Tennis

Serena Williams: "It has been a struggle to love my body"

Williams says she now embraces her figure and hits out at the "impossible ideals" facing women. "There's more than one way to look amazing."

Tennis superstar Serena Williams says she has learnt to love her curves, despite years of criticism and the risks and difficulty of playing sport with large breasts.

The world No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon champion said it had been "a struggle to love my body" because of years of sniping about her powerful physique, but was now "happier in myself".

The 34-year-old American, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles, described the problems facing curvy women in sport, saying: "Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down."

She 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 told the Times: "When I was younger, it was hard seeing all these thin athletes when I had more muscular curves and was big-busted.

DANGEROUS

"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.

"I know I get flack for my physique and it has been a struggle to love my body. But now curves are in and I'm happier in myself.

"Women face so many impossible ideals. It's important for me to get across that there's more than one way to look amazing."

Williams was named the Associated Press' Female Athlete of the Year for the fourth time last week, but she has had little time to celebrate as she gets her 2016 season underway at the Hopman Cup starting in Perth today.

Yesterday, the Florida-based superstar was spotted with her French coach Patrick Mouratoglou arriving at Perth Airport, reported the Daily Mail.

The statuesque beauty flaunted her glowing complexion by wearing minimal make-up, choosing to throw on only a slick of red lipstick while covering her eyes with a pair of spectacles.

Dressed in plane-appropriate attire, Williams wore a pair of Ugg boots, leggings and a comfortable tank top that displayed her muscular arms.

The mixed team Hopman Cup will feature two groups of eight countries - Group A: Australia Gold, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the United States and Group B: Australia Green, France, Germany and Great Britain.

Each session consists of a men's and women's singles match and a mixed doubles match. All the matches will be the best of three sets.

Williams will team up with male counterpart Jack Sock, as they open their campaign against Elina Svitolina and Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine tomorrow.

Williams' bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015 was ended by a semi-final defeat by Roberta Vinci at the US Open.

REMARKABLE

But she still enjoyed a remarkable year, with victories in the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon among the five titles she won.

She lost only three of the singles matches she played in 2015.

After dominating the sport last year, Williams is raring to go in 2016.

Her first goal of the campaign will be to retain her crown at this month's Australian Open in Melbourne.

A victory would inevitably lead to talk of a possible calendar Grand Slam, something that has not been achieved since Steffi Graf completed the set in 1988.

But she feels there are still areas of her game where she can get even better.

"I definitely feel there is room for improvement," said Williams.

"I think everyone here knows there is room for improvement for me and I can do better.

"At least I'm on the right track of going up and not back." 
- Wire Services.

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