Serena Williams Does the Splits for the Cover of New York Magazine's Fashion Issue (and Her Body's Insane)

Even further proof she's one of the best athletes in the world

If you had any doubts that Serena Williams is one of the most powerful women today, this photo of her doing the splits on parallel bars should convince you. And the article this photo shoot accompanies, the cover story of New York magazine’s Fashion Issue, sets out to prove that she’s figuratively powerful — on and off the tennis court — as well.

Courtesy Serena Williams

Courtesy Serena Williams

The star talks about her foray into fashion — first in athletic wear (her first choice was wedding gowns, but she decided it didn’t make much sense) and then a clothing line sold on HSN. She explains that she’s already starting to think of her 16-year tennis career in the past tense and focusing on her fashion lines and other endeavors going forward. And that’s in large part because, in addition to dominating the sport itself, “We brought fashion back to tennis,” Serena says. “It was great when Chris Evert was around. Tracy Austin had some great designs. But the ’90s was not a good time.”

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<a href="" data-inlink="true">Serena Williams</a> doing the splits

Norman Jean Roy/New York Magazine

Williams also models sleek black ensembles (from a high-slit dress, seen on the cover, above, to a formfitting bodysuit) in the issue — though most of her poses are more conventional than the killer splits that she Instagrammed (and that open the story). And if she looks like a natural at modeling, that’s because she had plenty of practice last year when she graced the cover of Vogue (for the second time).

And even then, she was looking forward, saying, “I feel like I have a desire to be better than ever. I am never, ever satisfied. I always want to do more, be more, reach a new level. Not just in tennis but in everything I do.” And judging by those next-level splits, we’d say she’s accomplishing her goals.

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What do you think of the shoot?!

— Alex Apatoff

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