Introducing The Cover Star of Vogue's September Issue, Serena Williams
I started playing tennis with the goal of winning the U.S. Open. I didn’t think past that. And then I just kept winning. I remember when I passed Martina Hingis’s grand slam count. Then Seles’s. And then I tied Billie Jean King, who is such an inspiration for me because of how she has pioneered gender equality in all sports. Then it was climbing over the Chris Evert–Martina Navratilova mountain. There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the “open era” that began in 1968. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a grand slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams.
"I’d like to think that thanks to me, women athletes can be themselves. They can play with aggression and pump their fists. They can wear what they want and say what they want and kick butt and be proud of it all."
Rob Haskell is Contributor on Vogue
Photography by Luis Alberto Rodriguez
Berlin based photographer/dancer Luis Alberto Rodriguez was born and raised in New York City. He brings his considerable background as a dancer to his work as a photographer through the exploration of the human form distorted through motion. Rodriguez puts bodies in dialogue with found materials, reshaping and repurposing them relative to their surroundings. While each photograph is created in a specific location, they lend themselves to no particular time or place. Alien objects are set in motion, up becomes down and down becomes up. Each image welcomes a sense of confusion, haunting the viewer with the recognizable turned unrecognizable, the kinetic turned magnetic.
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