Serena Williams penned an emotional open letter which was published in Harper's Bazaar this week, where she revealed that after teenage tennis star Naomi Osaka beat her, she called and apologized for her perceived coldness.
Shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Serena made it to the final of the US Open - her 24th Grand Slam where she competed against Naomi Osaka. Serena wrote that while she was genuinely happy for Osaka, she was disappointed with herself:
"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," she wrote.
After days and days of reflection and after seeing her therapist, Serena details the phone call between her and Naomi, who had looked up to Serena throughout her tennis career:
"Hey, Naomi! It's Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you," Serena recalled.
"I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete. I can't wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan! I wish you only success today and in the future. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love and your fan, Serena."
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