Anything Is Possible When You Believe - Pregnant Serena Williams Just Proves This

Lucy Griffiths   |   April 25, 2017    6:52 PM ET

Tennis superstar, Serena Williams defied pregnancy perceptions when she won the Australian Open earlier this year without dropping a set. She posted a photo on Snapchat with the caption: "20 weeks" and a small, but perfectly formed bump protruding. She is pregnant with her first child with fiancé and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Serena skipped a few fixtures early on in her pregnancy, and took on and WON the Australian Open! Doctors advise that you do the normal level of activity that you would do in daily life, and avoid any undue risks - particularly in the first trimester, and don't take up new sports. You could say that Serena was just doing her day job.

She was also defying conventions and proving that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Her belief in her ability to win carried her through the tournament. She was doing her job in the most magnificent way, and sticking two fingers up at beliefs about what we can and cannot do.

Wilma Rudolph was a premature baby weighing just over four pounds when she was born. While still very young she contracted polio, and she was told that she would never be able to walk properly.

She wore a leg brace until she was 11, and when she could finally walk, she longed to run... She ran and ran until she became the fastest woman on the planet.

The athlete Wilma Rudolph won three Olympic gold medals in 1960.

The power of self-belief in athletes really can enable them to leap, sprint and soar towards their goals.
What can we learn from their aims and ambitions?

Is there something that you just believe it's simply not possible to do?

For many years mankind thought it was impossible to run a mile in under four minutes. Roger Bannister smashed this belief, and then set the bar for all other athletes to quickly follow his lead.

Sometimes it just takes one person to defy beliefs and make something happen. But how do you believe the impossible is possible?

Start asking the universe for what you want and believing it can happen. Three years ago, I was single, broke, and broken hearted. I went to see Tony Robbins at his Unleash the Power event. He got us to write down our goals. I wrote down: man, house, baby and be a coach. I focused on these goals, and imagined myself with my husband, my child, and living in a dream house.

About a month after that event I met my husband, I fell pregnant three months later, we bought a house about a year after the event, and our baby boy was born almost a year to the day of our first meeting! We just celebrated our third anniversary this weekend.

When you believe that something is possible, anything can come true. You just have to be prepared to believe. Start being open to the universe, and being open to things that might seem a little woo woo.

When we start imagining something and start believing something, we open up pathways and new possibilities in our brain and then anything is possible. No matter how sceptical you might feel, put aside your cynicism, and be prepared to believe.

Rachel Moss   |   April 25, 2017    9:37 AM ET

Serena Williams is fast becoming one of our favourite people on Earth.

The 35-year-old is not just a kick-ass tennis player with a string of word titles under her belt. Her extracurricular activities include: smashing the patriarchy, tackling racism, dancing in Beyoncé videos and designing clothes (to name but a few).  

Here are 10 of our favourite sassy Serena moments to prove she slays both on and off the court. 

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LTA's Tennis For Kids Encourages Future Andy Murrays

Oliver Pickup   |   April 10, 2017    4:28 PM ET

On November 29, 2015, Great Britain's tennis team, led by a pre-knighted Andy Murray, defeated Belgium in the Davis Cup to become world champions for the first time in 79 years.

It was a special moment, but to their great credit the honchos at the Lawn Tennis Association did not simply bask in the epochal success but used the triumph as a springboard to motivate more young Britons to pick up a racket. 

Last summer, in the afterglow of the Davis Cup glory and with Murray mania reaching fever pitch as the Scot ascended to No1 in the rankings, the LTA took the opportunity to launch its biggest-ever grassroots initiative, Tennis for Kids, in a bid to halt and reverse the alarming plummet of participation figures.

As the welcome note of the LTA's 2015 annual review, published last June, stated, the "momentous achievement" of winning the Davis Cup "was an advert for British tennis, raising the profile of a sport that has been in long-term decline.

"Over the last decade, 150,000 fewer players take to the tennis court each month, a trend that is fuelled - in part - by recent pressure on disposable incomes, the deterioration of tennis courts in parks and a troubling acceleration in the number of children choosing games consoles over rackets.

"We must stem this decline. And we must build on the success of today's Davis Cup stars to inspire and nurture the next generation of players, whether they want to be the next Andy Murray or a county champion."

