Serena Williams returns to the tennis courts this week in Stanford where she’ll be the top seed in a loaded WTA field. The World No. 1’s appearance is her first since her surreal retirement from the doubles a month ago at Wimbledon.
Earlier today, the 32-year-old Williams who is felling better again spoke publicly for the first time about the incident that made international headlines.
“I was really, really sick,” Serena told reporters today at Stanford. “It kind of reminded me of when I had my other illness a while ago.
“After that happened I had that flashback of, ‘When you’re in the moment you don’t realize how sick you are until you kind of like step back and you look at everything in the big picture.’
“It’s like, ‘Is that me?'” she added.
Serena said the Wimbledon doctors told her she was “really under the weather.” She also said she was not feeling well three days earlier when she lost in singles to Alize Cornet the Saturday before. Even Venus told her not to play in the doubles.
“After my match against Cornet I wasn’t feeling great and it just got worse,” she told USA Today. “I didn’t get out of bed even before the match. I was feeling awful (she still won the first set 6-1). Then after the match I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t anything. I was super dizzy.”
The speculation remains as to what triggered the viral illness, if there was one at all. Was Serena just not mentally interested in doubles after her loss to Cornet? Was Serena under some sort of chemical influence? Was she upset over the recent break-up of boyfriend and current coach Patrick Mouratoglou? Or was she just that sick? And if she was that sick why didn’t Venus show any real concern during the doubles?
“I heard a lot of the response weeks and weeks and weeks later,” Serena said. “Because I didn’t leave my house or bed for a few days. By the time I read about it or heard about it from a few people, I was just like, ‘Oh, really?’ I had already moved on; I had just started working out and started to play again.”
After withdrawing from Bastad, Serena moved on to a vacation in Croatia with hitting parner Sasha Bajin, then recently was in Toronto shooting a movie.
Serena, a 2-time Stanford champion, opens her summer hardcourt season on Wednesday against Karolina Pliskova.
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