Serena Williams says she has learned to love her curves, despite years of "flak" for her physique.

The 34-year-old tennis champion, with 21 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, told the The Times that she found it hard having a more muscular physique than many other female players.

The world number one and reigning Wimbledon champion said it had been "a struggle to love my body", adding: "Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down."

Serena, who has showcased her body in a powerful black and white Annie Leibowitz portrait for the Pirelli Calendar, also hit out at the "impossible ideals" facing women and said it was important she spread the message that "there's more than one way to look amazing".

Advertisement

She said: "When I was younger, it was hard seeing all these thin athletes when I had more muscular curves and was big-busted.

READ MORE: Wozniacki sets sights on title shot

"Just try running with DDs that are bouncing seven inches up and down. It's distracting, not to mention dangerous, because you can tear ligaments."

The Pirelli Calendar said they chose Serena as one of their 12 inspirational female models because she had "overcome insurmountable odds' to win 21 career Grand Slams, while, "she and her sister Venus, changed the way women's tennis was played".

Venus Williams is currently in Auckland and is eyeing another victory at the ASB Classic.

- Daily Mail