serena-williams-espnTennis sensation Serena Williams bares her birthday suit for the cover of ESPN magazine’s first Body Issue which debuted this past Friday.

“They told me that I have a great body and wanted me for the cover, and I was super flattered that they asked. I think they did a great job with the photos,” Williams said.

The special publication features athletes from a range of sports showing off their semi-nude physiques including mixed martial artist Gina Carano (also known as “Crush” on the recent NBC revival of American Gladiators), Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic, and NFL superstar running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings.

But will it rival Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue?

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Photo: Sara Jaye Weiss

Tennis pros James Blake and Venus Williams were among the celebs at Heineken’s USTA US Open Official Player Party at Skyline Studios in New York on Friday.

Proving to be a party early bird, Blake was there before the action was in full swing and we even spied him making a beeline for the door way before midnight.

Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badgely and Matthew Settle and stylist Keino Benjamin were among the non-tennis revelers, but sadly Blake Lively sat this one out.

Noticeably missing from the party was Venus’ other and arguably better half Serena Williams and French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Ok, so maybe only we were looking for Tsonga. But conspicuously present was Vince Offer, the ShamWow pitchman, who played Wii Tennis with his date.

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Talk about sibling rivalry!

Serena Williams beat her older sister and two-time defending champion Venus Williams to take the Wimbledon women’s tennis title in London this weekend. In the fourth all-Williams final at the All England Club, Serena took her third Wimbledon crown!

In other Williams sister news: Partnering together in their ladies doubles match, Venus and Serena defeated Australians Rennae Stubbs and Samantha Stosur for the Wimbledon championship.

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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but outright copying in the media industry can smell of desperation!

For its April issue, the voice of Black women in America, Essence magazine, has (from the looks of it) stolen the annual age issue concept from Glamour—even completely translating their three-actresses-of-varying-ages cover concept.

For their age issue, Essence recruited 27-year-old tennis star Serena Williams, 53-year-old supermodel Iman and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson. See past examples of original Glamour covers from 2007 and 2008 below.

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Tennis champion Serena Williams beat Russian player Dinara Safina on Saturday with a 6-0 6-3 victory to win the Australian Open crown and earn $2million, topping the list of prize-winning women in sports.

Serena payed hommage to tennis legend Billie Jean King, a lifelong advocate against sexism who paved the way for women to compete and earn prizemoney equivalent of male counterparts.

“You look at people like Billie Jean King….you really appreciate the people, the pioneers, the work they’ve done to get me in a position to have an opportunity to be called even the highest-earning female tennis player, ” Williams said.

This is Serena Williams fourth Australian Open title and her tenth Grand Slam.

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In a new TV spot for Double Stuf Oreos, tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams announce their decision to join the Double Stuf Racing League—”a fierce competition to see who’s fastest to twist, lick and dunk their Oreo cookie!”

In the commercial, NFL brothers Eli and Peyton Manning rival the Williams sisters in their press conference–convinced that they are copycats! Here’s the hilarious, cheeky transcript between the dueling sports siblings:

Venus: “My sister and I are proud to announce that we’ve decided to chase the dream and become two-sport athletes.”

Serena: “We’ve joined the Double Stuf Racing League!”

Peyton: “My brother and I like to announce that this is a great idea–when we thought of it, like a year ago.”

Serena: “Well my sister and I would like to announce that you guys are going down!

Eli: “My brother and I like to announce that Oooohhhh, we’re scared!

Venus: “My sister and I would like to announce that you should be!

Peyton: “My brother and I like to announce that it’s on like Donkey Kong!

Eli: “And stop copying us!

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