Is it talent? Determination? Grit? 

Let me ask an audacious question- what makes Serena Williams so great? 

Well, it’s a combination of all of the above, along with the zero fucks she gives about the haters’ opinions.


Time after time, she was told not to do certain things and time after time, she did them (I would follow that up with ‘and she succeeded’ but you know it already).

Here’s looking at instances when she was a total boss and proved that the only thing stronger than her spirit is her backhand.

1. When tennis officials banned her from wearing a catsuit, she decided to go with a custom-designed tutu. Because you know what? She is a fucking queen. 

‘You can take the superhero out of her costume but you can never take away her superpowers’- said team Nike after the incident, and I am reeling at the accuracy of the statement! 

French Open officials banned the catsuit Serena wore because ‘one must respect the game and the place’ (catsuit is disrespectful, apparently) and so she graced the court dressed in a black tutu, instead.

willing to design dresses for her for life.

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2. When she chose to flaunt her ‘manly’ arms on magazine covers and blessed us with the most beautiful sight our eyes have seen. 

Pointing at her biceps, Serena replied, “This is me, and this is my weapon and machine”. 

You don’t put labels on goddesses, child. 

3. When she talked about her post-pregnancy struggles openly because who said women have to be silent about their struggles?

In a world that doesn’t take women seriously after a certain age, Serena continued to play while being pregnant and even after her delivery. 

But this doesn’t mean that she’d act strong in moments of weakness, just to seem like she is okay when she is obviously not.

Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!

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4. Racism came with a set of fucked-up rules for her; and how did she respond? By being the best version of herself. 

In an interview given to The Guardian, Serena said:

Because I’m black and so I look mean? That’s the society we live in. That’s life. They say African Americans have to be twice as good, especially women. I’m perfectly OK with having to be twice as good.
ABC News

5. When asked by a journalist why she wasn’t smiling, Serena said, “To be perfectly honest with you, I really don’t want to be here”.

If you expect the winner of 23 Grand Slam titles to oblige you with a smile because that’s your idea of how women should conduct themselves, then you really, REALLY need help. 


6. When asked if she should be considered one of the greatest ‘female athletes’ of all time, Serena said, “I prefer the words one of the ‘greatest athletes’ of all time”.

With 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which is 3 more than Roger Federer’s record-breaking 20, Serena is very much the greatest ever, irrespective of her gender. 

Trust her to remind that to you, in case you’ve forgotten this. 

7. People couldn’t handle her appearance in Beyonce’s Lemonade, and Serena couldn’t care less about it. When you have world domination in mind, all of this really doesn’t matter.

Talking to The Guardian, she said:

Too muscly and too masculine, and then a week later too racy and too sexy. So for me it was just really a big joke.

8. When she shut the trolls commenting on her eyebrows with just one Instagram post. 

Let that sink in. People actually care about the shape of the eyebrows of (and I say it again) a living legend. 

Serena responded to the hate in the coolest way possible. 

Also great was JK Rowling’s response to one of Serena’s trolls who said that she is ‘built like a man’.

9. Many people across the world raised questions on her ‘inter-racial marriage’ and with her poetic response, she put an end to that inconsequential debate.

Indian Express

10. Even though she doesn’t allow racist trolls to affect her concentration, when things got out of hand at the Indian Wells tournament in 2001, she boycotted the event for 14 years. 

She faced racism and serious allegations regarding lack of integrity, with no intervention or apology from the organisers. 

Terming it ‘painful, confusing and unfair’, she did not play the tournament for most of her career. 

CBS Sports

Basically, Serena Williams is the answer to the prayers we didn’t make.