Serena Williams, the ultimate class act.

By Christina Oehler
July 12, 2019
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Credit: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Serena Williams never fails to wow us, but her latest magazine feature may just be our favorite Serena moment yet. The tennis champ was chosen to be the cover girl for Harper’s Bazaar’s August 2019 issue—and while her dripping-gold look is impressive, her message about overcoming adversity and standing up for herself is truly inspiring.

In the article, Williams opens up about her experience throughout the 2018 US Open, when she infamously lost to Naomi Osaka after a referee accused her of cheating. She explains how the incident between her and the referee took a toll on her mental health and discouraged her from picking up her racket. But the most poignet part of her essay was her honest message about her triumph over adversity.

“I’ve been called every name in the book,” she wrote. “I’ve been shamed because of my body shape. I’ve been paid unequally because of my sex. I’ve been penalized a game in the final of a Major because I expressed my opinion or grunted too loudly...And these are only the things that are seen by the public.”

Williams said that her motivation to stay strong despite these obstacles was to help other women going through similar situations.

“In short, it’s never been easy,” she said. “But then I think of the next girl who is going to come along who looks like me, and I hope, ‘Maybe, just maybe, my voice will help her.’”

“Ultimately, my daughter is the reason I use my voice, the reason I picked up a racket again,” she added. “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?’ Because I have God with me, and I can take whatever comes my way.”

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