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“Meeting Nelson Mandela Was One of The Best Moments” – Serena Williams

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Serena Williams

South African anti-apartheid revolutionary late Nelson Mandela has impacted tennis ace Serena Williams’ career to an extent. His writings Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Conversations With Myself, etc… have inspired Williams.

 

 

In 2013, Mandela was fighting for life and Serena was upset to learn about his deteriorating condition. “I feel like Nelson Mandela, first of all, he’s lived a really amazing life. He’s just been so pivotal I think for so many people. It’s really emotional to talk about,” she said.

Serena Williams

“You know, meeting him was probably one of the best moments of my life, and it will be a great loss,” Williams mentioned during Wimbledon 2013 during his condition was critical.

She was praying for him to recover from his lung infection while he was hospitalized in Pretoria. Further, Williams explained why was the meeting with Mandela was an unforgettable experience. She also talked about the profound instances from his writings.

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“Just meeting him, speaking to him. He’s so coherent, he’s so smart, he’s so amazing. Obviously I’m hoping he’ll recover. But reading books about him, seeing things, seeing what he went through‑‑ you know, I started to read his autobiography after I left South Africa last year. It’s just amazing,” she shared.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams took a cue from Nelson Mandela and returned to Indian Wells
23-time Grand Slam champion Williams boycotted Indian Wells tournament for nearly 13 years in her career. The incident took place due to racism issues during the course of the tournament. But, however, Mandela’s influence was one of the reasons that convinced her to uplift the Californian boycott.

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“Honestly, I never never thought I would go back to Indian Wells. And then I was on this trip to Africa and I met Mandela. What really struck me was he was in jail, you know, for the prime of his life. His family, his kids, he didn’t get to see them grow up,” she said.

“And not only did he forgive the people that jailed him, but, you know he became friends with them. He didn’t hold a grudge against them. Then I thought about it and I realized that it’s better to truly, honestly, wholly forgive by going back. I was terrified.”

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Nelson Mandela took his last breath on December 5, 2013, and he once mentioned at Laureus World Sports Awards 2000, ‘sport has the power to change the world.’ Serena Williams has pretty much imbibed that school of thought and continues to inspire millions of people by swinging her tennis racquet.

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