“Is that Beyoncé at Serena’s match… wearing a mask?” asked one Twitter user on Monday, as Serena Williams took on Danka Kovinić in the first round of the 2022 U.S. Open. Actually, it wasn’t Beyoncé, 40, who hit up Arthur Ashe stadium to witness presumably the final Grand Slam of Serena’s career, but Laverne Cox. The 50-year-old Inventing Anna star sported a black facemask (COVID-19 is still real, after all) while among the crowd of tennis fans, prompting many to mix her up with Bey. However, Laverne took it in stride. “Not me getting mistaken for @Beyonce at the #USOpen tonight then trending on Twitter as the internet cackles over the mistaken identity,” she captioned an Aug. 29 Instagram post.
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) August 30, 2022
“These tweets are funny as hell. Enjoy!!!” she added, along with, “Go @serenawilliams #GOAT #SerenaWilliams #Beyonce.” Fans weighed in on the mistaken identity in the comment section. “You DESERVE! You had to e queen’s essence radiating from behind the mask,” wrote Francesca Ramsey. “The only true Beyonce that we know!” added drag performer Yuhua Hamasaki. “Had me fooled at first,” admitted Keita Moore. Drag performer Acid Betty said the mixup gave her “Life,” while Elizabeth Banks left a series of praise hands emojis.
Earlier in the night, Laverne gave a fit check. “Ready to go celebrate the #GOAT @serenawilliams at the #USOpen tonight. Go Serena!!!” she captioned the video of her look. The combination of her sheer black top, tan leather pants, hoop earrings, and big curls was fierce. Coincidentally, Laverne soundtracked the video with “PURE/HONEY,” one of the tracks from Bey’s Renaissance album.
Beyoncé was on everyone’s mind going into the U.S. Open because the modern music icon narrated a Gatorade commercial celebrating Serena’s career and her place in the sports history book. In “Love Means Everything,” Bey spoke about how “when the world writes her down in history, we’ll begin where she started: at love. No points. Zero score. Just love.”
“A movement to always love exactly who you are and who you can be,” said Bey. “To be so in love with your identity that your very essence cannot be contained. To love the sound of your own voice and the way you move,” she said. “To feel like a queen unapologetically, with the crown indefinitely. To cherish every muscle and every curve your body exhibits.”