Saturday, April 28, 2012
Serena Williams on Dolphins, tennis, deals
By Zach McCann
Serena Williams is juggling partial ownership of the Miami Dolphins, endorsements and tennis.
NEW YORK -- Serena Williams, a part-owner of the Miami Dolphins, wanted Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin, and she didn’t give up hope until the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins officially made their picks at the top of the NFL draft Thursday night.
She says Ryan Tannehill, Miami’s quarterback selection at No. 8 overall, is going to be good, though.
And Williams, a self-proclaimed “football fanatic,” is going to keep calling Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross with her ideas.
“I’m always calling Stephen and I’m like, ‘OK, we should do this.’ But he never listens to me,” she says.
Williams met with ESPN Playbook at a Manhattan hotel Friday to talk about Sleep Sheets, a dissolvable tongue strip that helps people fall asleep. The day before, she was doing media interviews about Mission Enduracool towels, a towel that turns cold when water is applied.
Between her numerous business ventures, her clothing line “Aneres,” and her tennis career, she’s always on the move.
We spoke about her relationship with the Dolphins, her business ventures and what else she’d like to accomplish in her life.
You have so many business ventures, a fashion line, and oh yeah, a tennis career. What’s it like juggling it all?
"It’s just been nonstop. Right now, I’m at a point in my life where I need to be busy. I don’t want to stop. I’m glad I have this opportunity to keep going."
Is this attitude something new for you?
"I've done more in this past year than I’ve done in a long time. I’ve started several new companies. With Sleep Sheets I’ve been part of the whole company from the beginning, and before that Energy Sheets, and I have another company -- Mission -- and my clothing company, which I relaunched and I’m the full designer on it now because I didn’t like the designs. I took care of everything and got rid of everything."
So you’re that hands-on with it?
"Oh, yeah. I became the full designer. It’s a lot, but I like it. I think it’s cool."
You and your sister are part-owners of the Miami Dolphins. What’d you think of their first-round selection of Ryan Tannehill on Thursday night?
"Obviously, I wanted RG3 or Andrew Luck, even though I knew they weren’t coming to Miami, it wasn’t done-done until they were gone. But we got a really good guy. I think he’s going to be really good for the team. Just because you don’t go first or second doesn’t mean you’re not going to be Tom Brady."
He was a sixth-rounder.
"Exactly, or Aaron Rodgers. So, you know, you never know what’s going to happen. I think we have a good start. You have to get a quarterback. We have a great running back. We have some good wide receivers. So we’re building our team now and that’s good."
How involved are you with the Dolphins as a part-owner?
"I’m a football fanatic. I’m really involved. I watch everything that’s going on with the team. I really have a big love for football. It’s my favorite sport."
What kind of things do you tell Stephen Ross when you call him?
"I’ll tell him, 'We should get this guy. What do you think?' He says, 'Yeah, that’d be a good idea.' But we haven’t gotten anybody that I’ve suggested yet. But they’re winning and doing so well at the end of last year."
How much longer do you want to play tennis for?
"I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it. I don’t feel tired. My body’s really healthy. My therapist can’t believe how good my knees are for as long as I’ve been playing. I’m doing good."
There have been a lot of surgeries.
"I’ve had a knee surgery. I’ve had a foot surgery twice. I’m not having any more surgeries. I’m done."
You’re like a Cyborg now after all these surgeries, so you’ll just keep playing forever.
"Exactly. Just put metal in my body and that’s how I can keep going."
What else do you want to [do] in your life? What’s on your bucket list?
"There’s a lot of things I want to do. I would love to be a successful sister, whatever. Stuff like that. Successful friend -- I could be a better friend. Things like that I think are important."
So you’re focused more on the intangible?
"Absolutely, but I’m nowhere near done on the tennis court. I feel so fresh and I feel totally revived this year and I feel really good. I don’t feel anything."
Playing until your 40s?
"That’ll probably be me. I have no life, and that would be sad. No life. Work, work, work and I love it."