Venus Williams offered a look into her personal vulnerability, even on the tennis court, in addressing an audience of entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders at the Inc. Women's Summit in New York City on November 3.
"It's OK to fail, but if you don't learn from it and you keep making those mistakes, then shame on you," the seven-time Grand Slam champion told the audience.
The article speaks to her fretfulness over her 1999 US Open singles quarterfinal match, quoting her as saying, "On the court, I was just so nervous, I let fear take over. And the next thing I know, I'm shaking hands the loser."
In truth, Williams won that particular encounter, beating Barbara Schett in straight sets. What she lost came next: She dropped a three-set semifinal against Martina Hingis. The Swiss Miss, then No. 1 on the WTA Tour, went on to fall in the final to Serena Williams, who won her first-ever major singles title.
A famously hooded Venus looked on rather somberly as her sister claimed the family's first Slam singles championship. (Together, the sisters won French and US Open doubles titles that same year and weekend.)
But back to Venus in 2016: In her keynote speech at the Inc. conference, she shared and expounded on a trio of tips, beckoning all comers to lean into their passions, embrace change and innovate constantly.
That last one quickly drummed up Venus' status as the first Wimbledon women's singles champ to take prize money equal to that of her male counterpart, something she campaigned for not selfishly but for all WTA players at the time and, frankly, for all of time.
Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9.