Venus Williams has opened up about her decision to try her hands at being a YouTuber alongside playing tennis. The seven-time Grand Slam champion said it was “empowering” to share her own story instead of having someone else tell it for her.
Williams hasn’t been able to play as much tennis as she would’ve liked this season, being set back by multiple physical issues. The tennis icon has competed in just five tournaments, most recently crashing out of the Canadian Open after a tough first-round match against Madison Keys.
It marked her first tournament since Wimbledon, where she slipped on the court during her first-round defeat to Elina Svitolina and hurt her knee. While she has had some extra free time around tournaments, the 43-year-old has been committed to posting on YouTube, filming everything from Q&As to tennis tips and life vlogs.
Williams started uploading four years ago but became more committed over the last year and has now explained why she enjoys being a vlogger on the side. “YouTube is a place where you can bring who you are to life. And it’s so nice to see the authentic side of people,” the former world No 1 told The Globe and Mail.
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And sharing that authentic side was what made Williams feel empowered, as she explained she could share her own narrative. She continued: “Before I made any content on YouTube, I had been so used to other people telling my story.
“YouTube was my chance for me to tell my story the way that I wanted. And that was so empowering. Once I got started, I was like, wow, this is a chance to tell my story the way I wanted it.
“And I can go and do whatever I want. I felt free. And I felt like, for the first time, it was really my voice and not someone else’s take as a producer or writer.” Fans have also been able to keep up with Williams’ recovery timeline through her YouTube this year.
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The American tore her hamstring in Auckland at the start of the season and was sidelined until June. She announced that she was ready to return to competition in a YouTube video days before her comeback at the Libema Open and also vlogged her time in the Netherlands both on and off the court.
Williams also covered her epic three-set victory over Camila Giorgi in Birmingham and her time at Wimbledon. And with her home Grand Slam tournament coming up at the US Open, there’s no doubt that Williams will be getting out her camera to keep documenting her time on the tour.
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