Serena Williams is no stranger to making history, and while she’s modest, we have the receipts.
Since she hit the court professionally in 1995 at the age of 15, the now-38-year-old has won 23 singles Grand Slam championships, more than any other female player in an Open era, including the iconic Stefi Graff. Hell, Williams won the 2017 Australian Open never dropping a set and she was nearly 10 weeks pregnant. That, and she was recently named AP Female Athlete of the Decade,
Even better? On Sunday (a week before the Australian Open), Williams won her first title in 3 years since giving birth to her daughter Olympia, beating fellow American Jessica Pegula, 6-3, 6-4, at the ASB Classic in New Zealand. Shortly after her win, Williams’ daughter joined her on the court to celebrate.
“It feels good,” Williams said, reports CNN. “It’s been a long time. I’ve been waiting two years for this moment. I think you could see the relief on my face.”
Adding, “You have to be your biggest cheerleader, especially if you’re feeling you’re not doing everything right — or even if you are doing everything right but things aren’t working out for you.”
(FYI: The cloak Williams wore after winning has a special significance. According to 1 News, the cloak, whose feathers are from a native duck of New Zealand, was created last year to honor the first Māori to play in Wimbledon, Ruia Morrison. Morrison reached the quarterfinals of the famous tournament in 1957. )
Serena has changed the game. Not only has she ushered in up and coming class of Black tennis players, such as Naomi Osaka, Taylor Townsend, and Coco Gauff. Serena ran, so this #BlackGirlMagic could fly.
But we’d also be remiss to not mention that Serena has also changed the way we talk about tennis fashion. What was once just the classic (and boring) tennis whites, she helped transform the expected typical on-court garb by mixing it up with form, cut, style and bold colors (outside of Wimbledon of course).
Whether her choices garnered targeted and unnecessary controversy, from catsuits to tutus to her throwback beads, Ms. Williams has also established herself as a bonified fashion icon. So here is what the past 25 years in style have looked like for our Queen.