Serena Williams finally realized what happened days later, when she was allowed to get out of bed.
Williams said she was barely aware of how sick she was as she tried to play through a viral infection that caused her to lose equilibrium during a women’s doubles match with sister Venus at Wimbledon. It was only later, when she was able to clear her head, that she realized the seriousness of her situation.
“It was interesting and I was scared after,” Serena said. “I didn’t realize how I felt until later. In the moment I didn’t realize how sick I was. It’s weird, but that’s the fight in me. I never know when to say when.”
She would have continued had Venus not insisted that she get off the court.
“She kept saying: ‘walk off the court, I’m the older sister and I say you have to leave.’” Serena said. “I’m feeling really good right now and I’m happy to be here.”
Serena said she will undergo a series of tests at the end of the season.
“I was really ill,” she said. “I got to thinking about a lot of things and because of family history, I’ll get the tests done and we’ll go from there.”
Serena apparently expected to play in Bastad, Sweden, the following week until her mother nixed the idea.
Doctors would not let her leave her room, so she got some much-needed rest before resuming a full schedule that included a working vacation and a movie shoot.
“I was going to stay in Europe and play in the tournament,” Serena said. “Going to Croatia was unexpected. I’m glad I went. It was so pretty.”
Serena’s long-time hitting partner Sascha Bajin suggested the trip, telling her “there are more tennis courts than people there, and there were tennis courts everywhere you looked.”
She practiced in the morning and took it easy the rest of the day.
“I was running and swimming, and jumping in the ocean,” Serena said. “I tried to stay away from the sharks. That’s pretty good motivation. I didn’t want to be eaten by sharks.”
Serena maintained that after three days in bed, she had already moved on and stopped thinking about it. She also ignored Internet rumors.
Looking comfortable and relaxed, the world No. 1 said she is ready to renew her pursuit of excellence on the court.
She meets the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova today in the second round of the Bank of West Classic. Pliskova beat Japan’s Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-1, 6-3 on Monday.
“I’ve always felt good about this tournament and just being here,” Serena said. “This has always been a special place for me.”
She used the Bank of the West to restart her career in 2011, recording her first WTA Tour title in more than a year. She was ranked world No. 175 at the time and finished the year No. 12.
Serena, who has appeared in numerous television shows, is shooting a movie in Toronto.
“I don’t know if that’s supposed to be secret. I love doing films, I always have,” she said.
Third seed Angelique Kerber watched Williams practice and does not see anything wrong in her game.
“She is back, for sure,” Kerber said. “She’s the favorite here and she is a champion. We’ll see what happens in the next few days.”
In other first-round matches, Germany’s Andrea Petkovic recorded a 6-1, 6-4 win over Croatia’s Alja Tomljanovic and also benefited from the elimination of an experienced potential opponent in the next round.
Petkovic dropped serve twice, but produced six breaks of her own as Tomljanovic struggled on serve, getting less than half her first serves into play.
Petkovic, whose career has been interrupted by knee injuries, next faces 16-year-old qualifier Naomi Osaka of Japan, who defeated former US Open champion Samantha Stosur 4-6, 7-5 (9/7), 7-5.
Osaka won three straight points to claim the tiebreaker and take the match to a third set, where she trailed 5-3 before breaking Stosur’s last two service games.
Qualifier Sachia Vickery of the US defeated China’s Shuai Zhang, 6-1, 6-2 and fellow American Varvara Lepchenko beat Caroline Garcia of France 6-4, 6-3.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
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Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017