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Tennis Pro, 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 with daughter Alexis
 Serena Williams poses with daughter Alexis in an image for the February issue of Vogue. Photograph: Mario Testino/Vogue

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 daughter’s birth. She said Alexis Olympia had been delivered by C-section after the baby’s 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.

Williams said becoming a mother had at times left her feeling “broken”. “Sometimes I get really down and feel like, man, I can’t do this,” she told the magazine. “It’s that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes. I guess that’s 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. I’ve broken down I don’t know how many times. Or I’ll 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. “I’m not sure why we think that way, but I know that we’re 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.

“I’m so glad I had a daughter. I want to teach her that there are no limits.”

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

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. “I’ve 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 don’t slow down. You speed up.”

She added: “Knowing I’ve got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don’t have to play another match. I don’t need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don’t need them. That’s a different feeling for me.”

-Theguardian

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