Pleasingly, Tennis for Kids' initial 10,000 spots - all free - offered to children aged between five and eight, filled up so quickly last term that another 5,000 were released to meet the demand. Further, more than half of those that took part in 2016 continued to play after completing the course and encouraged friends to sign up.

From April 4 Tennis for Kids is back for 2017, and bigger and better, with 20,000 free rackets and places on six-week long courses available to children all over the country.

Former British No1 and venerated tennis presenter Annabel Croft, an ambassador of the scheme, helped out at a training session for coaches in early March which took place at the National Tennis Centre at Roehampton in southwest London and was inspired.

"This is the best campaign the LTA has ever put together," said the 50-year-old who rose to No21 in the world rankings in 1985, aged 19. "It's amazing to think that the Davis Cup team came so close to relegation from the top tier in 2010 to being crowned world champions in 2015, and it's been so impressive how the LTA has acted to inspire the stars of tomorrow.

"The level of detail they have gone to in the training programme has been phenomenal - the coaches were blown away by it. The LTA wants to get every single element right, from the base upward. And now more kids are taking up the sport and playing tennis who may never have picked up a racket before."

Croft continued that with Murray, who was knighted in the Queen's New Year's Honours list, top of the world rankings, he is an inspiration for youngsters to take up tennis. "It's impossible to disagree that Andy Murray is Britain's greatest ever sportsperson," she added.

"It is extraordinary what he has achieved, and he is a superb role model. Kids get distracted so quickly these days, and poor attention spans, whereas Andy has proven that the opposite - absolute, 100 per cent application, dedication and focus - achieves an incredible amount. Hopefully, his success, combined with the Tennis for Kids initiative, can spur on the stars of tomorrow, or at least encourage those who might not have otherwise tried the game to do so."

- For more information on Tennis for Kids, and to sign up your child, see

Rachel Moss   |   February 28, 2017    8:36 AM ET

Next time you’re playing some casual tennis with your friends, keep your eyes peeled for a pro player wanting to get in on the action.

Serena Williams gave two guys the surprise of their life when she challenged them to a game on Sunday night.

The tennis star was out walking her dog, Chip, when she spotted the two men and asked if she could join in.

Williams was wearing Ugg-style boots - hardly appropriate tennis wear - but that didn’t stop her hitting the court hard and sharing the whole thing on Snapchat. 

The footage was soon shared by thousands of others on Twitter. 

In the video, mischievous Williams is seen watching the guys from a distance, before saying: “I think they’re in the middle of playing out points, but I’m going to ask them if I can have the winner.”

Needless to say, the men are more than a little surprised when she approaches them, but they happily welcome her onto court.

While Williams didn’t share footage of the game itself, we’re assuming she smashed it, as she jokes as the end of the video that she’s “still undefeated”. 

“So the moral of the story is,” she says. “You never know when I could be coming to a tennis court near you.” 

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The Best Decision I Ever Made? Applying To University

Richard Sackey-Addo   |   January 12, 2017    5:05 PM ET

UCAS applications close this Sunday and young people across the UK are frantically revising personal statements and deciding and then deciding again, (for the hundredth time!), which Universities will make it on to their application. Not all of you though - some will be undecided on whether University is right for you and will be struggling with whether to even apply, never mind where.

If you're not sure my advice to you is DO IT - the decision to go to university was the best one I ever made.

I studied Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Bedfordshire and it's no exaggeration to say it changed me as a person, both personally and professionally. After my UG degree I took a Master's in Sports Performance (also at Bedfordshire) and now work as a Research Officer for the International Tennis Federation, based in Valencia - a long way from Bedfordshire!

The key thing that helped me get this great job I have now is the work experience I was able to do through the University.

I did a variety of jobs that were all related to sport during my four years at Bedfordshire. I worked for the Tennis Foundation as University Tennis Ambassador (to get more people into tennis at the University) and as University Tennis Coordinator (to get the community involved in tennis) in my third and postgraduate years. These opportunities gave me the chance to attend key conferences and events meeting students and industry experts who were all involved in the career I wanted - an invaluable opportunity in terms of networking.

