Serena Williams Confirms Her Relationship With Meghan Markle Is As Strong As Ever

Serena Williams has shocked the world by deciding to step away from tennis, saying she has reached a "crossroads" in her life. "I'm not ready for it to be over, but I'm ready for what's next," she opened up about her decision in Vogue. The tennis titan also talked about her friends and family taking priority over her tennis career. It's hard to imagine Williams not dominating the tennis court, but she wants her next chapter to be about balancing the relationships with those she cares about.


One relationship that has caught the public's eye is Williams' friendship with Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. According to Insider, the two have been friends since 2014. However, a tell-all biography claimed that Markle had thrown the word "friend" around haphazardly, claiming that Williams didn't see the former actress as a confidante.

Williams recently addressed those claims head-on, setting the record straight about her relationship with Markle.

Serena Williams gushes about Meghan Markle in Vogue interview

Serena Williams sat down with Vogue to break down 22 of her most iconic fashion looks and, in the process, sent a message that her friendship with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex is as strong as ever. Vogue presented the tennis star with a picture of her in a pink Versace dress at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding in 2018. "I love this image, this is at the royal wedding when my friend Meghan married Harry," Williams said. The queen of tennis seems unbothered by the rumors questioning the legitimacy of her friendship with Meghan Markle.


In a blog Markle posted on her now-defunct website, The Tig, the royal wrote that she and Williams became friends quickly in 2014 at DirectTV's Celebrity Beach Bowl. "We hit it off immediately, taking pictures, laughing through the flag football game we were both playing in, and chatting not about tennis or acting, but about all the good old fashioned girlie stuff," Markle wrote (via E! News). "So began our friendship." 

Years later, the superstar athlete has now confirmed their friendship is as strong as ever.

Serena Williams has dressed the duchess from her own fashion line

As friends, Serena Williams and Meghan Markle regularly help each other. The Duchess of Sussex has supported Williams by attending her games at Wimbleton and also promoting her business. Back in 2018, Williams launched her fashion line called Serena (via Fashion Network). Williams stated, "I knew I had two loves–tennis and fashion–and had to find a way to make them coexist." 


Soon after the launch, Williams began dressing her friend, Markle, which naturally garnered attention for her brand. After all, Markle has a history of impacting sales greatly after wearing pieces from different designers. Often those items sell out fast. 

For Williams, she says it's all been exciting to dress a royal. "It's so fun because people are like, 'Oh my God. Like wow, the quality is crazy,'" Williams explained to Business of Fashion (via Vogue Australia). "Listen, if we're giving our stuff to Meghan, it has to be the highest quality that we can get. So, that's what I tell our team internally: 'We have to make sure it's super high quality that, you know, is fit for a royal princess!'"


Serena Williams and Meghan Markle support each other when times get tough

Though Serena Williams and Meghan Markle have enjoyed many fun and light-hearted times, their friendship goes deeper. An important aspect of true friendship is supporting each other through both the ups and downs of life. Williams stepped up for her friend when the press came down hard on Markle after she and her husband sat down for a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.


In the televised chat that had a global reach of 50 million, Markle confided to Winfrey that a royal member disparagingly commented on the skin color of her and Prince Harry's unborn child and discussed how dark the complexion might be (via Newsweek). Though both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex chose to keep the identity of the royal in question hidden, the revelation sparked outrage. Many believed they should have kept that information private.

Like a true friend Williams defended Markle, posting on Instagram a tribute to her pal. "Meghan Markle, my selfless friend, lives her life – and leads by example – with empathy and compassion," the tennis star wrote (via Glamour). "She teaches me every day what it means to be truly noble. Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she's experienced."