Kamran Jebreili/Associated Press
Serena Williams discussed a number of topics in a Wednesday profile by Vogue‘s Rob Haskell, including her desire to reach 25 Grand Slams, which would surpass Margaret Court’s record of 24, and her battle back from health issues.
“Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more Grand Slams,” Williams said. “I’m well aware of the record books, unfortunately. It’s not a secret that I have my sights on 25.”
Williams has won 23 Grand Slams in her career, although she recently withdrew from the upcoming Australian Open.
“And actually, I think having a baby might help,” Williams explained. “When I’m too anxious I lose matches, and I feel like a lot of that anxiety disappeared when Olympia was born. 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.”
Haskell noted Williams’ baby, Olympia, was born by emergency C-section because her heart rate dipped too low. While the surgery went well, Williams will not return to the court until March after various medical issues, including blood clots in her lungs and the fact “a large hematoma had flooded her abdomen.”
According to Haskell, Williams spent six weeks in bed after Olympia was born. While she discussed the difficulties she faced, admitting “sometimes I get really down and feel like, Man, I can’t do this,” she also pointed to the support she has received from fellow tennis players.
Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Angelique Kerber were specifically mentioned on the women’s side, while Stanislas Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer were brought up from the men.
“It’s so unfair,” Williams said of Federer’s continued dominance with two pairs of twins. “He produced four babies and barely missed a tournament. I can’t even imagine where I’d be with twins right now. Probably at the bottom of the pool.”
Attention now turns to when she will return, especially after she said she was “super close” in her announcement about the Australian Open, via Yahoo Sports:
Yahoo Sports @YahooSports
Serena Williams just withdrew from the Australian Open. 🎾 https://t.co/RgqFEMVCjn
The fact Williams said having a baby may help her on the court is worrisome news for the rest of the WTA. She won last year’s Australian Open after learning she was pregnant before taking the rest of the season off.
She is just two majors shy of the record and won three in 2015, one in 2016 and the Australian Open in 2017.
Despite some of the medical hardships she recently faced, Williams’ track record suggests she will surpass Court in the near future.