Tennis star Serena Williams: I had to get therapy after last year’s ‘debacle’

Serena Williams at the US Open in 2018.
Serena Williams at the US Open in 2018. Getty Images

Serena Williams is speaking out.

The tennis sensation, the cover girl of Harper’s Bazaar’s August issue, opens up in a first person essay about a very tough time in her life.

Williams touched on last year’s controversial match at the US Open against victor Naomi Osaka when she kept arguing with umpire Carlos Ramos.

He had accused the superstar athlete of receiving coaching, and issued her several penalties. Williams yelled, “I have never cheated in my life! You owe me an apology!” and, at one point, smashed her racket.

Though Japan’s Osaka won her first Grand Slam title, her big day was overshadowed by coverage of her opponent’s meltdown.

Williams said in the Harper’s article that the event impacted her so significantly that she sought professional help.

“Days passed, and I still couldn’t find peace,” the married mother of one wrote. “I started seeing a therapist. I was searching for answers, and although I felt like I was making progress, I still wasn’t ready to pick up a racket.”

The 37-year-old 23-time Grand Slam winner also felt that she was being targeted as an hysterical female.

“I started to think again, ‘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?’”

These days, the part time Palm Beach resident is at peace. Apologizing to Osaka helped her get to a good place.

“In the end, my opponent simply played better than me that day,” she wrote. “This debacle ruined something that should have been amazing and historic. Not only was a game taken from me but a defining, triumphant moment was taken from another player, something she should remember as one of the happiest memories in her long and successful career.”