Tennis super-star sings to relax before biggest tournament of her life.

By Rose Minutaglio
August 31, 2015 12:00 PM
Michael Loccisano/Getty

As Serena Williams looks forward to one of the biggest tournaments of her life, a win at the upcoming 2015 U.S. Open would make her the first female calendar-year Grand Slam winner since 1988, the tennis superstar is preparing by fueling up on carbs, practicing daily and – singing karaoke.

“Singing is a good way to relax before a [tournament],” Williams, 33, told PEOPLE before she took the stage at the 2nd Annual Delta OPEN Mic night in New York City last Wednesday. “I’m good at all those 90s rock songs, I’m leaning towards doing Green Day right now. Yup, that’s me, I need to do rock because it suits my singing voice best!”

Music plays an important part in the athlete’s pregame routine, and she says her pre-match playlist includes jamming to everything from pal T-Swift to songs from the Flashdance album.

“I put [Irene] Cara on my warm-up mash right now, the 80s ‘Flashdance What a Feeling.’ I like the words because it really makes you want to do better!” says Williams. “She talks about ‘This is your moment, I can have anything that I want, I’m dancing for my life, I’m playing for my life what a feeling! Please believe it.’ It’s good, so good.”

But the New York Magazine August cover star doesn’t just karaoke solo, Williams and tennis-star sister Venus, 35, apparently make a killer singing pair.

“We actually have a really, really good duet. We’ve been singing a lot of Disney like The Little Mermaid, says Williams laughing. “But, let me tell you, it’s hard! I’m not going to lie though, I do really great when we sing Part of Your World.”

Williams is all smiles when talking about her favorite music, but when asked what the hour leading up to her first U.S. Open Match Monday will look like, the six-time U.S. Open champ is all business.

“I’m really quiet before [matches],” she says. “I don’t really speak to anyone and my team my coach talks to me for 30 minutes before my match to get in my head about what I want to do and what I want to play on. Then I warm up, I like to be sweating before I go out there and do my thing.”