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  • Serena Williams, considered the queen of tennis, acknowledged in an interview with Harper's Bazaar how tough it was to read internet conspiracy theories that she was born a man.
  • Williams wrote an open letter to her mother last year to thank her for her support over the issue.
  • The 23-time Grand Slam champion says she has embraced her muscular physique.
  • Williams referred to her biceps as her "weapon and machine" and is now flexing them at the French Open. 

For an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Serena Williams wore a jacket that said: "Queen. Don't be afraid to rule like a king."

And Williams has ruled the tennis kingdom for decades. The 36-year-old has banked over $84 million in career earnings, has an extraordinary overall win percentage of 85.6%, and is a 23-time Grand Slam champion.

Williams is, quite rightly, considered the queen of tennis. 

But the internet is filled with conspiracy theories that she was born a man — theories that Williams is well aware of, as she wrote an open letter to her mother last year thanking her for her support over the issue.

Williams told Harper's Bazaar the ordeal was hard for her.

"People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I'm strong," she said. "I was different to Venus: She was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular — and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different."

Williams returned to Grand Slam tennis this week for the first time since her victory last year at the Australian Open, a tournament she won while eight weeks pregnant.

Williams is now cruising through the opening stages of the French Open — and attracting attention for her "Black Panther"-style bodysuit, an outfit she said makes her feel "like a warrior princess" from Wakanda.

It is clear Williams has learned to handle the criticism and embrace her strong and muscular body. In her Harper's Bazaar interview, she called her biceps her "weapon and machine."

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