Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Serena Williams writes an emotional open letter to her mother

SerenaWilliams.jpg

Serena Williams has praised her mother for being “one of the strongest women” she’s ever known.

Since becoming a first time mother – the multiple Grand Slam champion gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, only two weeks ago – it seems she’s already in awe of her mother’s parental resilience.


Read more: A positive pregnancy test isn’t always a dream come true – just ask Serena Williams


Taking to Reddit on Tuesday 19 September – a site which was co-founded by Williams’ fiancé Alexis Ohanian – the athlete shared an emotional open letter to the most important woman in her life.

“You are one of the strongest women I know,” she told her mother, Oracene Price.

“I was looking at my daughter (Oh my God, yes, I have a daughter) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body.”

Williams then went on to comment on the fact that, growing up, she has been subjected to intense media scrutiny – over her career choices, her personal life, and her physical appearance. How, she wondered, did her mother has managed to remain resilient throughout all of that?

“I don't know how I would react if [my baby] has to go through what I've gone through since I was a 15-year-old and even to this day,” revealed the tennis star.

“I've been called a man because I appeared outwardly strong.”

The Olympian then approached the subject of drugs, something which Williams has been accused of taking due to her athletic frame.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams with her mother Oracene Price in Paris in 2003.

“It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage).

“It has been said I don't belong in women's sports - that I belong in men's - because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).”


Read more: Serena Williams reveals how race affects her experience with people


Williams then proceeded to share her utter amazement of her mother’s strength in remaining calm in the presence of people who were “too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman”.

And that, thankfully, not all women are the same: “I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don't all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!”

Williams

Serena and sister, Venus, earlier this year in Australia

As the youngest of five – including Venus Williams, a major tennis star in her own right – Williams hopes to teach her daughter the same lessons she’s learned from her own mother.

“Thank you for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships that I now regard as a challenges – ones that I enjoy. I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had.”

It’s official: the Williams women are superwomen.

Images: Getty / Rex Features

Related

murray.jpg

Andy Murray defends female tennis players – again

iStock-91568073.jpg

Women football fans forced to show bras while being searched at match

Serena.jpg

Serena Williams on how skin colour affects what people think of her

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey shares shocking sexual harassment story

“I got in my car and cried”

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017

Jennifer Lawrence was forced into a naked line-up by a producer

In the name of weight-loss “inspiration”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Abigail Breslin’s photo reveals how domestic abuse can stay with you

The actor has opened up about the realities of living with PTSD

17 Oct 2017

“Why Liar is proof that TV's depiction of rape is damaging to women”

The proliferation of rape in TV and film is a real problem for the representation of women

by Harriet Hall
17 Oct 2017

Nigella Lawson reveals why red is the ultimate foodie colour

As she tracks her gastronomic love affair with all things crimson

by Stylist
17 Oct 2017

Reese Witherspoon says she was sexually assaulted at 16 by a director

“Producers made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment”

by Amy Swales
17 Oct 2017

Courtney Love tried to warn us about Harvey Weinstein in 2005

This video shows her speaking out against Weinstein over a decade ago

by Susan Devaney
17 Oct 2017

Hillary Clinton praises NHS after receiving medical treatment in UK

Clinton spoke about the UK’s health service during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show

by Moya Crockett
17 Oct 2017