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Serena Williams Reveals The Real Reason Why Her 3-Year-Old Started Tennis Lessons

Spoiler alert: it has everything to do with the coronavirus pandemic

All parents have had to get very creative with keeping their children busy amid the coronavirus pandemic over the course of the past year — even celebrity parents. Hearing Serena Williams reveal why daughter Olympia started playing tennis makes total sense when you take this past year into consideration.

Let’s face it, keeping kids occupied during the pandemic has been hard for everyone. Some kids might have learned a new skill or sport, others might have spent more time playing outdoors, while some kids may have gotten some extra iPad time — all of which make so much sense given the state of the world. But Williams, the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles and one of the best tennis players of all time, got her 3-year-old daughter, Olympia, enrolled in tennis lessons. In spite of tennis being her career, she wasn’t too happy about this.

“Honestly, we started because it’s a socially safe sport, and when COVID happened, it was like, we’re just in the house with a 3-year-old, what do we do?” Williams said in a new interview with People. “There was only one answer much to my dismay.”

And that answer was starting tennis lessons. Williams took to Instagram in October where she revealed that Olympia was taking her first tennis lesson but she dropped her daughter off with the instructor so she wasn’t “distracting” to her.

While the little girl might not be ready to win her first Grand Slam title, Williams did tell People that she “likes going” to her lessons. And Williams’ Instagram photos show that Olympia is a natural with a tennis racket.

While Olympia has started getting lessons on the court, Williams has said in the past that she won’t pressure her daughter to play tennis. “I don’t know, it’s a lot of work,” she told reporters at Wimbledon in 2018, adding that she doesn’t want her daughter having the pressure of people comparing the both of them. “I think it will be interesting to see what she gravitates to,” she added. “I really don’t know. Ice skating could be fun. She’ll probably be really tall.”

But Williams told Stephen Colbert this past January that she will end up supporting Olympia, no matter what she decides to do with her future. “I wouldn’t naturally put her in it, but if that was something that she wanted to do, I would absolutely be like ‘Oh my gosh, you should totally do that,’” she said.

“And I’d be rooting for her and supporting her, but it wouldn’t be the first thing that I would do.”