Serena Williams: A message for the “deluded” men who believe they could beat her at tennis

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Hollie Richardson
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Serena Williams playing tennis at Wimbledon

New survey results show how many “ordinary” men believe they could win a point against Serena Williams in a game of tennis, and it proves a lot about the patriarchy. 

Let’s start with a slow clap for the one in eight men surveyed in the UK who think they could win a point against tennis champion Serena Williams.

Yep, 12% of the male British population believe they could score against one of the greatest athletes of all time according to a new YouGov poll.

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To be clear: this survey didn’t include fellow tennis stars Andy Murray, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. 

It obtained the results from 1742 adults around the country aged 18+. The men who believe they could defeat Williams have most likely never been involved with a professional sport. 

So, let’s just recap exactly who Williams is…

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In a nutshell: Williams is the world’s richest self-made female athlete, has been ranked the world No. 1 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association eight times, and has won the third most women’s doubles Grand Slam titles with her sister Venus. 

She’s also an advocate of women’s rights, an influencer of fashion and an important voice in challenging stereotypes around women at work and in sport.

Serena Williams plays at Wimbldeon
Williams almost died giving birth but came back better than ever.

The fact that a significant number of men believe they could win a point against a female tennis legend speaks volumes about the patriarchy. Williams might have 23 Grand Slam singles under her belt, but these guys have a delusional confidence that’s ignorant to a woman’s talent, achievements and lifelong passion.

As we continue to see everyday, this way of thinking often proves to be powerful and dangerous.

Just look at businessman Donald Trump running for presidency against Hilary Clinton (and winning), or the Matilda Effect which sees brilliant women’s achievements being erased from history by men. And it’s no surprise to see two men packed and ready to move into 10 Downing Street as soon as Theresa May leaves. 

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So it’s a relief to see that plenty of people on the internet are not here for the men who think they’re better than Williams, with many calling them “deluded” and “outrageous”. Chrissy Teigen even asked Williams to take on the “challenge”. 

Unfortunately, Williams is too busy smashing her way through another Wimbledon right now. So we doubt she’ll be inviting anyone from the survey for a game. 

And anyway, I think we can all predict how it would turn out: one big fat point to Williams. 

Images: Getty


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…

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