The American Opens up about last year's controversial U.S. Open finish in an open letter to Harper's Bazaar

In a recent exclusive open letter written for Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, Serena Williams opens up about a letter that she wrote to Naomi Osaka after their controversial moment at the U.S. Open. Williams told Osaka that she’d love to live the moment over again and apologized for what had happened.

Here’s the note, as printed in the August edition of Harper’s Baazar:

“Hey, Naomi! It’s Serena Williams. As I said on the court, I am so proud of you and I am truly sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing in sticking up for myself. But I had no idea the media would pit us against each other. I would love the chance to live that moment over again. I am, was, and will always be happy for you and supportive of you. I would never, ever want the light to shine away from another female, specifically another black female athlete. I can’t wait for your future, and believe me I will always be watching as a big fan! I wish you only success today and in the future. Once again, I am so proud of you. All my love and your fan, Serena.”

Williams went on to say that she was in tears when Osaka’s reply came:

“People can misunderstand anger for strength because they can’t differentiate between the two,” Osaka told Williams. “No one has stood up for themselves the way you have and you need to continue trailblazing.”

Tennis Express

The American added that the U.S. Open incident “exemplified how thousands of women in every area of the workforce are treated every day.” Williams says men get different treatment than women simply based on sex. “We are not allowed to have emotions, we are not allowed to be passionate,” she said. We are told to sit down and be quiet, which frankly is just not something I’m okay with.”

Williams went on to share the true reason she has returned to the tour and is still battling to break records here at Wimbledon.

“Ultimately, my daughter is the reason I use my voice, the reason I picked up a racket again,” she said. “Love breathes life and newfound perspective into people. It’s not about quitting when someone presents a challenge; it’s about getting up when you are down, dusting yourself off and asking, “Is that the best you got?” Because I have God with me, and I can take whatever comes my way."