The variety in my course was also really helpful. I think most undergraduate degrees, at least in the first one to two years, are quite broad and this really helps you find out which parts of your chosen subject you like the most (and are good at!). Opting to do a degree in Accounting, for example, does not necessarily mean you are going to become an accountant - you may well end up working in a alternative area of finance or even a different sector altogether. I studied Sport and Exercise Science, which meant I got to experience a variety of sports and work with lots of different types of athletes. I gained as much experience as possible working in high performance sport through the options that were available to me from doing my course, but despite currently working in coach education and tennis development, rather than as a sports scientist, the skills and knowledge that I learnt still help me in my job on a daily basis. Before University I would never have considered doing the job I do now, and I love it!

University is also brilliant for getting your first taste of independence! Living away from home is a big change for most young people, and you learn a great deal about yourself. Naturally it's not for everybody, but for me it was one of the highlights. It really prepared me for the 'real world' and I met people who are still good friends today - two years after graduating.

One of my favourite memories about University was without doubt representing the University tennis team in BUCS leagues - the national governing body for university sport. There are so many benefits to competitive sport; from meeting new people, to building teamwork skills - and not least enjoyment! Competing also meant I got to travel the country, visiting other universities, meeting people from all walks of life and playing the sport I love. Universities are great for sports and social clubs. Whatever your hobby, Universities will have a club or society for it, so you don't have to give it up to go.

So, with just days to go, what should you do if you are still not sure about university? Firstly, I think it's important to talk things through with the people around you. Listen to advice from family, friends and current/former students - although do bear in mind it may not all be the right advice for you. Make sure you've done as much research as you can into both the course and the university itself - you can never do too much research!

Choosing whether or not to go to university is a big decision, so you need to be completely happy with your choice when the time comes. You may decide to take a gap year, spend a few years working or go travelling; you can always return to university at a later stage if you wish.

These, however, are not decisions that need be made before Sunday. Applying now does not commit you to attending in September - it is not an irreversible decision. If you're still undecided about whether or not you should submit a university application this weekend, my advice is go for it; you never know where it might take you.

Graeme Demianyk   |   December 20, 2016   11:38 AM ET

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has been injured by a knife-wielding attacker at her home.

The player’s spokesman, Karel Tejkal, says Kvitova suffered a left hand injury and has been treated by doctors.

Tejkal says the incident, which he described as a burglary, occurred on Tuesday morning in the eastern Czech town of Prostejov. He says Kvitova’s injuries were not life-threatening.

Also on Tuesday, Kvitova withdrew from the Czech Republic team at next month’s Hopman Cup mixed-team tennis tournament because of an earlier foot injury.

The sportswoman later published a statement on her Facebook page saying how she was “shaken but fortunate to be alive” - and the injured hand was the result of trying to defend herself.

Graeme Demianyk   |   November 20, 2016    9:01 PM ET

Andy Murray will end the year as the world’s number one men’s tennis player - with critics hailing the Scotsman as Britiain’s greatest athlete.

And it was double-delight for mother Judy Murray - who celebrated her son’s ranking triumph by tweeting an image of Andy with older brother, Jamie, who is the world number one men’s doubles player.

“Pride of Scotland, kings of world tennis,” it reads.

The older sibling chimed in too.

After earlier this month becoming the first British singles player to top the world rankings since the current system was introduced in 1973, Murray secured the coveted year-end spot after beating Novak Djokovic to win his first ATP World Tour Finals title at London’s O2 Arena.

The 29-year-old said: 

“I’m very happy to win and to be world number one is very special. It’s very special playing against Novak in a match like this.”

It’s been one hell of a year.

Here was the reaction from his closest rivals ... 

... while politicians, pundits and journalists were united in their respect for the sportsman.

Sarah Harris1   |   October 25, 2016   10:48 AM ET

Read More: uk news, UK Sport, UK Tennis

This is the bizarre moment a Russian tennis player chopped off her own ponytail in the middle of a match.

Svetlana Kuznetsova was 1-2 down in the third set to world number three Agnieszka Radwańska when she took the unusual step. 

According to the Guardian, she requested a break in play during the WTA opener in Singapore on Monday and a pair of scissors, before hacking off her hair.

Once the ponytail was removed, Kuznetsova returned to court where she claimed victory, winning 7-5, 1-6, 7-5.

She later posted a clip of her impromptu haircut on Instagram, with the caption: “Sometimes you gotta do it not by best hairdressers and not at [the] best time.”

Kuznetsova later explained that her hairstyle had been bothering her during play.

