The Story Of Serena Williams Chasing Down A Guy Who Stole Her Phone Proves Why She’s The G.O.A.T.

Serena Williams about to serve

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Serena Williams is known for the fiercely competitive nature that allowed her to become one of the best women’s tennis players (if not the best) of all time. You were normally in for a rough time if you found yourself facing off against her on the court, but you also had to be careful about crossing her off of it—a lesson one cell phone thief learned the hard way.

If you’re familiar with Williams’ rise to the top of the tennis world, you know she was taught she had to fight for everything she earned and never took anything for granted. That mentality helped her earn 23 Grand Slam titles on her own (in addition to 21 doubles and two mixed doubles) while racking up a total of 73 singles tournament victories during her storied career.

Williams was a wildly talented player with an uncanny ability to wear down her opponents both physically and mentally. However, her tenacity wasn’t limited to the playing surface.

In this day and age, most people consider their phone one of their most valuable possessions, as you’re typically going to be in for a very rough time if you find yourself without one.

As a result, it’s hard to blame anyone for going to great lengths to ensure it remains in their possession—which is exactly what Williams did when someone was foolish enough to try to steal hers.

The time Serena Williams successfully chased down a thief who took her cellphone

Serena and Venus Williams at F1 event

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In 2015, Williams was having a nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant with her sister Venus and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki when a guy who was apparently radiating some sketchy vibes ended up in the vicinity of their table.

A lot of people have a sixth sense that allows them to feel like something is simply off, and Serena’s was triggered in that moment.

As she recalled in a Facebook post about the incident in question, she found herself wondering if the guy was an employee or a fellow diner waiting for the bathroom, and while she didn’t know what his deal was, she did know he was worth keeping an eye on.

That turned out to be a pretty good call, as he eventually swiped the phone she’d placed on a chair next to her before making a beeline for the exit of the restaurant.

Williams wasted no time jumping up and pursuing him (a chase she said involved her “leaping over a chair or two”), and while he did what he could to run away before getting outside, the professional tennis player who spent decades of her life training for grueling matches “was too fast” for the thief.

She described what unfolded once he realized he’d been nabbed, saying:

“In the most menacing yet calm, no-nonsense voice I could muster, I kindly asked him if he ‘accidentally’ took the wrong phone.

He stumbled on his words, probably not expecting this to happen…Eventually, he said, ‘Gosh you know what I did! It was so confusing in there. I must have grabbed the wrong phone’…I swiftly thanked him and left.”

I honestly have to give credit where credit is due to Serena for letting him go. I’m sure the fact that she’s one of the most famous tennis players on the planet played into her decision to play things cool, but I have a very hard time imagining I’d be able to exercise the same amount of self-restraint if I ever found myself in a similar situation.

Williams (who was 34 years old at the time) reportedly headed back to the restaurant with her phone in tow and received a standing ovation from the patrons for her actions.

She definitely earned it.

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Tj Francis is an NYC-based writer and comedian who covers weird sports stories and largely forgotten tales involving your favorite athletes, teams, and personalities.