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For Serena Williams, Tennis — Not Motherhood — Was a Sacrifice


Tennis is a uniquely grueling sport for brand new parents. Much of the calendar yr is taken into account in season, and far of that season is spent crisscrossing the globe for tournaments.

But returning to the largest stages on this planet didn’t appear to be much of a matter for Williams. “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,” she wrote. She reached her tenth Wimbledon final in July 2018, lower than a yr after childbirth.

Williams’s daughter hasn’t been removed from the stands since. There’s Olympia on the Fed Cup, sporting a red-and-white headband with a glitter bow. And on the ASB classic, sitting on her dad’s lap, clapping, wanting to see what shiny trophy Mom has this time. On the Top Seed Open, she was spotted within the stands, a bit distracted by an iPhone (happens to the perfect of us). And he or she had a front-row seat to the U.S. Open bubble of 2020, pointing and saying “mama” in a virtually empty stadium.

Prior to now five years, Williams said, she has not spent greater than 24 hours away from her daughter.

But Williams made one thing clear. Her evolution (retirement, she said, is just not a word she likes to make use of) is just not a simple decision; it’s not one she’s been capable of discuss with anyone aside from her therapist. This is just not an easy ride into the sunset. No, it’s a tougher decision — one which she really didn’t have the desire to make.

“Imagine me, I never desired to have to make a choice from tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a man, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be on the market playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family,” she said. “Perhaps I’d be more of a Tom Brady if I had that chance.”

That’s the case for 36-year-old Rafael Nadal. He announced that his wife, Maria Francisca Perello, is pregnant with their first child. In a news conference in June, Nadal, the winner of twenty-two Grand Slam singles titles, said, “I don’t think it is going to change my skilled life.”

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