Why claims that the 23-time Grand Slam champion shot down the Duchess of Sussex do not hold water

Serena Williams’ friendship with Meghan Markle has been in the spotlight this week after British investigative journalist Tom Bower’s book claimed that Williams denied her friendship with the Duchess of Sussex. However, Bower has faced a lot of flak for his claims in the book, and comments by both women about one another would suggest the opposite of what Bower has claimed.

The book, titled, ‘Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors’ includes an excerpt where Serena Williams supposedly suggests that Markle is not a friend but merely an acquaintance. Bower apparently reached out to Vanity Fair’s Sam Kushner to confirm whether Williams is a friend of Markle’s.

“You’ve got to be who you are, Meghan. You can’t hide,” said Williams, according to Kushner, as mentioned in Bower’s book.

While fans on social media were quick to criticize Bower for his claims, not comments from both Serena Williams and Meghan Markle also suggest that the two hold each other in high regard.

Markle has been spotted in Williams’ player’s box at Wimbledon in the past. Before the 2018 final at the iconic grasscourt event, the American tennis superstar even spoke about her close relationship with Markle.

“We’ve always had a wonderful friendship. She, every year for a couple of years, comes out to Wimbledon and has supported me. Now, she’s supporting me in a different role but our friendship is still exactly the same,” Serena Williams said of Markle.

Markle even attended the 2019 US Open final to support Serena Williams, just months after giving birth to her son. During an appearance on Access Hollywood, the 23-time Grand Slam champion had expressed her gratitude towards Markle for flying down to New York with a newborn baby just to watch Williams play. She further expressed that Markle’s US Open gesture was just “one of the many things” she has done for Williams.

“She flew all the way with a newborn to see me play in New York and flew all the way back that night, and I probably couldn’t have done that,” the American player said during the interview.

“It just kind of goes to show you what an amazing person that she is, and that’s just one of the many things that she does for me. I call her, text her anytime, crying, upset, she’s always there. Doesn’t matter what she’s going through, she just sets time away, and she’s just so amazing,” Wlilliams said further.

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Williams, who was also one of the most high-profile guests at the royal wedding of Markle and Prince Harry in 2018, shed some more light on the friendship between the two women during an interview later that year. As both Williams and Markle experienced some turbulent times in their own lives, the tennis great expressed how the two were always around to support one another.

“The whole service was just wonderful. Most of all, I just wanted to see my friend being happy,” Williams said of the royal wedding during an interview with The Sunday Project.

“We were actually just texting each other this morning. We have known each other for a long time, but we really are relying on each other a lot recently,” she added.

The quote from Williams provided by Vanity Fair, as mentioned by Bower in his book, was apparently just a case of the tennis player giving Markle advice on dealing with the pressures of paparazzi and fame.

“She quickly became a confidante” – When Meghan Markle lavished praise on Serena Williams

2019 US Open - Day 13

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“She will be an amazing mom. The very best because she is so attuned to balancing strength and sensitivity. Plus, given that she is pretty epic at karaoke, I think she’ll put her signature Serena spin on singing lullabies for the baby. I can’t wait for that,” Markle told Vogue.

Markle even extended her support to Williams when she launched an earlier business venture, while Williams did the same after Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, which made many headlines in early 2021.


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