Serena Williams is highly interested in owning a WNBA team

Serena Williams is highly interested in owning a WNBA team

 Hours before the 2024 WNBA Draft on Monday night, Serena Williams expressed strong interest in expanding her investment portfolio to include a team in the American women's basketball league.

"I think with the right market, I would definitely be super interested in that," said the 23-time Grand Slam champion, who retired from tennis in 2022, in an exclusive interview with CNN discussing the current landscape of women's sports.

During her three-decade career on the Hologic WTA Tour, Williams honed her business acumen. She established Serena Ventures, a venture capital company, while still active in 2017, and already holds ownership stakes in a National Women's Soccer League team, Angel City FC based in Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Golf Club.

According to CNN, Serena Ventures has prioritized investments in underrepresented entrepreneurs, with 78% of the startups in which the firm has invested being led by women and people of color. Williams believes that women's sports present an exciting investment opportunity.

“There is no risk factor,” she emphasized. “Women’s sport is exciting, women are exciting to watch. What’s the difference? … I think that even more people watched college women’s basketball than men's. So I think that people are realizing that it's exciting to watch.”

Caitlin Clark, the star player from the University of Iowa who broke the NCAA's all-time scoring record in her senior season, is expected to be the No. 1 pick in Monday night's WNBA draft. Williams noted that Clark's exceptional season, which contributed to higher viewership of the women's tournament compared to the men's, underscores the growing momentum in women's sports globally.

Williams advocates that other sports should follow the trailblazing example set by the WTA, which has a five-decade history of empowering women. Women's tennis has historically been the highest-paying sport for women worldwide. In 2023, nine out of the top 10 highest-paid female athletes were WTA players, according to Forbes.

"I think the moment's been happening; we just needed the right catalyst and the right people. ... I think women's sport is having a moment that it should've always had," Williams remarked.

"I feel like tennis has had its moment. It's international and it's huge and it's always going to be there, and it's time to lift up other sports. ... Let's put it on that platform that tennis is on."

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