Serena Williams’ chances of winning a calendar-year grand slam came to an end Saturday night at the Australian Open when she lost to Angelique Kerber.
During a postgame interview with the press, Williams spoke about the pressure she feels from the public, especially her fans, who expect and want her to win every match—especially when she’s gunning for a feat like a grand slam.
She wants everyone to know that she’s going to lose sometimes and that’s OK because she’s not perfect.
“I think I did the best I could today. Would I give my performance an A? No. But this is all I could produce today,” Williams said to the press.
Probably without being conscious that she was doing it, she dismantled the “strong black woman” stereotype that plagues black women and talked about how she’s not “a robot.”
“Every time I walk in this room I’m expected to win. I’m not a robot. I do the best that I can. I try to win every point, but realistically I can’t. Maybe someone else can.”
Kudos to Williams for tempering everyone’s expectations of her career and showing a bit of her vulnerability in the process.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.