Serena Williams is celebrated world wide for her love for tennis, but many do not know that the mother of one almost lost her life during pregnancy.
Williams, who is married to Alexis Ohanian, had been off the tennis court to allow her heal after under going an emergency caesarean which saw her bedridden for weeks after she developed blood clots in the lungs and abdomen.
The former world number one developed a ‘slew of health complications’ after developing a pulmonary embolism 24 hours after her baby’s arrival.
As a result she spent the first six weeks of motherhood in bed as she recovered from the ordeal.
What’s even more remarkable about Serena’s path to the Wimbledon final is she didn’t return to playing tennis until February this year.
‘It’s been a crazy ten months. I was still pregnant at this time last year,’ she said. ‘That’s something I have to keep reminding myself. Also, you know, going out there, being a mum, is super cool.’
The 36-year-old American, who gave birth 10 months ago, is the first mother to reach the last round of the tournament since Australian Evonne Goolagong in 1980.
According to Daily Mail, Serena will playing the Wimbledon Finals, an event that will see her friend Meghan Markle the Duchess of Sussex cheer her on.
Serena Williams has reached her 10th Wimbledon women’s singles final – just ten months after nearly dying during childbirth and if she wins this game on Saturday, she will become the first to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish since Goolagong triumphed 38 years ago.
On Sunday, Kate and the Duke of Cambridge will watch the men’s singles final on Centre Court.
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, watched on as wife Williams triumphed in her semi-final on Thursday, beating Julia Goerges 6-2 6-4 in one hour 10 minutes.The couple announced the birth of daughter Olympia in September.
Williams appeared delighted but shocked to have made it through.
She told BBC Sport: ‘It’s crazy, I don’t even know how to feel. I didn’t expect to do this well in my fourth tournament back after 16 months away.
‘This was not inevitable for me, I had a really difficult pregnancy and I had to have multiple surgeries, I almost didn’t make it.
‘I remember when I couldn’t even walk to my mailbox, so it’s definitely not normal to be in a Wimbledon final.’
Dame Shirley Bassey, Sir Cliff Richard and actor Stanley Tucci were among the stars in the Royal Box to watch the women’s semi-finals.
The Duchess of Sussex will cheer on Serena Williams who has reached her 10th Wimbledon women’s singles final – just ten months after nearly dying during childbirth.
Williams whose daughter Olympia was delivered by an emergency caesarean section on September 1, will play in the final, two months after taking a front row seat at Meghan’s wedding in Windsor.
Meghan will be joined by fellow duchess Kate Middleton, a Wimbledon patron, as the former champion fights it out against Germany’s Angelique Kerber.
Miss Williams, 36, who faces Germany’s Angelique Kerber, was a guest at Meghan’s marriage to Prince Harry in May and spoke last night about her bond with the former actress.
“We always had a wonderful friendship,’ she said. ‘Every year for a couple years she comes out to Wimbledon, has supported me… Now she’s supporting me in a different role but our friendship is still exactly the same. We always have supported each other, just been there for each other through a lot. I look forward to it.”
Asked whether she sees herself as ‘tennis royalty’, Miss Williams, who has won Wimbledon seven times, replied: ‘If there was a royalty, I probably would be.
“If there was a Wimbledon royalty, I would like to believe I would be Wimbledon royalty because I’ve done pretty well here in the past.’ Miss Williams said she has surprised herself by reaching the final, nine months after she nearly died following the birth of daughter Olympia.”