Williams: I was on deathbed
"I was literally on my deathbed," breathed defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams as she opened up yesterday about the medical misfortunes that had afflicted her over the past year, WRITES SIMON BRIGGS.
In March, she was diagnosed with pulmonary blood clots -- a condition that could have been genuinely life-threatening if her physio had not insisted that she go to hospital for a check-up.
"I had several clots in both lungs," Williams said. "A lot of people die from that. I couldn't breathe, and I just thought I was out of shape, and needed to get on the treadmill.
"They said it could have gotten a lot more serious. A day or two later, it could have been career-ending. My physio forced me to go to the hospital, whereas I was actually on my way to a party. I'm glad now I didn't go to that party."
After the forced inactivity of the past year, she is putting herself through a grass-court warm-up tournament for the first time since 1998.
"This is totally different from any other comeback," Williams said, "because there was a chance I could never have been out there again."
Williams' annus horibilis began with the serious foot injury she suffered four days after that Wimbledon final, in a bar-cum-restaurant in Hamburg -- she stepped on broken glass.
"I was walking and I felt something," she said. "There was this massive puddle of blood. I ended up fainting because I lost so much blood, and I had to have stitches in both feet.
"I was in a cast for 20 weeks and I may have been a little depressed at some moments. There were a few days I didn't get out of bed." (© Daily Telegraph, London)