According to BBC Sport, she said: “It was bothering me a lot. When I was hitting the forehands I hit a good shot and it would hit my eye.

“I thought, ‘what’s more important? My hair, which can grow, or the match?’”

This is not the first time a tennis player has been spotted giving themselves an on court haircut. 

While playing Rafael Nadal during last season’s ATP finals, Andy Murray gave himself a quick fringe trim.

It seems that was less effective than Kuznetsova’s haircut, since the British player went on to lose against the Spaniard.

Video Replays In Football: Surely It's Time?

Ross Ayling   |   September 21, 2016   10:37 PM ET

I'm sure many of you saw the absolutely horrendous decision from Lee Mason to award Middlesbrough's opener against Everton at the weekend. Granted, at first, it looked like the Boro frontman Alvaro Negredo simply beat Everton Keeper Martin Stekelenburg to the ball and headed it into the net - just a sloppy bit of goalkeeping right? Wrong. The replays showed what was possibly the clearest foul ever to be committed on a goalkeeper. Instead of heading the ball, like you're supposed to, Negredo actually headed the keeper's arms, causing him to throw the ball into his own net. Now in my book, and everyone's book (apart from Mr Mason's) that's not allowed - the goal shouldn't have stood. That's 12 points robbed from my fantasy team clean sheet; so who's going to reimburse them? That's what I want to know.

This came just a week after another horrific display of refereeing in the Swansea vs Chelsea game. If you haven't seen it yet, please do. For everyone that's not a Chelsea fan, it's a great laugh. Unfortunately, for those of you that are, like myself, it's more one of those "I'm going to break literally everything in this room" type moments. The incident I'm referring to is of course the FOUL(S) by Leroy Ferr on Gary Cahill in which he blatantly kicked the Chelsea defender... twice... from behind... to steal the ball and run through and score. This moment of madness ended up costing Chelsea two points, which is pretty hilarious/annoying, depending on who you support.

An understandably outraged Gary Cahill comically slated referee Andre Marriner and his team of officials in his post match interview by claiming; "you could be sat on the moon and see it is a clear foul". The interview is well worth a watch, the best you'll see in a long time. The "Like... come on... seriously..." really made me chuckle. Admittedly, Diego Costa could have been given a second yellow for a dive which would have seen him see red (not for the first time this season - I really wish he'd stop with the silliness); and it's just further evidence that supports the fact that we need video assistance in the game.

Imagine being Andre Mariner, watching the incident back on Match of The Day later that evening. He must've felt like a grade A moron - and rightly so. It's simply not acceptable for referees to KEEP ON making these dreadful errors. Enough is enough, surely? We have the technology to help these visually impaired idiots, so why not use it? Alright, idiots may be a tad too harsh, and I do have sympathy for referees and the stick they get. It's a hard job, there's no question about that. In the wise words of Michael Owen "Refereeing is the hardest job in the world." Okay Michael, sure... I did hear Mark Clattenburg was considering a career in Astrophysics, and Howard Webb was once in the running for President. They both felt refereeing was more of a challenging job proposition, though. Anyway, back to the topic on in football, and why on earth we aren't using it. Video replays, FA. It's that simple. Use video replays.

Let's take a look at the sports that have actually evolved from 1920 by incorporating instant video replays into their game. Rugby, probably the sport that's most similar to football, first brought video referring in almost 15 years ago. 15 years. For god's sake. In Union it's used to review tries and kick goals and in League the video ref can be called upon to make decisions on knock-ons, offsides and obstructions. Sounds pretty fair if you ask me, and I'm sure there's 99.9% less controversy as a result. In cricket, the 'third umpire' is often called upon to assist umpires with decisions relating to well, pretty much everything; LBWs, stumpings, run-outs, catches, and boundaries. Furthermore, a referral system was brought in that allowed teams to challenge a decision of the umpire and have it reviewed via video replay - each team is granted three referrals per innings. It's incredible how many decisions are actually overturned. Again, seems very fair and damn right necessary.

Tennis is another example in which this 'Hawk-Eye' referral system is frequently utilised by players, and also broadcasters, to review if the ball has landed in or out. That's another thing, it adds to the excitement for both the crowd and those of us watching at home. A set winning point that gets the call to be challenged can be more gripping than the actual tennis itself. Over the pond, video replays are used to assist official's decisions in basketball, ice hockey and baseball. So someone please tell me why the suits over at football HQ haven't given it the green light yet?

