Serena Williams has won more than twice as much in prize money as any other female tennis player in history, but money has never been her concern — aside from when she’s arguing for equal pay. In Uninterrupted’s new “Kneading Dough” video, Williams told sports business manager Maverick Carter she’s never played to get rich:
“I’ve actually never played for money. I just thought you would go out there and hold a trophy. Not once did I think about a check. … I just played for the love of the sport.”
Sounds cliché, right? This next story proves otherwise.
Serena was so nonchalant about receiving her first million-dollar paycheck that she tried to deposit it at a drive-thru ATM:
“I never touched [the money]. I just put it in the bank. And I remember I went through the drive-thru to deposit my check, and then they were like, ‘I think you need to come in for this,’ and so I ended up going inside. So I was like, ‘Just put it in my account!'” … I should’ve taken a picture with it but selfies didn’t exist back then.”
Williams also remembered how at the start of her career, she’d always forget to pick up her checks in the first place:
“I never, never picked it up. So at the end of the year, the tournament director’s would literally hand me the check because I would never go get it.”
Williams has won many millions since then. She’s at $84.4 million in career earnings and shows no signs of letting up. You may have heard how she amazingly won the 2017 Australian Open, her 23rd Grand Slam tournament title, while two months pregnant.
And then there’s all the endorsement deals, which put her net worth at $170 million, according to TheRichest.