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Brooklyn, New York – November 1, 2016: Common and Serena Williams sit down for an interview at Urban Vintage cafe in Clinton Hill Brooklyn, New York. (Demetrius Freeman for The Undefeated)

Common & Serena Williams talk about race, identity & more in a special for The Undefeated.

Last night, ESPN aired The Undefeated In-Depth: Serena With Common. The hour long feature plays like a peek into a first-date conversation. Even though Williams & Common have been friends for years, the special allows us a glimpse into Serena’s innermost thoughts.

“I definitely feel like I was scrutinized because I was confident,” Williams says in the feature about working through criticism. “I was black, and I was confident. I am black. I am confident. I would say I feel like I can be No. 1. ‘Oh no, you don’t say that.’ But why shouldn’t I say that? If I don’t think I’m gonna be the best, why do I play?”

Throughout her career, Williams has broken records with her own bit of flair. Her blackness has been on display every step of the way. She’s spoken out on tour about her blackness. Once, she boycotted the Indian Wells tournament due to bigoted practices. “We were always told to love ourselves,” Serena says of her childhood. “I’m really proud to wear this color every single day of my life.”

She even admits that there’s a bit of gender bias in regards to considering her the greatest tennis player ever. “I think, if I were a man, I would’ve been in that conversation a long, long time ago.”

Watch the full special below.

Photo: Demetrius Freeman for The Undefeated

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