When I was in the fourth grade, my parents sent me to a tennis camp where I spent the whole time sitting cross-legged on the court and picking my nose. At the end of four weeks, I was presented with a participant trophy, which I proudly accepted because I had, after all, participated. That was 20 years ago, and for most of that time, my “2001 Tennis Camp Participant” trophy has occupied a central spot on my media console. Alas, that is but one of the many differences between Serena Williams, the greatest athlete of all time and winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and me, a blogger and onetime tennis-camp participant: While I am at all times aware of the location of my single award, Williams can’t keep track of all of her trophies because she simply has so many of them.
This week, Architectural Digest featured Williams’s massive, ultramodern Miami home that she designed with the help of her older sister, tennis star and interior designer Venus Williams. Serena took the magazine on a video tour of her home, in which she shows off her art gallery and karaoke room, as well as her massive trophy room full of … well, she can’t totally remember what.
“I don’t keep a lot of my Grand Slam trophies here. I do see an Australian Open trophy. Oh, wait, here’s a U.S. Open trophy! From 2002. Okay, that was a while ago. This looks like one …” she says, bending over to inspect an elegant silver cup. “This is — yep, this is Roland-Garros, the French Open. Clearly, I don’t have a lot of those, so I can’t tell you about that one. I only have two or three — three. Three.”
“Now, all you need me to show you is a Wimbledon,” she goes on, looking over the shelves containing her many, many awards. “But I don’t think I have a Wimbledon here. Do I? Oh, I do! This is our Wimbledon trophy.” Actually, there are two Wimbledon trophies in the trophy room — an older one and a newer one — that she holds up next to each other so you can see how the silver plates have grown over time.
Winning so much that you just can’t keep track of all your accolades … incredible.