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Serena Williams expresses Zika virus fear ahead of Summer Olympics

Published 07/06/2016

Serena Williams
Serena Williams

Serena Williams can only see her athleticism improving as she advances in age.

Tennis star Serena Williams is seeking protection from the Zika virus as she heads to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

International medical professionals fear the nation isn't safe enough for the world's top athletes after World Health Organization (WHO) officials issued a public warning advising pregnant women to avoid areas where the Zika virus, a new disease transmitted by mosquitoes that causes developmental damage in fetuses, is prevalent.

And, in light of the growing concern, Serena has gone public with her thoughts about the vicious bug.

“I’m not taking Zika lightly," she tells America's Glamour magazine. "I definitely am going everywhere protected. I’m protecting myself.”

The virus has become an even greater concern for Serena, who is currently dating Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, because she is hoping to become pregnant within the next few years.

“I definitely want to have kids one day,” she smiles. “That’s always something I’ve wanted as long as I could remember. And the older I get, the more I’m like, 'I’m too young!'

“Hopefully I’ll be able to mature one of these days, get serious, and at least have them (kids) pretty fast.”

The 34-year-old has won 36 major titles in her career, earning more silverware and trophies than any male or female tennis player in history, and she is currently ranked as the number one player in women's single tennis by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

Although there are some critics who express disbelief she can continue to defend her titles in the years ahead, Serena insists she has never felt stronger.

“Who says that your thirties is when you’re supposed to be done?" she muses. "I would like to know who made that rule! I was talking to my mum one time, like, ‘Gosh, I’m 30’. And she’s like, ‘In your thirties you’re even stronger than in your twenties’. I didn’t believe her, but I have played better in my thirties... My consistency is better, my momentum is better, my wins are quicker.”

But pushing herself to continue as one of the greatest athletes in history is a hard road.

“I try to be the best I can be every day,” Serena shares. “I have bad days. I had a bad day the other day. I hit for only, like, 30 minutes and I stormed off the court. That was the best I could do on that day. So am I the greatest? I don’t know. I’m the greatest that I can be.”

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