Beyoncé paid tribute to Serena Williams as the GOAT plays her final tennis tournament
“When the world writes her down in history, we’ll begin where she started. At love.”
Beyoncé isn’t just dropping hive-stirring albums this summer, she’s also here to spread love and uplift her contemporaries. She’s lent her voice to a new Gatorade ad that honors the legacy of her friend, Serena Williams.
“When the world writes her down in history, we’ll begin where she started. At love,” Bey says in the ad, her recognizable voice setting the tone. “It’s a love that we’ll remember through the generations, a love that started a movement. A movement to always love exactly who you are and who you can be. To be so in love with your identity that your very essence cannot be contained. To love the sound of your own voice and the way you move. To feel like a queen unapologetically, with a crown indefinitely. To cherish every muscle and every curve your body exhibits.”
The ad, titled “For Serena, With Love” and directed by Jake Nava, comes just after Williams penned an essay for Vogue admitting that she’s “evolving away from tennis.” Because of that announcement, this current US Open will likely be her last, providing Gatorade a moment to pay tribute to Williams’ esteemed career. Beyoncé’s voice is the backdrop for visuals that combine memorable moments of Williams’ career with depictions of women of color of all ages being active and joyful. Bey goes on to laud Williams for being wholly herself and embracing who she is as a “proud Black woman, a parent, a dreamer, a leader.” At the end of the ad, the tennis pun “Love Means Everything” flashes across the screen.
It’s not the first time that Beyoncé and Williams have collaborated talents. Williams performed in the music video for Bey’s renowned “Lemonade,” and Bey contributed a song to the soundtrack of King Richard, this year’s biopic about Williams’ father and their family’s upbringing in Compton. In a recent ESPN interview on the court, Williams spoke a little more about her exit, which she doesn’t want to be referred to as a “retirement.”
“I always have to do the best that I can. ... It’s harder to walk away than to not,” she said. “There’s other chapters in life, call it an evolution.” She added that what’s next for her will partly focus on her company Serena Ventures, which invests in “women, people of color, and men as well,” and spending time at home to get in touch with her “spiritual life.”