Serena Williams Reveals Chasing 24th Grand Slam ‘While Breastfeeding’ and Suffering ‘Postpartum Depression’

Published 08/10/2022, 12:03 AM EDT
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 28, 2022 Serena Williams of the U.S. reacts after losing her first round match against France’s Harmony Tan REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

All good things come to an end, don’t they? Recently, Serena Williams, in an emotional essay penned for Vogue, announced that this month’s US Open will be her last tournament. She has been on the Tour for around 25 years, amassing titles and records that will go unchallenged for years.

During her illustrious career, the American legend has gone on to win an astonishing 23 Grand Slam titles. However, she has been chasing an elusive 24th major title for quite some time now, with her last Grand Slam title coming at the Australian Open in 2017. Recently, she opened up about equaling Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles.

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Serena Williams talks about adding another Grand Slam title

In the essay, the former World Number 1 revealed how she chased her 24th major title. Talking about this, she said, “I started playing tennis with the goal of winning the U.S. Open. I didn’t think past that. And then I just kept winning. I remember when I passed Martina Hingis’s grand slam count. Then Seles’s. And then I tied Billie Jean King, who is such an inspiration for me because of how she has pioneered gender equality in all sports.”

Further, she added, “Then it was climbing over the Chris Evert–Martina Navratilova mountain. There are people who say I’m not the GOAT because I didn’t pass Margaret Court’s record of 24 grand slam titles, which she achieved before the “open era” that began in 1968. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want that record. Obviously I do. But day to day, I’m really not thinking about her. If I’m in a grand slam final, then yes, I am thinking about that record. Maybe I thought about it too much, and that didn’t help. The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus grand slams.”

Watch This Story: Margaret Court vs Serena Williams – who is the greatest between the two?

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Talking about her comeback after giving birth to her daughter Olympia, Serena said, “I had my chances after coming back from giving birth. I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a grand slam final. I played while breastfeeding, I played through postpartum depression. But I didn’t get there. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. I didn’t show up the way I should have or could have. But I showed up 23 times, and that’s fine. Actually it’s extraordinary. But these days, if I have to choose between building my tennis résumé and building my family, I choose the latter.”

Serena set to be in action today

Later today, Serena will take on Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in the second round of the National Bank Open in Toronto. Earlier, she had defeated Nuria Parrizas Diaz in the first round in straight sets.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘Made Me Believe That I Could Dominate Too’ – Coco Gauff on Serena Williams’ Huge Influence on Her Tennis Career

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It will be the fourth meeting between Serena and Bencic, with the former winning twice. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top in this encounter.

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Vatsal Shah

1216 articles

Vatsal Shah is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in engineering, he is a die hard fan of tennis and sports in general. He is an ardent follower of Rafael Nadal and is inspired by his never-say-die attitude.

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