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Serena Williams melted the hearts of her 6.6 million Instagram followers on Tuesday night when she posted a sweet snapshot of her baby girl, Alexis.

The professional tennis champion posted a photo of the new born alongside an image of her as an adult playing the sport she loves most.

In the side-by-side, you see Serena’s bundle of joy on the left, in a pink outfit while wrapped up in a pink blanket. On the right you see Williams, on her knees after what appears on be an emotional moment during a tennis match.

And while the photo instantly proved to be a fan favorite, it’s the letter to Serena’s mother, Oracene Price, that’s really drawing attention.

In the full memo, published on Reddit, Serena praised her mother for being a “strong woman” and “for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships” as a female athlete.

Read the letter in its entirety below.

Dear Mom,

You are one of the strongest women I know. I was looking at my daughter (OMG, yes, I have a daughter 😳) and she has my arms and legs! My exact same strong, muscular, powerful, sensational arms and body. I don’t know how I would react if she has to go through what I’ve gone through since I was a 15 year old and even to this day.

I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). It has been said I don’t belong in Women’s sports — that I belong in Men’s — because I look stronger than many other women do. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).

But mom, I’m not sure how you did not go off on every single reporter, person, announcer and quite frankly, hater, who was too ignorant to understand the power of a black woman.

I am proud we were able to show them what some women look like. We don’t all look the same. We are curvy, strong, muscular, tall, small, just to name a few, and all the same: we are women and proud!

You are so classy, I only wish I could take your lead. I am trying, though, and God is not done with me yet. I have a LONG way to go, but thank you.

Thank you for being the role model I needed to endure all the hardships that I now regard as a challenges–ones that I enjoy. I hope to teach my baby Alexis Olympia the same, and have the same fortitude you have had.

Promise me, Mom, that you will continue to help. I’m not sure if I am as meek and strong as you are yet. I hope to get there one day. I love you dearly.

Your youngest of five,


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