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Some celebrities boast eye-popping rides. However, Serena Williams doesn’t have a wild car collection. Still, the newly retired tennis champ enjoys driving. Read about why the mom of one loves to get behind the wheel and how that passion led to an ambassadorship with an American luxury automaker.

Serena Williams says she likes ‘the quiet’ of driving

Serena Williams drives a 2018 Lincoln Navigator
Serena Williams drives a 2018 Lincoln Navigator | Ford Motor Company

Since retiring from professional tennis in 2022, Serena Williams has kept busy with her company Serena Ventures, daughter Olympia, and husband Alex Ohanian. Williams has a packed schedule thanks to her jewelry and clothing brands and other business and personal obligations. But she says she has a way to decompress: driving

“I am such a hands-on mom,” she recently revealed in an interview with Town & Country. “I’m always with Olympia, and I’m always doing work, but when I’m in the car, I can’t do work. I have me-time, and I really take my time. I love the quiet, the focus.” 

The tennis legend says she takes her time while driving, sometimes even choosing the longest route to her destination to prolong her quiet time. Her love of driving even led to an ambassadorship with Lincoln in 2018.

Serena Williams inked a brand ambassadorship with Lincoln years ago

Serena Williams drives to calm down
Serena Williams stands outside a 2018 Lincoln Navigator | Ford Motor Company

Her partnership with Ford Motor Company’s luxury brand, Lincoln, has resulted in some interesting design elements. For instance, Williams shared that scents are a significant part of her life. She associates aromas with various places and people. At home, she uses specific fragrances so that her daughter will always associate a particular scent with their house, which makes coming home that much better. 

A couple of years ago, the 23-time Grand Slam winner developed Coastal Morning, a fragrance for Lincoln. She signed hand-blown bottles containing the perfume before they were sold at auction to benefit charities. In addition, the scent was used as an in-car fragrance in Lincoln vehicles such as Williams’ SUV of choice, the Navigator.

She even spec’ed out a ride for herself, leading to a signature Lincoln Navigator. For example, she likes vegan leather for seat coverings and bold color combinations, such as black with pink stitching. Williams added that she prefers a vehicle with more advanced driver-assistance systems than comfort features because she’d rather have fewer driving distractions.

The tennis champ has fond memories of family road trips

Serena Williams drives to calm down
Serena Williams checks the rear-view mirror in a 2018 Lincoln Navigator | Ford Motor Company

Her love of driving likely stems from her childhood, which included many family road trips. Williams recalled her father driving them from California to Florida. They also went to the Grand Canyon and various areas of Mexico because the border wasn’t far from their home in Southern California. 

Nowadays, the retired tennis player tries to persuade her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, to go on more road trips like those she experienced when she was younger. She thinks their daughter would love those times like Serena and the rest of her family did. One memory fresh in her mind is when she and her husband took a trip when Olympia was a newborn. But her daughter was too young to remember any of it. 

Serena Williams loves to drive because it allows her to spend time by herself and decompress from the stresses of life. The quiet time she enjoys while driving allows her to refresh and refocus on whatever life throws her way.