Serena Williams is a pioneer. At the age of 40, she has firmly cemented her name as one of the, if not the most, successful tennis players of all time.
She has won 23 Grand Slam titles, more than any other player in the Open Era, with The Women’s Tennis Association ranking her No. 1 in the world eight times.
Throughout her nearly 27-year-career, she has revolutionised the sport with her iconic athletic frame, powerful style and record stats.
She’s also mother to a four-year-old girl.
To mark International Women’s Day, Serena has taken the opportunity to celebrate and empower women with Berlei’s campaign, In Support of You.
Supporting women every day
For more than 100 years, Berlei has been modernising bras, from redesigning the corset in 1926 to creating Australia’s first maternity bra in the 50s.
Berlei knows a bra “can’t fix the gender pay gap, get you the top job or help you become a pro tennis champion”, but “it’s just about just being there – adding a sense of strength and encouragement in the every day”.
Their core message is: “A bra can’t change the world, but it can support you through it.”
And it’s a message that resonates deeply with Serena.
“My desire and my drive to be successful in what I do makes me realise that there’s nothing that’s going to hold me back,” the world tennis champion reveals.
“I need to feel my best on the court. An uncomfortable bra is the last thing that you want to be worried about while you’re playing.”
In fact, Serena has been wearing Berlei bras for more than 15 years, after her mum, Oracene, discovered the brand on a shopping trip to Myer during the 2006 Australian Open in Melbourne.
“Once I found Berlei, I never looked back,” Serena reveals.
“Their bras provide me with the support I need on, and off, the court.”
Like mother like daughter
While it was Serena’s father, Richard, who notably quit his job to become a full-time coach for her and sister, Venus, it was their mother who picked up the pieces and supported the rest of the family, while also co-coaching her superstar children.
“She had to support seven people, as a family of seven,” Serena told Red Table Talk.
“To have that faith and to have that back-end support, we wouldn’t have survived without that.”
Venus, also a former world No. 1 in both singles and doubles tennis, attests to their mother’s multi-layered support.
“My father soaked up the spotlight as a larger-than-life character who created two tennis phenoms, but it was my mother who was the backbone and driving force behind both him, Serena, and I,” she says.
“She raised all of her daughters to be strong, confident, unrelentingly successful women, not just on the court, but in life as human beings.
“I’m forever grateful.”
As world number one, with a career spanning nearly 30 years, Serena requires the utmost quality when it comes to her sportswear, especially sports bras.
That’s why she’s partnered with Berlei, who have been leading innovation in sports bras since the 1990s.
“No other sports bra compares,” Serena says.
“Berlei is a brand that truly supports and celebrates real women of all shapes and sizes.”