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Serena Williams reveals major medical scare after giving birth to her first child Alexis Olympia

Serena Williams and her new husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian with their baby daughter.
Serena Williams and her new husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian with their baby daughter.

Callum Davis

Former women's world number one Serena Williams has opened up on life as a mother and revealed for the first time the complications that marked the birth of her daughter, Alexis Olympia.

In an interview with American fashion magazine, Vogue, the 23-time Grand Slam champion revealed she had to endure a series of operations just days after her daughter was delivered via an emergency c-section.

After it was decided the safest option was to deliver Alexis Olympia by c-section, Williams began feeling unwell, complaining of a shortness of breath.

Williams, fearing she was suffering from a pulmonary embolism, insisted on a CT scan that showed a number of small blood clots on her lungs.

The pulmonary embolism then sparked a coughing fit that caused her caesarean section wound to re-open.

With the tennis star now fully recovered from the traumatic delivery, Williams admits she has found the first few months of motherhood a challenging experience.

“Sometimes I get really down and feel like, man, I can’t do this,” said Williams.

"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.”

Having made her playing comeback last month at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, Williams was targeting a Grand Slam return at the Australian Open, but the 36-year-old announced last week that she would not be defending her title in Melbourne.

“To be honest, there’s something really attractive about the idea of moving to San Francisco and just being a mom," says Williams.

“But not yet. Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams. I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights on 25.”

“At my age, I see the finish line. And when you see the finish line, you don’t slow down. You speed up.”

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