Serena Williams’ toned legs dominate covers this summer


Serena Williams‘ curves have been the center of attention on magazine covers in recent weeks, as the tennis icon stuns in a sleek white leotard and gold cape in Harper’s Bazaar and Sports Illustrated.

Serena Williams Harper's Bazaar cover

The August 2019 issue of Harper’s Bazaar features a gold-colored photoshoot by Alexi Lubomirski and an interview in which Serena reflects on the 2018 US Open final controversy, when she was penalized a game for calling the chair umpire a thief. Here are just some bits, as Serena explains in her own words the raw feelings she had during and after that match:

I could not have been happier for her [Naomi Osaka, the winner]. As for me, I felt defeated and disrespected by a sport that I love—one that I had dedicated my life to and that my family truly changed, not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.

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. Finally I realized that there was only one way for me to move forward. It was time for me to apologize to the person who deserved it the most. I started to type, slowly at first, then faster as if the words were flowing out of me.

Naomi Osaka expressed nothing but support and understanding in a graceful reply to Serena:

People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two. No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.

Serena Williams Harper's BazaarSerena Williams Harper's Bazaar

Harper’s Bazaar puts it front and center that none of the photos have been retouched! Finally we seem to be moving past artificial beauty and unrealistic standards. We do see tennis players without makeup all the time, so in our sport filtered faces are not a big thing, but still it’s good to see that even professional photoshoots are embracing reality rather than fiction.

Serena Williams Harper's Bazaar

In case you didn’t know, ear accessories are a thing, this one is by Gucci. When it comes to other Serena’s outfits in the magazine, the extravagant cape is by Ralph Lauren, the strappy dress is by Stella McCartney, the fringe dress is by Michael Kors, and the long-sleeved mini dress is by Tom Ford.

Serena Williams Sports Illustrated

Moreover, Serena is covering Sports Illustrated’s fourth annual Fashionable 50 issue, which honors the most stylish athletes. The tagline on the cover reads “The Serena Code”. It’s not a surprise to see the tennis champion leading the list — her on-court outfits always push the boundaries (the knitwear-inspired Wimbledon dress with Swarovski-studded Swoosh, the Nike cape-jacket at Roland Garros, a green playsuit at the Australian Open, to name just the most recent ones) and she has her own Serena clothing line.

My whole career has been really about tennis and fashion. I always try to make a statement when I walk out on the court—to be bold and to be unique and to kind of transcend. I always try to send the message of just being confident and being fierce.

WTA stars Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams also made the SI list compiled by a panel of stylists, fashion editors and executives and other influencers across the sports and fashion industries.


  1. Sorry, Serena. But you don’t always come out on the court exuding confidence and fierceness, not here lately anyway; especially at the Wimbledon final, which was weird, to say the least. Please get that consistent confidence & fierceness back on track and show the world once again you truly are the GOAT. And while you’re at it, please STOP PUTTING YOUR BODY ON DISPLAY. DON’T YOU EVEN REALIZE BY NOW YOU HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE???? JUST SHOWCASE TENNIS, PLEASE, NOT YOUR NAKED BODY PARTS!! By the way, Osaka’s reply to Serena is the best part of this article, really. Wonder if she really wrote those words. Hard to believe so, based upon her press conferences and various interviews. Oh, well, onto what’s next for them both.

  2. The Real Deal, you think there’s a possibility that Serena came up with that Naomi Osaka message? I don’t think she could go that far and publish it in a magazine. Naomi could easily state that it’s not true, at her first opportunity.

  3. Nah, what I mean is that the response seems so well articulated to have been stated by Osaka; nothing at all implied about Serena coming up with the words. Matter of fact, that thought never entered my mind. Perhaps Osaka writes better than she speaks, because a lot of people are like that. The choice of words being stated as hers just surprised me and caught me off guard. Said what I meant and meant what I said; nothing more, nothing less.

  4. The Real Deal, oh, OK, now I understand. You’re right that she may be a better writer than speaker. Also, it could be that magazine editors polished her message a bit.

  5. Agreed, Marija, that editors could’ve had a hand in sentence structure (or someone on her Osaka’s team perhaps?). Looks like Osaka’s trying to come out of her shell a bit more here lately. Well, I hope so anyway. That pic of her posing near the mural of Kobe Bryant is nice, and she seems at ease in the shot.


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