Serena Williams is fast becoming one of our favourite people on Earth.
The 35-year-old is not just a kick-ass tennis player with a string of word titles under her belt. Her extracurricular activities include: smashing the patriarchy, tackling racism, dancing in Beyoncé videos and designing clothes (to name but a few).
Here are 10 of our favourite sassy Serena moments to prove she slays both on and off the court.
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As if gaining her 23rd Grand Slam title wasn't enough, Serena wowed the world by revealing she won the 2017 Australian Open in January while pregnant.
She later penned an open letter
to her unborn child, addressed: "From the world’s oldest number one to the world’s youngest number one."
That's one impressive mumma.
When tennis player Ilie Nastase reportedly made racist comments
about Serena's unborn child, she responded by quoting lines from Maya Angelou's poem 'Still I Rise' on Instagram.
She wrote: "Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? You may shoot me with your words...you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise."
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Serena unveiled her own collection
at New York Fashion Week in 2016, proving she is not just a star on the tennis court.
As the models strutted down the runway, Serena could be heard reciting an empowering feminist poem she'd penned herself: “She turns her disappointment into triumph. Her grief into joy. Her rejections into approvals. If no one believes in her it does not matter. She believes in herself.
"Nothing stops her. No one can touch her. She is woman.”
In a hilarious video for Glamour magazine, the tennis star served up a healthy dose of revenge for all of the sexist comments women in sport receive, by pelting tennis balls at a fake heckler.
“I’m here to express some of the frustrations I have about the obnoxious things men sometimes say about women,” she said. “I’m doing this for all of womenkind.”
When a male reporter asked Serena why she wasn’t smiling
after a long day training and competing, she put him in his place.
“It's 11.30pm. To be perfectly honest with you, I really don’t want to be here," she said.
"And you keep asking me the same questions. It's not really ... you're not making it super enjoyable."
Serena has had to deal with an atrocious amount of body-shaming throughout her career
, but she continues to rise above it and send an empowering message to women.
For her 2015 Sports Illustrated shoot
she appeared in a red thong bikini and told readers: "I’m not a size two. It’s okay to look good and feel good and I’m strong. It’s okay to look strong and to be sexy and to be a woman and to be unbreakable — all those things."
Serena was out walking her dog, Chip, when she spotted two men playing tennis
and asked if she could join in.
Being the legend that she is, Serena beat the pair (despite wearing Ugg-style boots) then posted the whole thing to Snapchat.
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After Serena dominated during Wimbledon 2016, a reporter asked her: “There
will be talk about you going down as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. What do you think when you hear someone talk like that?”
Her flawless reply?
“I prefer the word one of the greatest 'athletes' of all time."
It takes a lot to outshine Beyonce, but Serena may have just managed it when she appeared in the singer's 'Sorry' video. Speaking to HuffPost UK
, Serena said the secret to her sexy performance was body confidence: “I just think it’s important, no matter what size you are, how you look, you’ve got to love who you are, and that’s all you can do.”
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Considering her recent achievements, it's hard to believe that Serena once faced early retirement
In 2010 she experienced a series of health scares after she suffered from a haematoma (a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues) and pulmonary embolism (a blockage in the pulmonary artery).
But thanks to successful treatment (and a lot of determination) Serena stepped back onto court in March 2011 and reclaimed her title as the number one female tennis player in the world just two years later.