s. It’s about self-achievement and living life with no regrets. It’s also about


Photograph courtesy EleVen


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