Serena Williams has graced magazine covers before, but perhaps her latest one is most befitting for the tennis superstar.
Williams appears on the cover of InStyle magazine’s August issue, the publication’s first dedicated to "badass women."
The 23-time Grand Slam champ and new mom spoke to the magazine before a pectoral muscle injury forced her to pull out of the French Open earlier this month. The tournament was her first major tournament since giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, last September.
“If I weren’t working, I’d already be pregnant,” she told the publication. “I hear everyone’s different, but I had a really easy pregnancy until the birth. Not even birth — after.”
Williams was referring to the pulmonary embolism she had following her C-section. Despite the medical scare, she suggested being open to having more children with Alexis Ohanian, her husband Reddit's co-founder, but said it could lead her to quitting her tennis career.
“I don’t know if I want to play if I have another baby,” she said.
Williams said she learned she was pregnant the first time after taking a test while Down Under playing in the Australian Open.
“I had a really tough first round and an even tougher second round," she said. "I thought, ‘I’m probably going to lose early. That’s OK. I have a good excuse for the first time.'"
By the time she won the title, she was nine weeks into her pregnancy. It was "absolutely" the most badass thing she had ever done, she told the magazine.
Williams also opened up about her journey to possessing an unapologetic confidence.
“It took me a while because I’ve faced so much criticism, whether it was about my body or something else — it was always something,” she said. “I’ve always felt like I had to be soft or apologize, kind of indirectly, for who I am. I just became who I am and realized there’s nothing wrong with me. I understand who I am.”
Asked to name others she would include on her list of amazing women, Williams named two members of royalty — one in music, the other in an official monarchy.
“Well, obviously Beyonce. That goes unsaid. Rihanna goes unsaid. Kate Middleton!” she said.
Williams mingled with the Duchess of Cambridge last month and other royalty while attending the wedding of her longtime friend, the former Meghan Markle, who became the Duchess of Sussex when she married Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex.
“It was super fun,” Williams said of the nuptials. "You know, I’ve known Meghan for years, so it was good to see my friend happy.”