"It would mean too many stoppages." So what? I'm pretty sure 100% of football players, referees and fans would prefer to wait 15 seconds for a decision to be reviewed than for it to be blindly and incorrectly awarded. I'm sure the broadcast companies will find a way of sneaking in an advert for Bet 365 in there while we wait anyway, so it's a win-win for everyone really. Let's actually think of how much could be resolved by simply having the option to have a closer look at an in game incident.

Firstly, offsides. Imagine how many goals have been scored/shouldn't have been given because of incorrect offside decisions. I appreciate it's not always easy for linesman to make the right call; football is a fast paced game. Some decisions are literally ridiculous though, and can be seen from not only the moon, but Pluto. Probably. All it'd take is one replay to see if the player is offside or not, and the correct decision can be given. It would take no longer than 20 seconds, even for the tight calls.

Secondly, penalties. The exact same thing applies here. Blatant fouls and handballs inside the box that are dismissed by the bottling ref and brilliantly timed challenges that see him point straight to the spot and reach for his red card. There must be on average at least one questionable penalty/should have been a penalty decision per game. Considering a penalty is almost a guaranteed goal, it's such a key moment in a game; so you can understand the frustration of managers, players and fans after essentially being robbed of a win or draw due to an clear cut refereeing mistake. Other incidents such as red cards, dives, and just general points of controversy that may impact the outcome of a match, can be properly seen to and corrected.

I'm not saying review every single decision the referee makes; obviously they'd have to be some sort of system in place like the other sports have. It's not like the FA don't have the ability to make this happen either, we see it every week on MOTD. Yeah, great, let's just watch the pundits analyse the footage after the game so we can sit there and be annoyed about how terrible the ref was. If they can do it after the match, why not let the officials take a look during the actual game - when it matters.

We've got goal-line technology now, great. That only took about 100 years for FIFA to finally realise it was needed, and I fear there will be a similar level of faff with video replays too. They were recently trialled for the first time in an international friendly between France and Italy, which means we'll only have to wait 72 decades for them to appear in the Premier League. The sooner we get them in, the better and fairer the game will be. It's pretty much as simple as that. Andre Mariner and Lee Mason, you might want to give this article a share boys, it might just help your cause.

This article was written by Sports Tours, a specialist sports tour operator that seek to provide and organise the best sports tours, tournaments and festivals for amateur clubs and school teams, both in the UK and overseas.

Never Give Up: Why Disappointing A-Level Results Need Not Stop You From Landing Your Dream Job

Richard Sackey-Addo   |   August 17, 2016   12:45 PM ET

This week students await their A-Level results with great expectation. I remember feeling like that too. I had two conditional offers from universities and was all set to go and study to be a physiotherapist. Then I got my results - my grades were lower than expected and I found myself in UCAS Clearing.

If that day you had told me that four years later I would be working for the International Tennis Federation as an Assistant Research Officer, based in Valencia, I wouldn't have believed you! I was just so disappointed on results day - my whole family had been to university and I knew how important it was in terms of maximising my career options, so the idea that I might not have that opportunity really worried me.

I was never in any doubt that I still wanted to go to university, so I had to calm down and look at my options.

I spent a lot of time looking at the Clearing list for physiotherapy courses, as that had been my first choice, but unfortunately there were no spaces. I switched my attention to Sports Science, as the A-Level requirements were similar, and I spotted a Sport and Exercise Science course at the University of Bedfordshire. I spoke to a member of the admissions team who explained the content of the course and it sounded just what I wanted to study. I sent over the necessary paperwork immediately.

I had a fantastic experience of university. I settled into the course really easily and everyone was really supportive. I had the same set of tutors throughout my course so I got to know them really well and vice versa. They were very approachable and helped me outside my course too, including helping me secure work experience.

I was really keen to hit the ground running, particularly given the circumstances in which I got in to university; I was just delighted to be there. I think meeting new people and networking is the number one thing - if you don't ask you don't get. I did whatever I could to speak to whoever I could, to get my foot in the door.

