Tennis star Serena Williams has flawlessly graced the cover of this month’s #HarpersBazaar magazine – unretouched. The athlete has also explained why she owed fellow tennis player, Naomi Osaka an apology.
When it comes to beauty, it comes in abundance when Williams is in front of the camera. In nothing but a pair of Christian Louboutin heels and a gold cape by #RalphLauren, Williams posed for Harper’s Bazaar’s August 2019 magazine cover. Along with the cover, Williams was given her own photo shoot where she is seen in several gold outfits, with none of the photos receiving any edits afterwards.
During her time with the magazine, Williams also opened up about her feelings about her loss to then-20-year-old Osaka, who defeat Williams 6-2, 6-4 in New York to win her first major. The amazing victory for Osaka was one that Williams felt was overshadowed by the controversy, with Williams’ verbal altercation with Carlos Ramos. The incident ended with Williams being docked a game for calling Ramos a “thief.”
“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,” the 37-year-old Williams wrote. “My heart broke.” Williams eventually sought therapy days after the match. Not ready to go back to the tennis court, Williams penned a letter to Osaka. “As I said on the court, I am so proud of you, and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete. 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. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love and your fan, Serena.”
In response, Osaka wrote back: “People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two,” Osaka replied, according to Williams. “No one has stood up for themselves the way you have, and you need to continue trailblazing,” Williams said Osaka’s letter brought tears to her eyes. “It was in this moment that I realized the real reason the US Open was so hard for me to get over: It wasn’t because of the backlash I faced but rather because of what had happened to the young woman who deserved so much more in her special moment. I had felt that it was my fault and that I should have kept my mouth closed. But now, seeing her text putting everything in perspective, I realized she was right,” Williams wrote in an essay.
Visit Harper’s Bazaar for the Williams’ full spread.