Serena Williams, in just her fifth return to action after giving birth to a daughter, won her first title of the year at the Miami Open on Sunday, a victory that included a match point that she took with a forehand winner. She won the title despite admitting to the “complicated” and “challenging” comeback she’s had, after giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Just seven months ago, Williams had suffered a fatal placenta anencephaly, a rare condition in which the placenta grows too deep into the uterine wall.
And the first time Williams went to the Houston VA clinic after her daughter was born, another player named Aryna Sabalenka came in next to her. The theme emerged Sunday, with Sabalenka defeating Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4, and Williams saying that the clinic had helped her get through a tough time. Williams told the New York Times, “The clinic advised me that they didn’t administer vaccines as recently as November, so they said that I should get vaccinated.”
According to an investigation by Express.co.uk, Sabalenka told a reporter that she was told she needed to be vaccinated for Influenza-19 in case of a serious illness; she’d received her shot after getting to the clinic. Swine Flu, which is caused by the H1N1 virus, can be deadly. Reuters reports that Sabalenka has since broken down in tears in the locker room, saying “Thank you so much, guys.” And Williams chimed in on the incident with the New York Times: “I’m glad she said thank you. Thank you for protecting her.”
Read the full story at the New York Times and Express.co.uk.
Serena Williams battled past a ‘complicated’ childbirth and multiple surgeries to recover from her nearly fatal placenta anencephaly
Rafael Nadal predicted Serena Williams would win the U.S. Open since a little girl was named after him
Serena Williams not given carte blanche to return: Most influential women in sports