Tennis superstar Serena Williams says she has learned to love her curves, despite years of ‘flack’ for her physique.
The 34-year-old tennis champion, with 21 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, told the Saturday Times magazine that she found it hard having a more muscular physique than many other female players.
The world number one and reigning Wimbledon champion said it had been ‘a struggle to love my body’ and added: ‘Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down.’
Serena Williams says she struggled with her muscular curves and larger bust as she came up in the game
Serena now rails against the ‘impossible ideals’ that women face and wants to be a different body role model
Serena, who has showcased her body in a powerful black and white Annie Leibowitz portrait for the Pirelli Calendar, also hit out at the ‘impossible ideals’ facing women and said it was important she spread the message that ‘there’s more than one way to look amazing’.
She said: ‘When I was younger, it was hard seeing all these thin athletes when I had more muscular curves and was big-busted.
‘Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down. It’s distracting, not to mention dangerous, because you can tear ligaments.’
Williams’ bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015 was ended by a semi-final defeat to Roberta Vinci at the US Open.
But she still enjoyed a remarkable year, with victories in the Australian Open, French Open and at Wimbledon among the five titles she won. She lost only three of the singles matches she played in 2015.
Sisters Venus Williams (left) and Serena, are still so close they live just five miles apart in Floriday
The Pirelli Calendar explained why they chose Serena, who has earned more than $74million in her 20 year career, as one of their 12 inspirational female models, saying she had ‘overcome insurmountable odds’ to win 21 career Grand Slams, while, ‘she and her sister Venus, changed the way women’s tennis was played.
The Williams sisters shook up the conservative world of tennis when they emerged having trained on the public courts in Compton, a neighbourhood south of downtown Los Angeles immortalised by gangsta rappers NWA in their album Straight Outta Compton.
The pair were coached by their father who taught himself the game just so he could coach his daughters.
Serena turned pro at 14, just a year after Venus.