IN­TER­VIEW: Power Play

SER­ENA WILLIAMS, GREAT­EST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME AUDE­MARS PIGUET BRAND AM­BAS­SADOR

Bespoke - - SHOOT -

Con­grat­u­la­tions on your 23rd ma­jor sin­gles ti­tle, how does it feel to be the great­est tennis player of all times? Thank you. The way I see it is that af­ter hav­ing won dif­fer­ent ti­tles, there is less pres­sure to achieve any­thing spe­cific now. Now that I’ve won every Grand Slam, the Olympics, I can play for fun. Ob­vi­ously I would like to win the ul­ti­mate record but that’s a story to be con­tin­ued!

Do you think tennis could ever move above bas­ket­ball, cricket or soc­cer in terms of global pop­u­lar­ity? I think it all de­pends on the re­gion that we are talk­ing about. Tennis is al­ready very pop­u­lar in­ter­na­tion­ally while cricket might be more pop­u­lar in cer­tain re­gions for in­stance. Plus, tennis is more of an in­di­vid­ual dis­ci­pline com­pared to the other team sports you just men­tioned, so the ap­proach is very dif­fer­ent. How did your ‘friend­ship’ with Aude­mars Piguet come about and what does it en­tail? We first met at Art Basel in Mi­ami a cou­ple of years ago. I al­ready knew the brand but it was great to be able to dis­cover more of it at the fair, meet­ing the watch­mak­ers and un­der­stand­ing where they come from. From then on it was just a nat­u­ral con­ver­sa­tion with the team, espe­cially with François-henry Ben­nah­mias, who’s the CEO and a for­mer ath­lete. We def­i­nitely have some com­mon grounds as we are both sports peo­ple and busi­ness peo­ple at the same time.

Did you own any AP watches be­fore you be­came a friend of the brand? Yes I did. But once you get to meet the peo­ple be­hind the watches it’s just not the same any­more. It takes you to the next level. You go from be­ing a client to be­com­ing part of the fam­ily, that’s AP’S real strength. What do you love most about their watches? I’m in­spired by peo­ple who take pride in their work and Aude­mars Piguet watch­mak­ers cer­tainly do. They’re of­ten com­pared to artists but you could also com­pare them to ath­letes as the fo­cus and train­ing they are con­stantly sub­mit­ted to is sim­i­lar in terms of in­ten­sity. Plus they are used to com­pet­ing against them­selves, which is in a way the tough­est form of com­pe­ti­tion.

How many AP watches do you now own? I think I have slightly less than 10 pieces. I wear all of them in very dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions. You’ve seen me on the court with the Royal Oak Off­shore but also with the Mil­lenary, which can be con­sid­ered less sporty. The only watch I wouldn’t wear on the court is the Di­a­mond Out­rage. It is way too spe­cial: first of all it is a jew­ellery piece, but it is even more unique thanks to the watch se­cretly hid­den on the in­side of the wrist. Aude­mars Piguet was able to reach a new level with this piece and it touched me. I feel like the luck­i­est girl in the world every time I wear it.

Did you ever wear a watch dur­ing a match be­fore your as­so­ci­a­tion with a brand? I love that peo­ple no­tice I wear my watch on the court. Some even ask me if my watch is a lucky charm. I won many times with an AP on the wrist so I guess they have be­come some sort of a lucky charm now!

Can you share a hu­mor­ous or me­morable story about one of your AP’S? Many fun sto­ries as it’s a fun brand. For in­stance they have what they call the “AP Move” which is a lit­tle dance move in­volv­ing your head go­ing from left to right while your shoul­ders go the other way. They make ev­ery­body prac­tice the move dur­ing their events, staff and guests in­cluded, it’s like a rite of pas­sage. Last time, I was given the “Best AP Move” ti­tle and I dare any­one to chal­lenge me on that!

What is time to you? Right now it is all about time man­age­ment for me. This is a very im­por­tant part of an ath­lete’s life as we need to train, again and again, while mak­ing sure we take time to rest, get phys­i­cal ther­apy, etc…this will prob­a­bly be­come even more cru­cial once the baby has ar­rived.

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