Five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, are featured in the upcoming Body Issue by ESPN The Magazine.
That means they are nude!
“I just kept cracking jokes and that definitely made it fun,” Venus said. “It was interesting, though. I think I’m in better shape now. Hope we can do a reshoot.”
In addition to posing nude for the issue, in the accompanying story Williams exposes harrowing new details about her ongoing battle with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disorder. “At my worst point, I wasn’t able to play tennis at all,” Venus said. “Just the whole quality of my life was compromised. You are so tired it hurts. You have to accept that you’re never going to be 100%.””
Williams, who was forced to stop playing for just over six months because of the illness, reveals how she was able to work her way back up the rankings. “Because of Sjogren’s syndrome, I have to be careful,” says Williams. “If I train too hard then I won’t be able to do anything the next day. There would be times when I’d park my car at home, and I fell asleep behind the wheel because I was so tired! It’s a balance between pushing myself as much as I can and being reasonable about what I can achieve and what my body will tolerate.”
Berdych becomes only the second ATP player to pose for The Body Issue, following in John Isner’s footsteps last year.
ESPN The Magazine’s sixth annual Body Issue is on newsstands July 11.
Max Vadukul for ESPN The Magazine
Williams+Hirakawa for ESPN The Magazine
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