Serena Williams addresses US Open controversy, sexism in new op-ed
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Tennis star Serena Williams wrote an emotional essay reflecting on her life, career and experiences as a woman.

Williams detailed her loss in the 2018 U.S. Open finals, writing that “there are times when loving tennis is hard,” in Harper's Bazaar. She lost the match after an umpire issued Williams several violations for disagreeing with him and smashing her racket when he alleged she was signaled by her coach.  

“Why can’t I express my frustrations like everyone else? If I were a man, would I be in this situation? What makes me so different? Is it because I’m a woman?” Williams questioned. 

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“What could I have done better? Was I wrong to stand up? Why is it that when women get passionate, they’re labeled emotional, crazy, and irrational, but when men do they’re seen as passionate and strong?” Williams continued.

Williams said apologizing to Naomi Osaka, who won the match, reminded her how others can view women who show aggression or outrage. Williams said she has faced people judging her for her “body shape” and grunting on the court.

“This incident—though excruciating for us to endure—exemplified how thousands of women in every area of the workforce are treated every day,” the tennis icon wrote. “We are not allowed to have emotions, we are not allowed to be passionate. We are told to sit down and be quiet, which frankly is just not something I’m okay with. It’s shameful that our society penalizes women just for being themselves.”

On Sunday, Williams retweeted a post from tennis player Billie Jean King congratulating the U.S. Women’s national soccer team for their World Cup win, calling for equal pay for male and female soccer players and bringing more “attention and pride” to “women’s sport."  

Ultimately, Williams said she was inspired by her 1-year-old daughter, Alexis, to return to tennis, despite its challenges.

“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?’ ” she wrote.