Great Britain’s Tiffany William, 28, has been living in the suburbs of NYC for the past year, with her heart set on playing professional tournaments.
By design, these series’ of tournaments take her places that she ordinarily would not think to visit with her family or on her own, and the opportunity to compete alongside some of the best tennis players out there truly brings out the best in her. Starting out on her home courts across the pond in London at the age of 9, Tiffany’s coaches and mentors always pushed her to the limit.
“There were no intentions to become a pro, but obviously I enjoyed tennis, and was encouraged to carry on and play,” says Tiffany, who wound up becoming the no. 1-ranked junior player in her country in the 16 and under division. Due to financial restraints as a junior, Tiffany had played the majority of tennis tournaments domestically and trained at the National Tennis Center, although she did represent the UK in the Winter Cup in Belarus as a world-class junior.
As she progressed in her tennis career, there was one particular moment in Portugal a few years ago when she knew her tennis had reached a higher level and she could hang with anyone on court. Playing against a former top-50 opponent, Tiffany won the first set in the opening round of a 25K event but wound up losing in three tight sets.
“The fact that I was able to compete with her — that did give me a lot of confidence and motivation for my tennis overall,” says Tiffany of going toe-to-toe with her higher-ranked foe.
Tiffany’s latest and likely last stop on the tour for this year is in Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic where she won a round in the 15K doubles before succumbing in three tight sets. Rather than sulking about the tough loss, she already has her sights set on activities that she’ll be taking on in the off-season: Fitness and Cooking. With the intention of sharpening her fitness skills, Tiffany has enlisted the help of a former Olympian turned fitness trainer in her hometown of London where she plans on spending the holiday season (also known to tennis players as the off-season since it’s a break from the regularly-scheduled competition).
For Tiffany, what goes into your body food-wise and the associated exercise routine go hand-in-hand, making the utmost impact on her tennis game as well.
“I practiced tennis for so many years,” says Tiffany about how her focus has shifted to fitness. “I think the most important thing in my tennis right now is my body and making sure that it is in the best shape that it can be in. Each person is different, but after you’ve played a certain number of hours of tennis you know how to play, so at the end of the day it’s just who can persevere in the crucial moment when you’re tired and it’s the third set and it’s [extra] sunny [outside].”
What motivates her in the off-season is the chance to work on her body’s conditioning with one of the best trainers, but also to get some cooking in as that’s hard to come by when on the road week after week. The hotels are usually lacking kitchens, but there are cooks who prepare meals on-site and it’s all inclusive which makes a difference.
“Sometimes when you’re tired after a match, or maybe you’ve lost a match, it’s hard to cook for yourself,” says the V8Pro player of the reality of how it feels right after playing, “but it is kind of nice that food is prepared for you already afterwards.”
Now that she’ll have full-access to her family’s kitchen in London shortly, the thought of preparing home-cooked meals in advance of and during Christmas is very much on her mind.
“I like to cook,” says Tiffany, who wound up starting a cooking business during the pandemic at home in London. “I had really good reviews so I know that when I’m done with tennis, I’m going to open up a restaurant!”
While she did learn how to cook Nigerian cuisine from her parents, they will wind up acting as sous-chefs and she’ll be at the helm preparing dishes (that she learned how to make while in quarantine) such as one of her sweet-infused favorites called “coconut beans.”
As a Volkl touring pro, Tiffany uses the V8 Pro racquet which allows her to strike the ball with precision, accuracy and extreme power (just by standing across the net from her, you'll truly feel what it's like to have to sustain a rally with such a tough hitting partner). The V-Torque performance string helps her generate even more spin and control over where the ball's going in the court. And at the start of the 2023 season, she’ll play in a series of tournaments throughout the United States, including events being held in Florida and Georgia.