Serena Williams just aced this response.
After winning her match against the no. 2 seed Anett Kontaveit during the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31, the 23-time Grand Slam singles champion was asked by former tennis pro and ESPN analyst Mary Joe Fernández if she surprised herself with her level of performance.
Letting out a small laugh, Williams replied, “I mean, I’m just Serena, you know?”
It was a nailing-biting night at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. After narrowly edging out Kontaveit to win the first set, Williams lost the second before clinching victory in the third.
“Honestly, after I lost the second set, I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, I gotta give my best effort ’cause this could be it,” the athlete, who announced in an August essay for Vogue that she’s retiring (or “evolving away”) from tennis, continued. “And so really, I just wanted to just keep trying and see what I could do and just do my best. And I was just really excited to be honest.”
When asked how she beat Kontaveit, Williams replied, “Well, I’m a pretty good player. You know, this is what I do best. I love a challenge. I love rising to the challenge.”