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Entertainment & Lifestyle News!
Entertainment & Lifestyle News!

Serena Williams on Cover of Vogue Magazine for 2nd time

Serena Williams wears a Rag & Bone sheath dress. Tate diamond bracelets.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, April 2015

(Vogue) Fresh off her nineteenth Grand Slam, Serena Williams talks to Rebecca Johnson about fitness, forgiveness, and her friendship with tennis rival Caroline Wozniacki.

When the news broke last May that Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy had broken off his engagement to tennis champion Caroline Wozniacki—over a telephone call, no less—Serena Williams immediately began phoning and texting her best friend on the professional women’s tour. “I was devastated,” she says. “I had planned the bachelorette party!”

Six months later, Wozniacki and Williams are sitting, thigh to thigh, on a love seat in Williams’s Palm Beach Gardens house in Florida discussing the debacle. “My phone was going crazy,” Wozniacki remembers. “But I didn’t want to talk to anyone.” Most people got the message and stopped trying. But Serena Williams isn’t most people.

“I kept calling,” Williams says unapologetically.

Wozniacki smiles at the memory. “First she texted, ‘If you don’t pick up, I am going to fly to Monaco.’ And then, ‘If you don’t answer the door, I am going to knock it down.’ So I thought, OK, I better answer the phone. And I am so glad I did. She wasn’t pitying me, like a lot of people were. I mean, it’s not like anyone died. I was in shock, but she was really helpful because she had been through it before. She didn’t sugarcoat it, and she didn’t look down on me. She was really there for me when I needed her the most, and that’s why I think our friendship is so strong now.”

“I was impressed with how strong she was,” Williams says. “And you know, there will be other engagement parties.” She pauses a beat. “Many.”

And that’s when Wozniacki and Williams do the thing they do, oh, every three minutes when they are sitting together. They burst into giggles. Full on, eye-crinkling, doubled over, hiccuping guffaws, the kind you mostly see between teenage girls after the hot guy from homeroom walks by. Could these be the same warriors who, only weeks earlier, had gone toe-to-toe in a bruising three-set match in Singapore, a pitched battle during which Serena destroyed a racket in a fit of rage?

“I don’t ever want to stop,” says the number one–ranked female player in the world. Donna Karan New York red silk-jersey dress.

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, Vogue, April 2015

“Let’s just put an end to this myth that women players cannot be friends,” Williams says. “We can!” But traditionally, they haven’t been. Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Maria Sharapova—champions all, but none noted for her cuddliness on, or off, the court. Roger Federer might have dinner with Stan Wawrinka after a match, but among the women, it’s mostly cold shoulders. “It’s something players cultivate to keep their edge,” explains Mary Joe Fernandez, a former top-ten player who is now the captain of the American Fed Cup team. Having her sister Venus with her on tour may have made Serena Williams even more insular. When your best friend is with you day in and day out, why risk becoming vulnerable to another person? Especially if that person might someday stand between you and a $3 million prize.

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