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Rapinoe: Why Serena Is One of My Role Models

Serena Williams' influence on sport transcends the tennis court.

American soccer star Megan Rapinoe, who helped lead the United States to the 2015 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup championships, cites the 23-time Grand Slam champion as one of her sports role models.

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Rapinoe summed up her respect for Serena simply: "She's a complete badass." 

The 34-year-old Rapinoe, who became the oldest woman to score in a World Cup final earning the Golden Boot award as the top scorer in the World Cup, told Shape Magazine she respects Serena's resilience.

"(Serena's) doing it all with such style, doing it in the face of so much adversity and controversy," Rapinoe told Shape. "She hasn’t really been allowed to be just Serena Williams, there's always something that comes with it.

"She handles and shoulders that so well and then just goes out there and is an absolute beast on the court. It's pretty cool to watch."

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve