Serena Williams writes an emotional open letter to her mother

Posted by
Susan Devaney

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.

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).”

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!”


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