“The Fear Of Failing, It’s Always There”: In Being Serena, Tennis Ace Talks Struggles Of Returning To The Sport

April 12, 2018  |  


Serena Williams gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia in September of last year, and soon after, the 36-year-old tennis legend found herself dealing with some very scary health complications. That includes a pulmonary embolism, her C-section scar opening up, and a hematoma in her abdomen. Of course, she has since recovered from all of those things and returned to the court. However, it hasn’t been easy, nor the smoothest return. This was something she was nervous about way before stepping back on the court in March, as she shared in her upcoming HBO documentary, Being Serena.

In the full trailer, Williams talks about entering motherhood when she least expected to.

“I’ve always envisioned myself as a mom, but it happened so unexpectedly,” she said. And while she managed to be the first woman to win a Grand Slam while pregnant, soon after winning the Australian Open, Williams stepped away from tennis to focus on her pregnancy and give birth.

When she’d done all that, and healed from all of it, the tennis ace admitted that when it was time to return to the court, she knew the expectations of her were quite high. She withdrew from the Australian Open despite wanting to compete due to the fact that she wasn’t feeling up to par yet physically. She also lost to sister Venus at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in the third round (she obviously one in the first two though), and was defeated in the first round of the Miami Open by Naomi Osaka — both in March. Eyes have been on her, and critical, since her return.

“I definitely feel the pressure,” she said in the trailer. “I’m off my maternity leave. The fear of failing, it’s always there.”

Still, as she says in the documentary, it’s the uncertainty, from both within and the outside world, that she is aiming to conquer.

“Without fear, without doubt, without discomfort, what is there for a person to overcome?”

Check out the full trailer for Being Serena below, which premieres on May 2 on HBO. Williams’s next match is that weekend at the Madrid Open in Spain (May 5-12).

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