Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Serena wants more majors

Serena wants more majors

Serena Williams never hesitates to pour her heart out and share her innermost feelings and thoughts with her fans. The 21-year-old comes into the tournament as the highest-ranked Australian at number 19, having dropped two places from her career-high 17 late last year. So at least we know she's human.

Serena Williams isn't quite back on tour, but she said she wants more Grand Slam titles and may become an even better player after becoming a mother. "I'm not asking you to like it", she explained in a frank conversation about body critics. The surgery was fine, and Olympia's dad was standing by to cut the cord.

But then, Serena says, everything went terribly wrong.

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The next day, while recovering in the hospital, Serena suddenly felt short of breath.

One person, a registered nurse named Jo from Denver, tweeted a sharing a story of one patient she cared for - a black woman who'd had abdominal surgery - whose severe pain went ignored by multiple doctors for hours.

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Serena did pull through, though, of course she did.

In an open letter to her mother, Oracene Price, Williams revealed that she has "been called a man", accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs, and told that she didn't belong in women's sports.

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Serena told Vogue, "I was like, a Doppler?"

Williams told Vogue that she instructed doctors to give her a CT scan and a heparin (an anticoagulant medication) drip. The ultrasound revealed nothing, but she was sent for a CT scan. Sure enough, CT scans showed blood clots in her lungs and she began treatment. Serena was started on an IV of heparin right away.

Her health complications didn't end there. When Ms. Williams returned to surgery, physicians also found a hematoma had flooded her abdomen. The potentially lifesaving blood thinner was causing hemorrhaging at the site of her c-section.

Serena Williams, in more ways than one, is the epitome of Black female excellence. And while her story is indeed scary, it's not uncommon. Williams was able to discuss the trauma of her birth experience from the safety of her living room, but many other American women, especially those also of color, nearly certainly would not have had the same experience.

The racial bias is well-documented; according to The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 46% of maternal deaths among African-American women could be prevented. Now, Black women in NY are 12 times more likely to die than white women, according to NPR. Last year ProPublica published a shocking tale of how one woman-a doctor at that-died from one of the most common serious pregnancy complications: preeclampsia.

Venus Williams lost last year's final to her pregnant younger sister and has been drawn against Belinda Bencic in round one.

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