Want to get a few insider tips about Venus Williams’ fierce fast serve? Or perhaps you’d like to pick the tennis star’s brain about her off the court skills — fashion and interior designing. From 6-11 p.m. Saturday you’ll get your shot. Bid in a silent auction for a chance to spend an hour meeting with the tennis powerhouse at a charity gala held at the Palm Court event space in the Design District. Proceeds go to the nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, steering at-risk children into business careers and to think like entrepreneurs.
We caught up with Venus, 34, before the party.
Why are causes like this important to you?
My dream in life was to win tennis championships. With that came being a role model. It really has surpassed my dreams to be able to inspire so many people through the sport I love. I could have never imagined that would happen. It’s a real honor. Above all, I always strive to represent my family and my God well with all of my actions.
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When you go out in public, what is a common question from fans?
A lot of people ask me, ‘Where’s Serena?’ We spend a lot of time together, but we can’t always be together. I think they think that we never separate. Others ask me if I am playing some of the big tournaments like the four majors. As a top ranked player I would never miss those!
How is everything going with all your other endeavors?
I have an interior design company, V Starr Interiors, in South Florida and a fashion business [EleVen] as well. I love them both. I have applied the same things I have learned from tennis to my business. I have a great team; it’s awesome to work with people you enjoy spending time with.
What fashion trends are you seeing?
My line of activewear always uses bold prints. I’m always focused on the colors for the seasons and how I can translate them into florals, tie dyes or geometric prints.
What kind of exercise routine are you doing lately?
My life is one great big workout. I spend four hours on court followed by a couple in the gym. I alternate with distance running, sprints, plyometrics as well as weights for arms, legs and core. I like to keep it interesting. Lately I have been doing a lot of dance. Jazz and modern are my favorites.
When you are in Miami where do you like to hang out?
You can definitely find me at a Dolphin game. It’s easy to find me at a karaoke night as well singing. I love Zuma and Sugarcane among many of the other great dining options.
What are your summer plans?
Lots of tennis! The U.S. Open series is up and at V Starr we have some grand openings of some of our projects including The Manor Lauderdale by the Sea, The Wellington Tennis Center and pro-shop, the sales center for [luxury gated community] Botaniko in Weston, as well as SofA Offices and Lofts in Delray Beach during the early fall.