Serena Williams explained to reporters how she channeled her ‘new mom’ sensibility while simultaneously staying in the zone during her Aug. 11 match in Lexington, KY.
Tennis is officially back in play and with the return of the sport is the comeback of 23-time Grand Slam champion, Serena Williams. On August 11, the tennis great, 38, took on Bernarda Pera, 25, in her first match since the Women’s Tennis Association’s five-month break due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Serena’s return to the game sees her entered as the top seed at the Top Seed Open in Lexington, KY, and while Serena’s head was clearly in the game, her heart was out in the stands.
Following her 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, win against Bernarda, Serena opened up about how she attacked the match and how her two-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., nearly made the mother-of-one lose her cool. “I didn’t even look over there,” she shared with reporters in her post-game presser. “I think I heard her cough though. I know my baby’s cough. She was drinking and she was eating grapes. And I’m then like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is she chewing? Make sure you chew.'”
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Serena went on to explain , “So I didn’t look over there but I kind of flashed my husband [Alexis Ohanian] a look like make sure she’s chewing her grapes because she shouldn’t be coughing while she’s eating grapes. That’s the new mom in me and it’s good.” Alexis and Olympia supported Serena in the empty stands, and the Reddit co-founder, 37, celebrated Serena’s return to the sport by sharing a sweet image on Instagram, captioning the pic of himself and his daughter, “Mama back at work in Kentucky at the Top Seed Open. And yes [Olympia] was busy on her phone probably checking up on [We Are Angel City] emails. Also proud [Girl Dad] flexing his hair routine on Jr today.”
The match was a great return for Serena, who is still in search of her 24th Grand Slam title to equal former Australian tennis player Margaret Court‘s record. Immediately following the match, Serena revealed that she was happy to go three sets, expressing that she needed to have a longer match in order to get back into the rhythm of the sport after practicing and working out the last few months. Her performance showed signs of some of her strongest assets as a player, with seven aces and winning over 100 total points.
Serena will play her older sister, Venus Williams, 40, in the next round of 16 at the Top Seed Open. Following the Lexington tournament, she’ll head to New York City for the Western & Southern Open (usually held in Cincinnati) and then vie for her next Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. We cannot wait to see more of Serena doing what she does best on the court: being a topnotch athlete and devoted full-time mom.