Now that the brand is available in the U.S., the tennis star doesn't have to buy 70 bras at once

By Samantha Lefave
August 26, 2016
Berlei USA

Back in July, Serena Williams went viral across every social media platform known to mankind when, after an interviewer asked her what she thinks about going down as one of the greatest female athletes of all time, she simply said, "I prefer the word 'one of the greatest athletes of all time.'"

And everyone said, "Um, mic drop please!" while ladies everywhere rejoiced.

Well, Serena isn't done. The tennis star shared more of her thoughts about women in sports yesterday, all while rocking an insanely fierce Berlei sports bra as a crop top. Because at the end of the day, if there's going to be one thing that differentiates female athletes from male ones, it's the need for a sports bra.

If you haven't heard of Berlei before, don't fret-you're not out of the loop. The brand is originally from Australia, where Serena first discovered it 15 years ago, and is now making its U.S. debut at Macy's.

The only thing we're upset about? That this bra has been unknown to us for so dang long. Ladies everywhere know how hard it is to find a quality sports bra that can move with you and provide the support you need. So when Serena found Berlei-actually, her mom discovered the brand while the two were out in Australia in 2001-she wore it, sweat in it, and never tried another bra again.

"I have a large bust, so when I first started playing tennis my mom was like, 'We need to get you a better bra,'" she told SHAPE. "We were in Australia in 2001 and she found this bra, she found Berlei, and she was like you really need to try this. Of course I listened to my mom...and I fell in love with it that second. Literally every match since then, every tournament, I've only played in Berlei."

If that's not a vote of confidence for the brand-and the fact that Serena is serving as the brand ambassador-then we don't know what is. Because Serena admits that, as a bustier woman, she's had her fair share of underwhelming sports bra experiences. "No one made a sports bra that was able to not only fit me, but actually be a really supportive bra to any bust size," she says. So after she started wearing Berlei, she knew she couldn't change course. "I would buy like 50, 60, 70 bras for the year because I could only get it in Australia...So I'm just as excited as they are to launch in the States. 'Cause I always tell my friends, 'Listen, you've gotta try this bra I'll bring you some from Australia.' But now I don't have to do that anymore 'cause they can go pick it up themselves."

But back to being a woman in sports. While, admittedly, the Olympics didn't go as well for Serena as one might have hoped, she still thinks the Games overall were fantastic-especially for the women. "USA, we won top in the medal count, which is cool...Our gymnastic team did amazing. We had some great swimmers. The track ladies did amazing," she says.

But just because they did amazing doesn't mean they need to be called out for being female athletes. Commenting on the whole scenario when, after breaking her own world record, swimmer Katie Ledecky was called "the female Michael Phelps" by an announcer, Serena says, "Katie Ledecky is Katie Ledecky. And she's a wonderful swimmer and she did an incredible job and I don't think she should be compared to Michael Phelps. Because Michael Phelps is Michael Phelps and he's an amazing swimmer as well. And they don't compare him to Katie Ledecky."

Serena echoed that same sentiment earlier in the year when CEO and tournament director of the BNP Parabis Open at Indian Wells said women in tennis "ride on the coattails of men" and Serena had the best response. Clearly, there are still strides to be made. The good news? Serena is confident we're moving in the right direction. "There's obviously still growth that I think we have to go for and I think we're making really big jumps and strides," she says. "Like when I said I prefer being called an athlete over a female athlete-it doesn't matter, we're all athletes. I think we can just keep going in that direction."


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