An injury will keep Serena Williams out of the U.S. Open this week, but she is likely to remain a frequent conversation topic. She will also be the only thing they will be talking about on a new 12-part podcast from Diversion Media and iHeartMedia. “The GOAT: Serena,” the podcast will be hosted by a pair of tennis trailblazers and personal friends of Williams.
Rubin and Garrison will speak with Williams’ family members, rivals, tennis legends, coaches and friends as they trace Serena’s path to greatness, from outlier to the all-time Grand Slam singles champion. They will also share their own personal experiences and first-hand encounters with Williams on the tennis court. The creators say the result is a podcast that will give listeners a rare view inside the making of an athletic genius as the series examines the hardships, triumphs, setbacks, motivations and sacrifices that shaped the cultural icon.
“Creating this podcast alongside Chanda has truly been a labor of love,” said Garrison, a former tennis pro who coached Williams as part of the U.S. women’s team in the 2008 Olympics. “Even though we will all miss her at this year’s U.S. Open, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Serena up-close throughout her career and can’t wait to share the incredible stories and lessons in drive and determination with the world.”
Featured guests on the podcast will include tennis greats Billie Jean King, Monica Seles, Andy Roddick, Pam Shriver, Martina Navratilova, Serena’s half-sister Isha Price, rapper-actor and Serena’s former boyfriend Common, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts and coach Kamau Murray, among others.
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, pulled out of this year’s U.S. Open after she injured her right leg during a match at Wimbledon.
“When it comes to Serena, the numbers don’t lie. She is unquestionably the greatest to play the sport,” said Rubin, a tennis commentator and former top 10 professional tennis player. “Yet, beyond countless titles and sheer athletic dominance, what makes Serena so remarkable is her willingness to lay it all on the line time and time again, as well as her capacity for personal growth.”
“The GOAT: Serena” is a production of Diversion Podcasts in partnership with iHeartMedia. It marks the second installment of the series, following the acclaimed debut season, “The GOAT: Tom Brady.” It is part of an alliance between Diversion and iHeart that was first announced in May 2020.
“The talented storytellers at Diversion Podcasts have accumulated some extremely compelling interviews to help tell the fascinating and incredible story of Serena Williams and her journey to become the GOAT,” said Sean Titone, Lead Executive Producer of Sports for the iHeartPodcast Network. “We couldn’t ask for better hosts than Chanda and Zina, and I guarantee that listeners of this podcast are going to hear amazing anecdotes about Serena that they’ve never heard before.”