Serena Williams is a bona fide legend, in every sense — she’s broken records of every variety, both in men’s and women’s tennis, won 23 Grand Slams, including one whilst pregnant. Come to think of it, you might be hard pressed to name a higher standard of professional success. So it’s more than fitting the champ can be found gracing the cover of InStyle’s first ever ‘Badass Women’ issue. And she opened up to them about everything from future children (she wants more), hubby Alexis Ohanian (she always knew she was going to marry him), the second most badass thing she’s ever done (going back to The Indian Wells Masters), and, of course, her fellow female badasses.
And on that topic, you’ll never guess which British Royal she pegged as her No.1. Here’s a clue – it’s not who you think it is. Upon naming a few obvious holders of the title (Beyoncé, Rihanna), she was quick to pipe with an unexpected addition to the list: “Kate Middleton!”
You’d be forgiven for thinking pal Meghan Markle, whose wedding she recently attended, would have the honour of topping her royal bae list, but turns out there’s a specific reason Kate beat her to the punch. She gave props to the Duchess for stepping out to face the press, fully made up and on two feet, right after giving birth (and remember, not just once, but thrice). For that, Kate is “officially” Serena’s No.1. We’re sure Meghan won’t be too far behind in that department, but one thing at a time.
Not that Serena had anything other than love and positivity for her newly-wed pal, noting, “it was good to see my friend happy,” after attending last month’s much-anticipated royal wedding. She also had a “great time” sitting down with acclaimed designers Valentino (for the ceremony) and Pierpaolo Piccioli (for the reception) to design the perfect wedding looks. (We couldn’t help but notice, what with all the behind-the-scenes Insta shenanigans)
And possibly because she knows all about pain from her gruelling matches, she “chose comfort, style, and cool” by donning sneakers under her reception gown. Amen to that, Serena.
She’s just as robust off-court as on, too. Following the life-threatening complications she experienced after the birth of baby Alexis Olympia, the younger Williams sister took just over a month to rest, admitting “I can’t do anything simple.” Maybe not, Serena, but that’s what makes her a once-in-a-generation athlete.
Given her storied journey so far, the name ‘Serena’ is pretty much a synonym for all things fierce, ambitious, and single-mindedly determined. And even if she’s not her badass no. 1 – we’re sure Meghan would agree.