02/01/2016 10:07 GMT | Updated 02/01/2017 05:12 GMT

Tennis Superstar Serena Williams Says She Has Learned To Love Her Curves

Tennis superstar Serena Williams says she has learned to love her curves, despite years of criticism and the risks and difficulty of playing sport with large breasts.

The world number and reigning Wimbledon champion said it had been "a struggle to love my body" because of years of sniping about her powerful physique, but was now "happier in myself".

The 34-year-old American, who has won 21 Grand Slam singles titles, described the problems facing curvy women in sport, saying: "Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down."

She also hit out at the "impossible ideals" facing women and said it was important she spread the message that "there's more than one way to look amazing".

She told the Times: "When I was younger, it was hard seeing all these thin athletes when I had more muscular curves and was big-busted.

"Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down.It's distracting, not to mention dangerous, because you can tear ligaments.

"I know I get flack for my physique and it has been a struggle to love my body, but now curves are in and I'm happier in myself. Women face so many impossible ideals. It's important for me to get across that there's more than one way to look amazing."

Williams' bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam in 2015 was ended by a semi-final defeat to Roberta Vinci at the US Open. But she still enjoyed a remarkable year, with victories in the Australian Open, French Open and at Wimbledon among the five titles she won. She lost only three of the singles matches she played in 2015.