Per­fect Match

144

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

Tennis great and mum-to-be Ser­ena Wil­liams talks can­didly about be­ing the best, her fu­ture on the court and find­ing a per­fect match in Aude­mars Piguet’s new Di­a­mond Ou­trage se­cret watch

Ser­ena Wil­liams needs lit­tle in­tro­duc­tion. She’s the great­est fe­male tennis player in the world, the win­ner of 39 Grand Slam ti­tles, 23 in sin­gles, and an in­spir­ing icon for women both inside and out­side the world of sport. She’s also a style maven, as her col­lab­o­ra­tion with lux­ury Swiss watch brand Aude­mars Piguet tes­ti­fies. Wil­liams is the face of the Di­a­mond Ou­trage, the lat­est and last in a tril­ogy of ex­cep­tional spiked, di­a­mond-set se­cret watches un­veiled by the brand over three years. And she sure knows how to rock it.

How does it feel to be the best at what you do?

I’ve al­ways wanted to be an ath­lete. What drives me daily is my love for what I do. I wake up and I want to be the great­est player. Awards do mean a lot as it is nice to be recog­nised for the work you’ve done, for ev­ery­thing you’ve achieved, but I don’t like to just look back at vic­to­ries. My ob­jec­tive is to keep win­ning. I need to fo­cus on that in­stead of look­ing at what I have ac­com­plished so far.

What char­ac­ter traits are most im­por­tant to you? Men­tal strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Whether you’re on or off the court, you have to feed both, work on them con­stantly. At the end of the day, it’s what’s go­ing to make the dif­fer­ence be­tween ath­letes.

Do you have a num­ber of Grand Slams you want to reach be­fore you re­tire? Hav­ing won dif­fer­ent ti­tles, there is less pres­sure to achieve any­thing spe­cific at the mo­ment. I’ve won ev­ery Grand Slam, the Olympics. I can play for fun now.

You’re ex­pect­ing your first child. What’s a les­son you’d like to teach him or her? That you can do any­thing if you be­lieve in it.

Is tennis go­ing to take a back seat once you be­come a par­ent? No, I’m look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing a mum while re­main­ing a per­form­ing ath­lete. I’m def­i­nitely think­ing of com­ing back to the courts al­ready.

What would you like to fo­cus on in life af­ter tennis? I have asked my­self that ques­tion, but I don’t en­vis­age stop­ping for now. There are quite a few things for me to do still and I’m def­i­nitely not done with the tennis world, al­though if you ask me ex­actly how I pic­ture the next 10 years, I’m not en­tirely sure yet. I’ve spent most of my life in the sport, so I prob­a­bly won’t keep do­ing it for an­other 20 years. Let’s just say I’m not putting a cap on it. We have both evolved. One of the lat­est mem­o­ries I have with Venus is at the last Aus­tralian Open. Play­ing against my sis­ter, break­ing the record against her and have her do so well as well, it was just like old times. We were rem­i­nisc­ing, and it was re­ally amaz­ing in that sense. Fun! That’s why I en­joyed do­ing the Di­a­mond Ou­trage shoot. I hadn’t re­ally done any­thing like that be­fore. The watch is su­per con­tem­po­rary, and I feel [fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher] Tom Munro was able to cap­ture my fun side—the real me. When I’m on the court, peo­ple only see my se­ri­ous per­sona, so it was great to be able to show­case my nor­mal off-the-court self [with this cam­paign].

What do you look for in a watch? I like pieces that are strong and have char­ac­ter. Some peo­ple have asked me if I con­sider my watches lucky charms when I play. I have won many times with a watch on my wrist, so, yes, I guess they have be­come some sort of a lucky charm.

What do you like the most about the Di­a­mond Ou­trage? So many things. It’s beau­ti­ful. Pow­er­ful. Strong. Dif­fer­ent. Unique. It has many facets, in­clud­ing mystery, as the ac­tual watch is hid­den on the inside. Aude­mars Piguet was able to reach a new level with this piece, and that re­ally spoke to me. I ac­tu­ally want to con­grat­u­late the watch­mak­ers and jewellers who made the watch. They should be proud. The re­sult is be­yond any­thing I’ve ever seen and I feel like the luck­i­est girl in the world ev­ery time I wear it.

Why did you de­cide to work with Aude­mars Piguet? I am in­spired by peo­ple who take pride in their work and Aude­mars Piguet’s watch­mak­ers cer­tainly do. We first met at Art Basel in Mi­ami Beach a cou­ple of years ago. I al­ready knew the brand and it was great to be able to dis­cover more of it at the fair, meet­ing the watch­mak­ers and un­der­stand­ing where they come from, the brand val­ues, and the hard work they put into cre­at­ing their pieces. From then on it was just a nat­u­ral con­ver­sa­tion with the team, es­pe­cially with Fran­coishenry [Ben­nah­mias], who’s the CEO and a former ath­lete. We def­i­nitely have some com­mon ground as we are both sports­peo­ple and busi­ness peo­ple at the same time.

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