Serena Williams was bedridden for six weeks after birth of daughter


Tennis star speaks for first time of medical problems including blood clots on lungs following emergency C-section

Serena Williams has revealed she was bedridden for six weeks after the birth of her daughter following an emergency caesarean section.

The tennis star, in an interview with the US fashion magazine Vogue, has spoken for the first time of the medical complications she faced during her daughters birth. She said Alexis Olympia had been delivered by C-section after the babys heart-rate dropped.

The former world No 1 also underwent several procedures after blood clots settled on her lungs and her wound opened up, leaving her unable to get out of bed.

The cover of the February issue of Vogue. Photograph: Mario Testino/Vogue

Williams said becoming a mother had at times left her feeling broken. Sometimes I get really down and feel like, man, I cant do this, she told the magazine. Its that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess thats just who I am.

No one talks about the low moments the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry. Ive broken down I dont know how many times. Or Ill get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, why do I feel so sad when I have a beautiful baby? The emotions are insane.

In the interview, Williams spoke of her hope that her daughter would share her drive. I think sometimes women limit themselves, she said. Im not sure why we think that way, but I know that were sometimes taught to not dream as big as men, not to believe we can be a president or a CEO, when in the same household a male child is told he can be anything he wants.

Im so glad I had a daughter. I want to teach her that there are no limits.

In September the tennis star turned 36, an age at which most players are well past their prime. But Williams, perhaps inspired by her older sister Venus, who had one of the best years of her career in 2017, said she does not see her age as a problem. Ive been playing tennis since before my memories started, Williams said. At my age, I see the finish line. And when you see the finish line, you dont slow down. You speed up.

Serena Williams pictured with her daughter, her mother, Oracene, and sisters, from left Isha, Venus and, front, Lyndrea. Photograph: Mario Testino/Vogue

She added: Knowing Ive got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I dont have to play another match. I dont need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I dont need them. Thats a different feeling for me.

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