Williams, 35, owns 22 career grand slam titles, tied with German legend Steffi Graf for the most in the Open era and two behind Australian Margaret Court’s record 24.

“It’s very challenging because sometimes when things are blatantly wrong and blatantly unfair and blatantly racist or sexist, I just have to go and put on a brave smile and not let anyone know how I feel on the inside so they don’t get that satisfaction even though on the inside I would be dying,” Williams said in the sitdown.

Williams also said she stopped reading her clips after facing criticism in the press early in her career for talking herself up as a future world No. “I shouldn’t have to apologize for saying and believing that I could be the best,” Williams said.

Asked to comment following their conviction, she told Rolling Stone magazine: ‘I’m not blaming the girl, but ...

she’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember?

“I think if I were a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago,” Williams said in an in-depth interview with rapper Common — whom she once dated — for ESPN vertical “The Undefeated.” “I think being a woman is just a whole new set of problems from society that you have to deal with, as well as being black, so it’s a lot to deal with — and especially lately.

I’ve been able to speak up for women’s rights because I think that gets lost in color, or gets lost in cultures.

Serena : All I can say is when you find a successful black women who is not married and does not have children it is because they refuse to accept the two choices.

Some may go as far as marriage to a black guy but they realize divorce is inevitable so they do not have children.

Serena Williams says recognition of her rightful place in the tennis pantheon — and she’ll say it: No.

1 all-time — has been withheld because she is a woman and because she is black.

Interracial marriage didn't become legal across the country until a 1967 Supreme Court decision struck down all remaining state laws against black and white people marrying.