It has been a totally different road because I’ve had some serious health problems and I was literally on my deathbed at one point.
The doctors said that I had several clots bilaterally in both lungs. They said if they had caught it two days later, it could have been a lot more serious, possibly career-ending.
A lot of people die from it because you don’t recognize it. I couldn’t breathe. I honestly just thought I was out of shape and needed to get on the treadmill or hit the elliptical (cross-trainer).
It was my physio who forced me to go to the hospital whereas I was actually on the way to a party. She said, ‘No, you need to go to the hospital.’ I’m glad I didn’t go to that party…
We were leaving the restaurant, I was walking and then I felt something. I just stepped back and said, “Oh, that really hurts”. There was a massive pool of blood. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.”‘
I ended up fainting because I lost so much blood. I ended up getting stitches in both feet. One was on top and one was on the bottom of my other foot. It sliced right through my ligament. I didn’t know that, I just knew that my toe was hanging low.
The second surgery on my foot was way tougher than the first, especially mentally. More mentally tough than anything I have been through in my life outside of my sister’s passing (her eldest sister Yetunde Price was shot dead in 2003).
I was in a cast for 20 weeks. I’d rather have been in jail for 20 weeks because I really hated that cast. Having your foot in one position so long, not moving it, not being able to walk or do a lot of things caused a lot of the problems.
After it was all over, there were a few days when I didn’t get out of bed. So much had happened to me and I couldn’t understand why. I was thinking, ‘Just what didn’t I do or what did I do to deserve this?”‘
I’m just excited to be here and playing. I hope tennis has missed Venus and me.
If tennis has missed us half as much as we’ve missed tennis, we’re in a good place. This is a comeback that’s totally different from any other comeback.
Serena won her first match yesterday since 2010. I pray that this is a permanent recovery and that she continues to break history in the tennis world!