INTERVIEW: Power Play
SERENA WILLIAMS, GREATEST TENNIS PLAYER OF ALL TIME AUDEMARS PIGUET BRAND AMBASSADOR
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.