Serena Williams AP Photo/Dita Alangkara

Serena Williams has swapped her tennis whites for swimwear to pose for Sports Illustrated magazine’s famous swimsuit issue.

Miss Williams, 35, said it was important for women to feel good about themselves.

She said: ‘I want people to come away with the fact that it’s okay to be comfortable in your body. I’m not a size tw‘It’s okay to look good and feel good and I’m strong. It’s okay to look strong and to be sexy and to be a woman and to be unbreakable — all those things.’

She showed off her toned physique in a variety of swimsuits and jewellery, and at one point went topless. The athlete, who won her record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam singles title in Melbourne last month, added that posing in swimwear took some getting used to.

‘I’ve never worn a thong bikini, so for that to be my first shot was like a shot of espresso for me because I had to wake up immediately,’ she said.

#SISwim on sale now @si_swimsuit

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