With this approach I was able to gain experience in tennis, my favourite sport, I was the university's Tennis Ambassador and Tennis Coordinator, and I volunteered as part of the university's 'Get into Sport' scheme. I was also awarded a Gold Sport Coach Scholarship which meant that the university paid for my Level 2 coaching qualification.

The experience I gained was vital in securing my current position at the International Tennis Federation. I was able to work in a great variety of roles at university, from coaching junior players to widening tennis participation among the students. This experience, coupled with my university qualifications, meant I had a really strong CV when I left.

So from the setback of a disappointing results day, I am now in position to support the tennis stars of the future, developing tennis coaching worldwide and overseeing 'Tennis iCoach' - a huge online library of resources for players, coaches, parents and Sports Science practitioners.

It is easy to be disheartened when you are faced with disappointment. Your dream job may seem a long way off, but it is crucial to keep persisting and to remember that with a positive outlook, anything is possible.

Sarah Harris1   |   August 15, 2016   11:20 AM ET

Andy Murray was quick to set John Inverdale straight when the presenter seemed to forget that women’s achievements in tennis also count.

During his post-match interview with Murray after the champion’s men’s singles victory at the Olympics, Inverdale remarked that Murray was the first person to win two tennis golds in the sport.

But Murray reminded him: “Venus and Serena have won about four each.”

Inverdale was presumably referring to the fact that Murray is the first man to win back-to-back singles gold medals.

The Williams sisters both have one women’s singles gold and three doubles golds apiece.

JK Rowling, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and MP Jess Phillips were among those who also castigated Inverdale...

Many others also praised Murray for his response...

It’s not the first time the BBC presenter has run into trouble regarding women in sport.

During coverage of Wimbledon in 2014, he attracted huge criticism for his comments on 2013 women’s singles champion Marion Bartoli.

He said that Bartoli was “never going to be a looker” - and it seems social media users haven’t quite forgotten that one either...

That particular comment prompted hundreds of complaints to the BBC.

It seems like things have also been getting a little tense between Inverdale and Olympic champion Sir Steve Redgrave while the pair presented the rowing at Rio.

Incidents included Redgrave shaking an umbrella over Inverdale, stopping him when he tried to interview a winning rower and even appearing to walk off.

Christopher York   |   August 11, 2016    6:45 AM ET

Read More: uk news, UK Sport, tennis

Police are investigating the possibility a British tennis player was deliberately poisoned during last month’s Wimbledon Championships.

Gabriella Taylor, 18, was forced to withdraw midway through the girl’s quarter-finals and spent four days in intensive care “close to death”.

It was initially thought she had contracted a virus while playing overseas but was eventually diagnosed with a virus that can be transmitted through rat urine called Leptospirois

Police have launched a criminal investigation into whether or not she was deliberately poisoned, possibly by an organised betting syndicate or a rival player or coach, reports the Telegraph.

Taylor’s mother, Milena, said her daughter was staying “in a completely healthy environment” and it was “impossible” for her to have become ill.

“The bacteria the infection team found is so rare in Britain that we feel this could not have been an accident,” she told the Telegraph.

“Her bags with her drinks in were often left unattended in the players’ lounge and someone could have taken the opportunity to contaminate her drink.”

No arrests have been made, reports the Press Association.

“The allegation was received by officers on August 5 with the incident alleged to have taken place at an address in Wimbledon between July 1-10. The victim was taken ill on July 6. It is unknown where or when the poison was ingested,” a police spokesman said. 

“The victim, an 18-year-old woman, received hospital treatment and is still recovering.”

But the young player appears to be on the road to recovery.

On Wednesday she tweeted:


Sarah Harris1   |   August 5, 2016   10:57 AM ET

Our best and brightest sporting stars are gearing up for the Rio 2016 Olympics - but Andy Murray hasn’t quite kicked things off as we’d hoped.

The Wimbledon champion has been chosen as the flag-bearer for Team GB, an honour previously bestowed upon the likes of Steve Redgrave, Chris Hoy and Matthew Pinsent.

But during a photoshoot, Murray didn’t quite appear to have full control of the flag.

At one point it even looked like Princess Anne might even get a smack in the face from the standard.

But the royal took his fumbling in good humour and appeared to poke fun at the tennis star, bobbing out of site behind the flag and pulling faces.

