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Serena's Touching Tribute to Mom


Motherhood has given Serena Williams an even greater appreciation for her own mom.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion posted a poignant tribute to her mother, Oracene, on Instagram.

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In a “Dear mom” post, Serena credited her mother’s emotional strength and class in the face of critics who claimed she looked too masculine or accused her of taking performance enhancing drugs as an inspiring force in her life.

“You are one of the strongest women I know,” Serena wrote. “I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter 😳) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body. I don't know how I would react if she has to go through what I've gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day.

“I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). It has been said I don’t belong in women’s sports—that I belong in men’s—because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).”




The former No. 1 says she takes pride in proving women of all shapes can excel and shatter stereotypes of what an athlete looks like.

“I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like,” Williams wrote. “We don’t all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!”

Mom Oracene showed her sense of humor in this interview with Tennis Australia. Asked if she tried to persuade her daughters to retire, Oracene replied: "Oh, no I'm not trying to convince them (to retire), because they don't plan to. They're gonna be 90 years old creeping on the court."



Serena closed her powerful Instagram post thanking her mother for her class and the life-long example she’s set for her daughters.

“But mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman,” Williams wrote. “You are so classy, I only wish I could take your lead. I have a LONG way to go, but thank you.” 

Photo credit: Tennis Australia/Australian Open Facebook 

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