Photo: Norma Joy

Photo: Norma Joy

Undeniably fierce and fabulous, Serena Williams is having a life-altering year. At 33 (a virtual senior citizen in the world of tennis), Williams is still at the top of her game. She has won three grand slam tournaments in the past six months. If she takes the title in September’s U.S. Open, she will become — without question — one of the greatest athletes of her time. She has held four grand slam titles before, but never in a single year.

In the August 10-23, 2015 issue of New York Magazine, Williams also reminds us that when she’s not wiping out 20-year-olds on the court, she’s busy with her Signature Statement Clothing line, following the example of big sister Venus, owner of the EleVen line; exactly what you would expect from the women who brought black lace to the world of tennis whites.

Is Williams considering retirement? Reminiscing about her fabled athleticism as a child, she teases, “is this over?” referring to her legendary career on the court. Clearly, she has not made a decision yet, but she suggests that when the time comes, it will be O. K. because she has already planned her next act.

Beauty, grace, and achievement aside, Williams also talks about the racism and sexism that continues to dog her no matter how successful she is on the court and her new approach to dealing with it.  A blond tennis player, for example, Maria Sharapova, makes more in endorsement money even though Williams has beat her 18 times

Described as “masculine,” called a man and several other things that are anything but feminine, Williams says she now takes a softer approach to her critics. “I don’t want to think about it,” she says, “I don’t want to dwell in the past.” And why should she? Her future, whether as a designer, entrepreneur, or seemingly ageless tennis pro, continues to look bright.