The official Royal Family Twitter account also poked fun at the tennis champ:

 Poor old Andy, even his own mother had a dig at him:

Murray, who won a gold medal at London 2012 in the men’s singles, will carry the flag for Great Britain in Friday night’s opening ceremony.

According to the BBC, he said of the position: “To lead out Team GB will be an incredible honour, the biggest in sport.”

He said that he had “great memories” of the London 2012 games, adding: “The privilege of being the flag bearer is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life and will certainly be one of the highlights of my career.”

Just maybe have a little practice with the flag before Friday evening, eh Andy?

Murray will face Serbia’s Victor Troicki in his first Olympic singles match on Sunday.

He is also competing alongside his brother Jamie in the men’s doubles event.

Serena Williams Is My Hero!

Martyn Stewart   |   July 11, 2016   11:21 AM ET

Perception is everything.

First of all, don't jump on me for not using the word 'heroine' in the title. I know some will, but playing the politically correct game of appeasement by referencing Serena's gender is missing the point. An argument pitting men and women against each other in a battle for equality and respect is not what this is about.


If I have to identify your race, gender, social class, physical characteristics or public perception in order to make my intended point poignantly enough, (or for people to take notice), then the equality you seek is still way off - and the use of 'appropriate adjectives' aren't going to swing the balance.

However, perception is everything.

A hero is defined in many ways, such as 'aiding the lives of others through selfless accomplishments or overcoming adversity linked to bravery, skill or strength.' Historically, hero depictions tended to be literary works describing feats of real, or imaginary, male characters embodying all, or part, of this description. We all know that most people mentally process information in a way that suits them.

However, I'm not responsible for the decisions of those who choose to typecast men in the role of hero; nor the cognitive priming that exists within the entertainment and media portrayals which habitually exploit this trend today without conscious thought.

But, perception is everything.

I obviously have opinions on gender, race-relations, politics and social class but so do the seven billion others on the planet. The socially sensitive topics of conversation in 2016, dominated by US presidential campaigns, police brutality and EU referendums has opinions running wild on the tips of tongues worldwide; however, that's a market I don't want to trade in.

Opinions are often an abomination of misinterpreted or misguided social constructions masquerading in the minds of individuals as fact.

However, perception is everything

Sometimes, sports can give us a welcome escape. Serena Williams has just become arguably the greatest athlete in her world-renowned discipline. Not just in opinion but in facts. Yet the global recognition in comparison has been lacking parity based on this objective measure.

I shouldn't have to say my hero is a black, female, working class, physically impressive individual, who overcame tragedy and adversity, yet divides public perception, for it to resonate or have gravitas. I didn't write this to engage any argumentative back and forth, I wrote it for Serena. In the hope, that amongst the divided public opinion she might see, objectively, what she has done.

My hero overcame obstacles impeding the path. Many didn't want that hero to succeed or reach the pinnacle, often casting them as the villain. Three times prior, they fell when the opportunity presented itself. Some laughed. Analysts correctly highlighted that the unstoppable force of time is the hero's enemy. Yet still, they were undeterred.

I can only speculate what the response would have been if the hero had faltered again. Regardless, they would have remained inspirational to me. Not everybody is aware that the hero doesn't always have to 'win' in the objective manner. Many of my heroes didn't win. When obstacles include rejection, socio-psychological inhibitions, self-doubt and marginalisation amongst other things, 'winning' takes on many forms; such as just 'being there' when the reverberating undercurrent suggests that you're not 'entitled' to.

But, perception is everything.

I would be lying if I said my personal characteristics, experiences and opinions that make me identify with Serena, aren't influential. No doubt the additional understanding from my own background adds depth to this hero depiction. However, that story is for another day. Our perceptions, as fallible men and women, can lie but numbers don't. 22 and counting. Even without my technicoloured insight of identification; today, this achievement should make Serena everybody's hero. But she isn't.

Nevertheless, Serena's objective achievement, free from my biased perspective, has positively, (and productively), energised my educational and psychological teachings for a very long time - especially today. She has fulfilled the criteria for hero in my mind. Her achievements have enriched the lives of others and she should enjoy this moment. Most heroes don't even know they are such. They're just 'normal' people doing things that are 'normal' to them. Others just perceive them to be heroic, most of the time when the hero didn't ask for it. That is where much of the burden comes for them. However, their continuation in the face of this is what provides us with hope...

But then again, perception is everything!