Serena Williams Says Daughter Olympia Is Glad She Stepped Back from Tennis: 'I Don't Quite Know How to Feel!'

Serena Williams is savoring every moment she has with her daughter Olympia.

The tennis icon, 41, who has partnered with the Lincoln Motor Company on a new car fragrance, appeared on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast, and opened up about her more relaxed daily schedule after announcing in August that she was stepping away from the game.

Williams told host Janine Rubenstein that her 5-year-old, whom she shares with husband Alexis Ohanian, is "very aware" that her mom is no longer committed to an intense training schedule and is trying to make the most of Williams' newfound free time.

"She wants to make sure that I'm aware that I should have time on my hands and I need to spend more time with her," the 23-time Grand Slam champion said, laughing. "I'm always like, 'Olympia, I'm not working now.' She's like, 'Yeah, you don't play tennis!' She's like, 'Yes!' And I don't really quite know how to feel about that!"

She continued, "It's funny ... but it's good because little kids really want to be with their parents. And I just feel fortunate that she wants to be with me. That's kind of how I look at it, [because] she could feel a different way, and I'm glad she doesn't."

As Williams embarks on her journey post-tennis, she's also enjoying the new experience of interacting with her kindergartner in a different way.

Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian
Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian

Alexis Ohanian Instagram Serena Williams, Alexis Ohanian and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian

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"It's like a conversation now! I'm like, Wait, this is so weird, because you've just been so used to baby talk and now it's just like conversations," she said. "She's telling me about her feelings the other day and I'm just like, Um, okay, this kid has feelings and she understands. I'm like, When did you learn that word?! You know, it's just a completely different experience."

Williams has often shared about her close relationship with her daughter, who she often features on her Instagram and who cheered her on from the stands at the US Open this summer.

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"She's my little buddy," Williams said at a panel in August, before the US Open. "We do everything together. We go on dates and it's so cool because she likes everything I do — except for tennis! She's really fun. I see a lot of my personality in her and it's just a great time to have her around now to see what I do on a daily."

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The proud mom revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live last year that Olympia was learning to play the piano.

"She likes tennis, but I don't know. Honestly, she likes playing piano," Williams said. "When she was in my belly, I played a lot of piano music."

Around the same time, the mom posted an adorable TikTok of Olympia guiding her on the keys, and even singing a few notes.

"Olympia is a boss," she captioned the video.