Serena Williams says she and longtime friend Meghan Markle ‘have been relying on each other’ as they cope with media scrutiny.
In an interview with Australian news program The Sunday Project, Serena, 36, revealed that she was in touch with the Duchess of Sussex, 37, following her controversial US Open outburst on September 8th.
‘We were actually just texting each other this morning,’ the tennis legend gushed during the interview, which was filmed three days after her on-court antics generated worldwide headlines.
‘We’ve been relying on each other a lot!’ Serena Williams spoke with The Sunday Project about her friendship with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and revealed she reveals she texted the royal following her US Open outburst
‘We have known each other for a long time, but we really kind of are relying on each other right a lot recently,’ she laughed.
Serena and her husband Alexis Ohanian attended Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry back in May.
‘You said afterwards that you were excited by how much influence there was of the African American culture. Why were you so thrilled by that?’ The Sunday Project’s interviewer Lisa Wilkinson asked.
‘We have known each other for a long time, but we really kind of are relying on each other right a lot recently’: Meghan and Serena pictured together in New York in 2014
‘To have such a monumental moment in England, nonetheless of all the places, I felt like we were literally watching history. I feel like in a few years we are going to look back at that moment and it’s going to be so historic. It’s going to be something that people never forget.
‘The whole service was really wonderful, and most of all I just wanted to see my friend be happy. And I think that’s what happened.’
According to Metro, Serena and Meghan reportedly first met at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami and have been friends ever since.
On the guest list! Serena and her husband Alexis Ohanian attended Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry back in May
‘Happy’: The Duchess of Sussex – who has been friends with Serena for close to a decade – is pictured with husband Prince Harry last month
Serena recently gushed about The Duchess of Sussex following the release of the royal’s tome, Together: Our Community Cookbook.
Meanwhile, The Duchess of Sussex watched Serena play at this year’s Wimbeldon Women’s Singles Final, where the tennis star lost in straight sets to Angelique Kerber.
Elsewhere in her interview with The Sunday Project, Serena spoke candidly about her controversial outburst at the US Open.
Her number one fan! The Duchess of Sussex watched Serena play at this year’s Wimbeldon Women’s Singles Final. Pictured with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
‘Your coach (Patrick Mouratoglou) admitted that he was coaching from the sideline so, in retrospect, do you think that makes the violation warranted?’ Lisa asked the tennis champion about the warning she received from umpire Carlos Ramos.
Serena replied: ‘I just don’t understand what he (Patrick) was talking about… We don’t have signals, we’ve never have signals. He said he made a motion, so I was like, ‘Okay, you made a motion and now you’re telling people you were coaching me? That doesn’t make sense, why would you say that?”
‘So you had to have a fairly tough conversation with him afterwards?’ Lisa asked.
‘We don’t have signals, we’ve never have signals’: Serena told Lisa she was confused by her coach’s admission that he was coaching her from the stands
‘Yes, because we’ve never had this before. I was on the other side, I didn’t see the motion. It was just a really confusing moment, I think for him. You know, I was like ‘It’s okay… but, like, don’t, yeah…” Serena trailed off.
Lisa continued to question the tennis star, stating: ‘You then smashed your racket. Do you regret that at all?’
At that point, the sports legend looked over to her publicist who told Lisa: ‘Sorry, that’s four question about the US Open, so can you change topics?’
Tense: Serena’s publicist interjected as Lisa continued to probe the tennis star about her US Open drama
‘I’m in your hands, Serena. I’m totally in your hands,’ Lisa said, before stating: ‘If I could just do one more…’
The TV presenter then referenced former tennis star Billie Jean King who had come out in support of Serena’s push for gender equality on the tennis court.
Serena looked reluctant, before replying: ‘Um, I, honestly, am just always supportive of women, no matter what. That’s how I’ve always been. And I feel like Billie Jean King has done the same thing, with starting the tour and creating opportunities, for me, to play.’
‘Do you regret that at all?’ Serena was docked one point for smashing her racket during the US Open Final
She continued: ‘Even a man, if you want to express yourself in a way where you’re not using profanity, or you’re just being yourself and you’re at this moment that you’ve worked for since you three years old and you’re on the cusp of this amazing moment.’
‘If you’re female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do, and I feel like right now we are not, as it’s proven, in that same position. But that’s neither here nor there, I’m just trying to recover from that and just move on’.
During the aired interview, there was no reference to Naomi Osaka, Serena’s 20-year-old opponent who trounced the tennis legend in straight sets during the US Open Final.
The Japanese-Haitian tennis star, who is now ranked world number seven, accepted her trophy in tears after booing from the crowd.
‘If you’re female you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do’: Serena repeated her claim that male and female tennis players were treated unequally