Serena Williams Gets Real About How Hard It Is to Return From Maternity Leave—Even for a Superstar

From Vogue authored by Michelle Ruiz:

“Returning to work after maternity leave can be an extremely trying time for mere mortal women (for those who are even lucky enough to get the time off, anyway). But this particular difficulty evidently extends to sports legends and goddesses like Serena Williams as well. After a 13-month break from tennis during her pregnancy and after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia, this past September, Williams lost in the first round of the Miami Open this week to 20-year-old up-and-comer Naomi Osaka. It was widely noted that it was the record 23-time Grand Slam singles champion’s earliest-ever elimination from the tournament. (The loss also came on the heels of a recent defeat at the BNP Paribas Open—to her sister Venus.)

Williams skipped the usually mandatory post-match press conference and released a statement instead: “Every tournament is an opportunity for me to better understand the areas I need to improve to be my best,” she said. “Naomi played a great match and I learn something each time I play,” the statement continued, “I look forward to continuing my return by progressing every day. I’m so grateful for my fans who continue to support me every step of this incredible journey.” But Williams got a bit more candid on Instagram today, giving a glimpse into the struggle she’s facing to return to tennis after becoming a mother.”


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