Top lady baller Serena Williams will be featured on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated after capturing her fourth Wimbledon crown and 13th career major.
Tennis scribe Jon Wertheim penned the cover story with the provocative, argument-inducing headline, "Serena Williams: Love Her, Hate Her. She's the Best Ever." If you ask me she still has a bit to go, though not so far in reality, to hoist the title of GOAT. But if anyone in recent memory has had the best chance of reaching the pinnacle it's ReRe.
So how did the current WTA Penthouse resident react to the news of her latest SI cover? Via Twitter:
I thought she'd be happier. Anyway, her latest cover on the sports rag made me curious to look back and reminisce on her past SI moments:
This one came out in May 2003, months after a then 21-year old ReRe completed the "Serena Slam" capturing four straight majors beginning with 2002 Roland Garros and ending at the 2003 Australian Open. She was going for a fifth straight major win in Paris but a spunky Belgian named Justine Henin got in her way in a controversial semifinal upset.
The Wimbledon champ was featured on another cover in May 2003 showcasing the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports (top right corner) where she placed third on the list.
And, of course, the one that started off her spectacular career was her exciting run to the title as a 17-year old at the U.S. Open defeating then-World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final. This cover, released in September 1999, hints at the surprise of seeing ReRe grab the first Grand Slam in the Williams family over sister Venus, whose forlorn look was a memorable moment from that day.
The latest SI issue featuring ReRe will be on stands Wednesday, July 7.
UPDATE: Speaking of ReRe and magazines she's featured in the July 20 issue of Harper's Bazaar. The article includes some interesting tidbits.
On her infamous catsuit from the 2002 U.S. Open:
"I was like, 'I can't go out there. Oh, my God, I'm so nervous, I can't go out. I feel really exposed.'" She asked fellow player Justine Henin what she thought. (Henin recommended a more traditional skirt and top.) But the rest, as they say, is history. "I felt so comfortable," she remembers, "and after that, I owned it."On her body image:
"I was 23 when I realized that I wasn't Venus. She's totally different," she explains. "I'm super-curvy. I have big boobs and this massive butt. She's tall and she's like a model and she fits everything. I was growing up, wanting to be her, wanting to look like her, and I was always fitting in her clothes, but then one day I couldn't." She pauses. "But it's fine. Now I'm obviously good, but it's a weird thing."On her workout regime:
"I wanted to get really fit. I wanted to lose some weight. So I've been doing Pilates and yoga, trying to lean out my body so I won’t be bulky." Her regimen: Pilates two or three times a week and when she's training for a tournament, "a couple of hours of hitting, then an hour or two of cardio and strengthening in the gym.” Also, when she's at home in L.A., she runs the half mile up a hill to Venus's house instead of driving. But no dieting. "I don't even know the D word," she says with a laugh.On the breakup with ex-boyfriend Common back in April:
"His schedule is actually worse than mine," she sighs. "He didn't want the responsibility. It's really tough."[Photo(s): covers via Sports Illustrated swimsuit image by William Klein]