Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Serena Williams says her anxiety 'disappeared' after her daughter was born

Serena Williams and daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr Alexis’ birth wasn’t an easy one. | Serena Williams via Instagram
Noah Ferguson | 12 January, 2018, 22:00

Williams gave birth to her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, on September 1 and had hoped to return to action in time for the Australian Open.

Six-time Australian Open champion Djokovic pulled out of events in Abu Dhabi and Doha with elbow soreness before heading to Melbourne and hasn't hit a ball in anger since the problem forced him to quit Wimbledon in the quarter-finals in July.

With the 36-year-old having to wait to equal Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles, the tournament is there for the taking by a host of players, led by world number one Halep, second-ranked Wozniacki and fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina.

"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", she said.

But she will start the 2018 tournament next week with an excellent chance of claiming what has proved to be an elusive honour at one of the sport's four headline events after returning to the peak of her powers last season. Alll women! Coincidence? I think it not.

"When I'm too anxious I lose matches, and I feel like a lot of that anxiety disappeared when Olympia was born", she said.

"Knowing I've got this attractive baby to go home to makes me feel like I don't have to play another match", she said.

Alexis said of the time: "I was happy to change diapers, but on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even harder. I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip". "And I feel like I am ready".

She was then sent for further surgery, to have a filter inserted into a major vein to stop more blood clots dislodging and travelling to her lungs, and she wasn't allowed home from hospital until a week later.

Garbine Muguruza put up a dominant show at Wimbledon previous year, beating Venus Williams by a mile in the final but recent withdrawals from the run-up events put her under doubt. "I'm not asking you to like it", she explained in a frank conversation about body critics.

More complications followed as intense coughing caused her C-section wound to open and a hematoma was found in her abdomen.

Following her surgeries, she was forced to spend her first six weeks of motherhood unable to get out of bed.

"I'm still not 100 per cent - hopefully in three or four days I will be there", Djokovic said after beating Thiem in an exhibition match at Kooyong this week. "I hate playing her because she gets this look on her face where she just looks sad if she's losing". Knowing I've got this lovely baby to go home to makes me feel like I don't have to play another match.



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