“She’s never set any limits in tennis or in life” – Chris Evert blown away by Serena Williams’ fearlessness

Chris Evert says that Serena Williams fearlessness is the quality that has most impressed her during the last two decades.

Serena Williams and Chris Evert Serena Williams (USA) def Caroline Wozniacki (Den) and Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, US Open 2014

Serena Williams has spent the last two-plus decades rewriting tennis’ record books, but her off-court achievements are what have impressed fellow tennis icon Chris Evert most of all.

The 18-time champion, speaking with reporters during a conference call to promote ESPN’s coverage of this year’s US Open, says that the 23-time major champion has been a constant source of inspiration for her, and for anyone else who was watching.

“I think that for me, she’s been very inspirational off the court,” Evert said. “I mean, on the court, it’s obvious, those tangibles – her record, her power, her mental toughness. That’s all her ranking, that’s all obvious and you can see that very clearly. ”

“Her fearlessness has really impressed me”

What really shines about Williams, even more than her Grand Slam titles or Olympic medals, is her fearlesness, says Evert.

“But the intangibles… the fearlessness in her has really impressed me,” Evert said. “The fact that she’s never set any limits in tennis or in life. To get that message across to everybody, I think, is very, very powerful.”

Williams has taken on many issues head-on over the course of her career, and prospered as a role model for women of color, mothers and women in general.

“She has so many platforms, from the body shaming, to working moms, to women of color, and just empowering women,” Evert said. “I think that message, off the court, to me and maybe to millions of people, is more profound and more powerful than even what she’s done on the court.”

40-year-old Williams will take her place in what is likely her final US Open draw next week. The draw ceremony is Thursday morning.


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