Serena Williams was inspired to achieve success after a man 'ghosted' her

Serena Williams was inspired to achieve success after being "ghosted" by a man.

The 42-year-old tennis champion was ranked world No.1 in singles by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks and is the only player to accomplish a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles but admitted that her motivation all came from an early relationship that suddenly broke down without warning.

Speaking in her new ESPN docuseries 'In the Arena', she explained: "It was the first relationship that I had ever had, but I was in my 20s, so you know, whatever…and then he ghosts me, I got ghosted. And it wasn’t even that serious, but it was like I used that and I made it way more serious than what it was. So, when he ghosted me, I used that as an opportunity to say, ‘He’s gonna regret this for the rest of his life.’ That was just the motivation I needed, just the excuse I used to go the extra mile."

Serena - who is now married to Alexis Ohanian and has Olympia, six, and Adira, nine months - retired from the tennis court in 2022 but admitted that she wanted to make sure that the person who abandoned her would "never forget" her as she cemented her rise to global fame and wanted to be around in their life forever through her celebrity status.

She said: "I’m gonna make sure that this person never forgets me. I’m gonna make sure that this person sees me everywhere for the rest of their life. I can be vengeful."

The sports star previously explained that now that she is retired, she wants to be the "best mom" that she can be and wants to explain to her eldest more about her achievements now that they are at an age where they can understand a bit more.

She told People: "I have to be the best mom. I have to go to all of Olympia's things at her school. I told her the other day that she actually was in my belly when I won a big tournament [the 2017 Australian Open], and she was surprised.

"She's at an age now where I can kind of open up to her a little bit more and she can understand things more, whereas she didn't really understand before."