Tennis star Serena Williams oozes confidence as she poses for an unretouched shoot for Harper’s Bazaar,
The Grand Slam ace poses in the magazine in nothing but a gold cape. Williams even flashes some serious flesh as she shares a peek of her bottom in the daring shoot. In other incredible images, the beauty wears a variety of stunning gold ensembles.
In a personal essay within the magazine’s pages, Williams also opens up about her now-infamous US Open outburst. Serena made headlines in September 2018 when competing for her 24th Grand Slam singles title against Naomi Osaka.
She lost the match to the 20 year-old after umpire Carlos Ramos penalized Williams three times. Williams and many observers viewed her treatment as “unfair” and “sexist”.
But others felt like her reaction to the penalties was over the top and aggressive.
The tennis pro revealed in the magazine that she apologized to her US Open opponent Naomi Osaka via text.
But still believes sexist bias caused the entire “debacle.”
“I could not have been happier for her,” Serena, who has one a total of 39 Grand Slams, wrote.
“As for me, I felt defeated and disrespected by a sport that I love—one that I had dedicated my life to and that my family truly changed, not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.”
Serena admitted to Harper’s Bazaar that when she returned to her home in Florida she was left “hurt” and “cut deeply” by the match.
But she also felt a sense of guilt, thinking back to her first time winning a Grand Slam in 1999, at the age of 17.
The mom-of-one soon realized how the moment was taken away from Naomi during her first win.
“This debacle ruined something that should have been amazing and historic,” Serena wrote, before adding: “Not only was a game taken from me but a defining, triumphant moment was taken from another player, something she should remember as one of the happiest memories in her long and successful career.”
Serena says she struggled to come to terms with what had happened and sought professional help.
“Days passed, and I still couldn’t find peace,” she wrote. “I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racket.”
Serena decided to contact Naomi and apologize for what happened between herself and the umpire on the tennis court.
The whole text interaction has been released by Harper’s Bazaar.
“It was time for me to apologize to the person who deserved it the most,” Williams confessed. “I started to type, slowly at first, then faster as if the words were flowing out of me.”
Writing to Osaka, Williams wrote: “I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete,” she wrote Naomi. “I can’t wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan! I wish you only success today and in the future.”
The message then signed off with Serena expressing “all my love” towards Naomi and calling herself a “fan” of the young tennis player.
An emotional Osaka graciously texted back: “People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two.”
She continued: “No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.”
The conversation with Osaka helped Williams move on from the backlash she faced from her outburst on the court.
“I’ll admit, it was a long while before I picked up a racket again,” Serena wrote. “There is only so much one person can take.”
Ultimately, it was Serena’s one-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, who encouraged her to return to her first love.
“My daughter is the reason I use my voice, the reason I picked up a racket again,” she said, adding: “Love breathes life and newfound perspective into people. It’s not about quitting when someone presents a challenge; it’s about getting up when you are down, dusting yourself off and asking, ‘Is that the best you got?'”