Life

Serena Williams is busy with Wimbledon right now, so stop asking her about the royal christening

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published
Wimbledon: Serena Williams will not attend the royal christening

Tennis champion Serena Williams just gave the best answer to a journalist who asked if she’ll be taking a break from Wimbledon to attend the royal christening this weekend.     

“Has Meghan asked you to be godmother on Saturday, and are you going?”

This is the question that a journalist put to 23-time Grand Slam singles winner Serena Williams during a Wimbledon press conference earlier this week, ahead of the christening of Meghan Markle’s son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

You may also like

Meghan Markle’s preppy white blazer – as seen at Wimbledon – is on sale now

Williams is the world’s richest self-made female athlete, has been ranked the world No. 1 in singles by the Women’s Tennis Association eight times, and has won the third most women’s doubles Grand Slam titles with her sister Venus. She’s also playing a highly-anticipated mixed doubles game with fellow champion Andy Murray in what will be a historical game on Saturday (6 Juy).

But still, the journalist thought the big scoop of the press conference was finding out Williams’ participation in baby Archie’s christening, because she’s friends with his mum Meghan.

You may also like

Coco Gauff’s Wimbledon: How her wins are smashing the patriarchy

In an excellent response, Williams pointed out that she was working, so wouldn’t be able to make it.

“No, I’m working on Saturday, but yeah, she understands work,” she said, in case anyone in the room had failed to understand the integral part Wimbledon plays in her career.

It came just days after the tennis star was asked what kind of baby advice she was doling out to her friend. Her concise response pointed out the absurdity of being constantly asked questions about Meghan’s baby, by explaining that she really doesn’t need any unsolicited parenting advice.

Meghan Markle watches Serena Williams at Wimbledon
Meghan Markle attended Wimbledon to watch Serena Williams play earlier this week.

“I never pass on words of wisdom because I feel like, everyone, when they have a kid, especially when you just have a baby, it’s so difficult to just be,” Williams told the BBC. “It’s just like get through the first three, four months and then we can talk.”

What makes these questions even more infuriating is that Meghan and her husband Prince Harry have already made it crystal clear they want to keep their son’s christening private. The small ceremony will take place in the Private Chapel at Windsor on Saturday and is expected to only be attended by a select group of close friends and family.

Want must-binge culture tips and chic interiors hacks? Sign up for the Stylist Loves Staying In email

Whether you agree with this decision or not: their baby son’s privacy must be respected.

So, putting Williams in a position where she’s expected to expose her friend’s private details is wrong. But, also: why would anyone question if she’s taking time out of Wimbledon to attend a christening? Would Andy Murray be asked the same if his friend’s baby was being christened the same day as an important match? And did Williams really need to point out that she needs to focus on just doing her job this weekend? 

You may also like

Wimbledon 2019: 10 ace ways to watch the tennis in London

Sexism in sport is nothing new, but this year’s Wimbledon does seem to be attempting to at least tackle the issue. 

Firstly, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), who are in charge of the championships at the tournament, have ruled that female players can no longer be referred to by their marital status by umpires when they win matches. The move means that female players will now only be addressed by their last name when they win matches rather than also being referred to as “Miss” or “Mrs” – a privilege previously only given to male players.

And you only need to look at teen star Cori “Coco” Gauff  - who has smashed her way to the fourth round -to see that young female players are being taken a lot more seriously. Forbes reports that she is predicted to earn more than $1m (£790,000) in 2019 thanks to group of sponsors.

Perhaps one other suggestion is ensuring that female players aren’t subjected to questions about anything other than the game they are there to play. 

Images: Getty

Topics

Share this article

Author

Hollie Richardson

Recommended by Hollie Richardson

Beauty

Serena Williams braiding her daughter’s hair is so much more than just “really cute”

Williams told the history of braiding and bonding.

Posted by
Hollie Richardson
Published
People

Serena Williams’ reaction to her pregnancy test is refreshingly honest

Everyone needs to listen to what the tennis champion has to say

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
People

"You are loved": Meghan Markle shares powerful message of self-worth with sex workers

The Duchess of Sussex reaches out with an impromptu show of solidarity

Posted by
Anna Brech
Published
Opinion

“Can we all just shut the f**k up about Meghan Markle’s womb?”

People on Twitter are convinced that Meghan Markle is pregnant, thanks to Princess Eugenie’s wedding

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published
Long Reads

The real reason you care so much about the royal baby

Found yourself obsessing over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s baby – aka a baby you have zero connection to? You’re not the only one…

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray
Published