Ahead of Wimbledon, the Serena Williams editorial locomotive just keeps roaring onward. She will not only compete in at least singles action at the All England Club as of next week; she's already playing cover model for two publications, the UK edition's July issue of Harper's Bazaar and the August book of InStyle magazine.

In the brand-new InStyle feature, editor-in-chief Laura Brown, who Williams considers a friend, gushes that the tennis star is "spectacular at compartmentalizing," an allusion to playing in a major tournament whilst two months pregnant, and against one's own sister in the championship round. 

Brown draws out of Williams some other choice nuggets, including her thoughts on social media: "Sometimes it feels like a lot of pressure. It should be what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. That’s kind of how I live my social media life. I just want to be myself."

Williams lands on InStyle's cover as the face of its first-ever Bad Ass Women issue. Asked for her own short list of BAW, Williams, rattles off a trio: Beyoncé. Rihanna. Both should go "unsaid" in her book. Also: "Kate Middleton!" Brown and Williams enjoy an amusing exchange just marveling at how Middleton emerged not too long after childbirth earlier this year, in full dress, heels and makeup, to greet the British public. Apparently unafraid that something might go "awry," as Brown puts it.

 

@beyonce y’all did that ????that’s what I’m talking about

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

In the issue of Harper's, Williams speaks to body image and confidence, also tackling topics such as motherhood, making time for dates with husband Alexis Ohanian and more. 

"It was hard for me," she says of critics' takes on her body in her younger professional days. "People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong. I was different to Venus: She was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular – and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different."

Still, she intones that she has learned over time how to turn a negative into a positive: "But, for me, criticisms are almost like a fire that comes in my belly, and I get a passion that wants me to work harder. In a weird way, I welcome it."

She also wants you to know, in both cover stories, that she relished being pregnant. "If I wasn’t playing tennis, I’d be pregnant right now – sorry, I’m one of those women," she says with a laugh. Tellingly, she adds, "I’ve been injured so many times, and played on it, my body is used to adjusting."

As announced this week, Williams will enter the 2018 Wimbledon draw as the No. 25 seed, a special consideration that organizers applied to her standing as a seven-time singles champ at SW19.

Follow Jon on Twitter @jonscott9


A LANDMARK DOCUMENTARY DURING THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS EVENT IN SPORTS, CELEBRATING THE UNPARALLELED FEDERER-RIVALRY AND 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREATEST MATCH EVER PLAYED.

In association with All England Lawn & Tennis Club, Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment and Amblin Television.  Directed by Andrew Douglas.