Serena Williams Says She and Meghan Markle Have Been "Relying on Each Other A Lot Lately"

The Duchess of Sussex and the tennis champion have each other's backs

By Lena Grossman Sep 23, 2018 9:10 PMTags
Meghan Markle, Serena Williams Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images; Mike Pont/WireImage

Serena Williams is thankful for Meghan Markle.

Both women are royals in their own right (one figurative and one literal), but at the end of the day, these two women are really just best friends. During an interview with The Project, Williams opened up about how much of a positive force the Duchess of Sussex has been in her life, and vice versa. "We were actually just texting each other this morning," the Grand Slam champion said.

One time in particular Williams relied on her royal friend was after her loss at the 2018 U.S. Open. In a stunning defeat, Williams lost to 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, but before that, got into a heated argument with the court's umpire Carlos Ramos. She accused Ramos of "stealing" a point from her and called out sexism on the tennis court, citing that men get away with more egregious behavior and don't get punished. 

"We have known each other for a long time," the champion said to The Project's Lisa Wilkinson. "We really are relying on each other a lot lately."

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Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, attended Markle's May 19 royal wedding to Prince Harry. Williams called the ceremony a "monumental day for African Americans." She told The Project, "I felt like it was just really, we were literally watching history. And I feel like in a few years we'll look back at that moment and it's just going to be so historic, that it's going to be something people never forget."

Markle and the tennis champion have known each other since 2014 when they met at a charity flag football event when they were put on the same team. Back when Markle was an actress on Suits, she documented her newfound friendship with Williams on her lifestyle website, The Tig. "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 girly stuff," she wrote.

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Williams and Markle have been supporting each other on both sides of the Atlantic. In 2014, Markle cheered on her new friend at the U.S. Open championship where Williams won yet another title. Not long after, the Duchess of Sussex rooted Williams on at Wimbledon in England. It wasn't long after their initial encounter that Markle dubbed Williams one of her "closest friends."

Markle continued to describe how much Williams meant to her. She wrote on The Tig, "She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down to earth chick I was able to grab lunch with."

What connects them and makes them so fond of each other is more than just their "penchant for hot sauces" and love of fashion, but rather their "endless ambition."

Last week, the Duchess of Sussex hosted her first solo charity event where she was joined by Prince Harry and her mother Doria Ragland. The event benefited Hubb Community Kitchen in West London, and Markle wrote the foreward for the kitchen's new cookbook, Together. "I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen. Like these women, I'm passionate about food and cooking as a way of strengthening communities," Markle said in a video. 

She and Prince Harry have been attending events across the country together, all while fielding criticism from her father and step-sister.

Needless to say, both Williams and Markle are paving the way for women around the world and proving that friendships can span across continents.