Serena Williams ‘cried’ when she stopped breastfeeding upon return to tennis

‘I’m honest about my struggles as a working mum,’ 23-time Grand Slam winner says

Sabrina Barr
Saturday 09 March 2019 19:05
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Serena Williams has said she “cried” when she stopped breastfeeding upon resuming her tennis career.

The 23-time Grand Slam winner gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr on 1 September 2017, seven months after beating her sister Venus in the final of the Australian Open.

Since returning to tennis in March 2018, Williams has had to face spending less time with her one-year-old daughter, a decision she hasn’t taken lightly.

“Now that I have Olympia, she is my absolute priority – spending as much time as possible with her every day is so important to me,” the tennis player wrote in an essay for Forbes to mark International Women’s Day.

“But I’m still training to win Grand Slams and sometimes I have to make hard choices about how I spend my time. I’ve cried over Olympia so many times that I’ve lost count.”

Williams explained she cried when she stopped breastfeeding and when she missed her daughter’s first steps, as she’d been busy training at the time.

“I’m honest about my struggles as a working mum because I want other women out there to know they are not alone,” she stated.

“We have to show ourselves and our female counterparts compassion and reality.”

In her essay, Williams also spoke about perfection, saying that it’s an “impossible goal” people shouldn’t strive towards.

The tennis player explained while all women are “superheroes”, they still require help from one another for guidance and support.

“We need to give each other grace when we fall short—and when society sets unrealistic expectations or our workplaces have antiquated rules,” she said.

“We must band together and fight for what’s fair.”

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Williams is currently competing at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

The tennis star defeated former world number one Victoria Azarenka on Friday to reach the third round of the tournament.

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