Credit: Alexi LubomirksiSerena Williams is sharing her truth as the latest cover star of Harper’s BAZAAR.
Inside the August issue, the tennis superstar penned a candid personal essay about her struggles in the wake of last year’s controversial U.S. Open final, in which she lost to Naomi Osaka following a dispute with umpire Carlos Ramos. Williams’s treatment during the match was deemed by many to be sexist and unfair, and now she’s revealed that, in the aftermath of the incident, she sought therapy.
“After the Open, I returned home to Florida,” Williams reflected in the piece, which is accompanied by a series of un-retouched photos of the athlete.
“Every night, as I would try to go to sleep, unresolved questions ran through my mind in a never-ending loop: ‘If I were a man, would I be in this situation? What makes me so different? Is it because I’m a woman?'”
She continued, “Days passed, and I still couldn’t find peace. I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racket.”
Williams adds that though she’s faced many setbacks throughout her career, her Grand Slam loss felt “different” and she was “cut deeply” over the dispute — so much so that she reached out to Osaka via email to apologize for ruining her big moment.
However, Osaka, 21, commended Serena for speaking up for herself and told her “to continue trailblazing.” Since then, Williams has vowed to keep raising her voice against injustice.
“This incident — though excruciating for us to endure — exemplified how thousands of women in every area of the workforce are treated every day,” Williams wrote.
“It’s shameful that our society penalizes women just for being themselves.”
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