BY Stephen Nartey, 11:01am July 10, 2024,

Serena Williams confirms she tried to cash $1M check at ATM: ‘I don’t know what happened to me’

Serena Williams. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Serena Williams, hailed as one of the greatest female tennis players ever, has recounted how she failed to cash a $1 million check from an early career win at a drive-through ATM. Turning professional at 14, Williams joined the WTA Tour shortly after and secured 23 major championships, the most in the Open Era.

In her early years as a WTA pro, Williams conceded that she attempted to deposit her first million-dollar winnings check at a local bank’s drive-through but was unsuccessful.

She said during an appearance on Hot Ones: “I got my check and it was a million dollars, and I was like ‘ok, I’m gonna go deposit it.'”

“I’d never really spent a lot of money, I was so serious. I don’t know what happened to me, I used to be serious. So I went to the drive-through and the guy was like, ‘Uh… I think you need to come inside for this.’ And I was like, ‘oh ok!”’

Despite amassing numerous prize checks throughout her illustrious career, Williams insists she was never driven by money. She often forgot about the various winnings on the court.

“I never played for money, I played cause I loved the sport,” the tennis legend added. “I don’t even know if I wanted to play to be the best, I wanted to win.

“So my tax guy, he would be like, ‘You didn’t get your money?’ And I’d be like, ‘Oh, I didn’t get that one in Zurich. Oh, I forgot that one in Moscow.”’

“I was just playing to win, and if I didn’t win, I wasn’t thinking. I was just so angry, that I wanted to find a way to get better and win the next time.”

Williams, the only player in tennis history to achieve a career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles, remains financially strong with an estimated $300 million worth two years after retiring.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: July 10, 2024


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