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Serena Williams sidesteps question about Donald Trump connection in NY Times interview: ‘Not going there’

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Serena Williams avoided getting political in a recent interview with the New York Times, after the former world No. 1 was seemingly caught off guard by a question asking about her connection to former President Donald Trump – a revelation that was made during Trump’s criminal trial in New York last month. 

Williams, who announced her plans to retire in September 2022 following a legendary career that saw her win 23 Grand Slam titles, appeared on the NYT latest podcast episode of “The Interview,” which was released on Saturday. 

She spoke about a wide range of topics, including life after retirement, ahead of a new eight-part documentary that is set to stream next month on ESPN+. 

But the conversation shifted to Williams’ connection with former President Donald Trump. 

The New York Times reported in May that a former aide had testified during his trial that the two “spoke frequently.” 

“I mean, is this what this interview is about?” Williams responded laughingly when asked by co-host David Marchese whether the two spoke. “Really?” 

She then seemingly flipped the script, pointing out that she has spoken to several presidents. Including the late Ronald Reagan. 

Donald Trump at the US Open


“I talk to a lot of presidents. I spoke to Barack [Obama], I spoke to the Clintons. I spoke to every president since I’ve been alive, including Ronald Reagan, I’ll have you know.” 

Marchese then asked what Williams thought “they’re looking for” in having those conversations with her, but Williams declined to indulge.

“I don’t know, I’m not going to go there,” she said, again, with a laugh.  

Serena Williams on the red carpet

The conversation returned to Williams, who spoke at length about her love for tennis, which continues despite her reassurance that there’s no comeback on the horizon, and how she is navigating retirement and motherhood. 

“It’s a life I’ve never experienced,” she said. “You have to understand: For my entire life, since I can remember, it’s been about one thing. I don’t know anything else. And so this is all new to me. It’s like a whole new career. And of course, I prefer playing tennis, but that’s because I’ve done it my whole life.” 

Williams went on to say that she’s happy that she “misses” tennis. 

“I didn’t realize that I would have such an amazing relationship with tennis after it was all said and done. It’s a good miss. It’s like a nostalgia. I love that.” 

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