Serena Williams Celebrates Progress Despite First-Round Miami Open Loss: “4 Months Ago I Could Not Walk To My Mailbox”
After falling to her sister Venus in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells during her first official competitive match post-birth, Serena Williams has been handed another unexpected loss.
While competing against Naomi Osaka on Wednesday at the Miami Open (the 20-year-old actually won her first WTA Title at Indian Wells earlier this month), Serena was defeated in the first round. And while she could have shown understandable frustration as the match ended, she seemed more so surprised at her own missteps. She quickly congratulated her young opponent before heading off of the court.
According to ESPN, Williams didn’t want to speak to media following the loss. However, she did issue a statement saying each match, win or loss, is a chance for her to understand what she needs to spruce up on and gives her the encouragement to keep going as she slowly but surely gets back to fighting form in her return to tennis.
“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. 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.”
The expectations are understandably high for the former no. 1 tennis player in the world, who while carrying daughter Alexis at 20 weeks pregnant, won the Australian Open last January. But considering that she just gave birth in September, had her C-section incision scar burst open and struggled with deadly pulmonary embolisms afterward, the fact that she’s already back on the court is enough to applaud. And that is the message the 36-year-old got across on Instagram following Wednesday’s loss. Considering where she’s been over the last few months, where she is now is a blessing.
“4 months ago I could not walk to my mailbox,” she wrote in a caption accompanied by a photo of her competing in a Reebok Spartan race early this year, “but I will keep going forward and I’ll get there.”
Serena will have the chance to continue her comeback journey during her next tournament in May at the Madrid Open.