She recently achieved another stunning milestone-saving her own life after giving birth, according to a fascinating profile in Vogue.
Olympia was born via emergency c-section, after contractions caused her heart rate to drop dangerously low. But the day after the surgery, Vogue reports that Williams felt short of breath.
A CT scan revealed several small blood clots had settled in her lungs, and minutes later she was on a drip. The medical team then found a hematoma had filled her abdomen, caused by the very same blood-thinning drugs that were saving her life. In fact, a woman's risk of blood clots is about four to five times higher when she is pregnant, compared with when she's not pregnant, said Dr. Saima Aftab, medical director of the Fetal Care Center at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, who is not involved with Williams' care.
Williams ultimately needed to have a filter placed in a major vein to stop blood clots from going to her lungs.
"I think having a baby might help. It's not a secret that I have my sights on 25", she said.
Serena was eventually able to leave the hospital, but couldn't get out of bed for her first six weeks of motherhood.
But while she might be feeling confident about grand slam number 24, she will have to wait at least until the French Open begins at the end of May.
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Her next grand slam victory will be her 24th, equalling Margaret Court for the most of all-time in women's tennis while the 36-year-old will have to wait until 2019 to try and usurp Thelma Coyne Long as the oldest victor of the Australian Open (35 years and eight months in 1954). "Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you're trapped in it". And the night nurse she had planned to hire had fallen through.
"I know how hard she works", she said. It's that same negative attitude I have on the court sometimes.
"I want them, but I don't need them".
"This ordeal, as well as the weeks and months after, has made me an even bigger advocate for paid parental leave (not just for my employees-men & women alike-but for all)". No one talks about the low moments-the pressure you feel, the incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry. Or I'll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, "Why do I feel so sad when I have a lovely baby?' The emotions are insane". "That's a different feeling for me".
She said that while she was pleased with her recovery and her progress, she was "not where I personally want to be".
Simona Halep arrives as world number one but is yet to win a grand slam title, having fallen agonisingly short at the French Open past year when she was ambushed by the ferocious hitting of Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.
A casual reader of the only pregnancy book I suggest to friends, "Expecting Better", can easily see that pregnancy recommendations are often based on out-of-date information or the belief that USA women about to become mothers are incapable of understanding moderation or ways to mitigate risk during pregnancy and childbirth.