American professional tennis top seed Serena Williams has openly come out and spoken of the sexism and racism she has faced as a tennis professional saying that she would have been considered among the sport’s greatest ever years ago had she been a man.
"I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago. I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from the society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it's a lot to deal with - and especially lately," Serena said in an interview for ESPN vertical "The Undefeated".
"I've been able to speak up for women's rights because I think that gets lost in colour, or gets lost in cultures. Women make up so much of this world, and, yeah, if I were a man, I would have 100% been considered the greatest ever a long time ago," she added.
She further revealed that she constantly needs to hold her tongue when 'blatantly unfair' things happen on the tennis field.
"It's very challenging because sometimes when things are blatantly wrong and blatantly unfair and blatantly racist or sexist, I just have to go and put on a brave smile and not let anyone know how I feel on the inside so they don't get that satisfaction even though on the inside I would be dying," she said.
The 35-year-old, who held the world No. 1 ranking for 186 weeks has notched up a total of 22 career Grand Slam titles so far, equaling German Steffi Graf's record for most titles in the Open Era.