Serena reveals medical complications after childbirth

Serena Williams isn't quite back on tour, but she said she wants more Grand Slam titles and may become an even better player after becoming a mother.

In an interview with Vogue magazine published on Wednesday, the 36-year-old said she is determined to win more Major titles and surpass the record of 24 Slams held by Australia's Margaret Court.

She also recounted the medical ordeal she went through after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. on Sept 1 last year.

Williams told Vogue she had an emergency caesarean section after the baby's heart rate plummeted during contractions. The surgery went well, but Williams had complications.

Williams, who has a history of blood clots, suffered from shortness of breath the day after the birth and told her doctors she needed a CT scan.

Several small blood clots were found in her lungs and she needed anticoagulants. Intense coughing later caused her caesarean-section wound to open and a haematoma was found in her abdomen. 

After discharge, she was bedridden for six weeks.

Her comeback certainly wasn't easy, but she managed to play an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi late last month. Deciding that she needs more time to be at the level to be able to compete, the 23-time Major champion pulled out of next week's Australian Open.

She is now eyeing a return to the women's tour at the Indian Wells tournament in March.

Williams added that being a mother may boost her quest to surpass Court's record. She said: "When I'm too anxious, I lose matches, and I feel like a lot of that anxiety disappeared when Olympia was born.

"Knowing I've got this beautiful baby to go home to makes me feel like I don't have to play another match.

"I don't need the money or the titles or the prestige. I want them, but I don't need them."


Kerber wins seventh straight match

Germany's Angelique Kerber won a seventh straight match as she reached the Sydney International semi-finals yesterday, boosting her confidence for next week's Australian Open.

Kerber, who began last year as No. 1 before finishing at No. 22, continued her 2018 resurgence with a thumping 6-3, 6-1 win over Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova.

The German will meet Italian qualifier and world No. 100 Camila Giorgi, who upset Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2.

It is an impressive start to the year for Kerber, having won her four matches at last week's mixed-team Hopman Cup in Perth before her three victories in Sydney.

Kerber, who knocked out Venus Williams in her opening match in Sydney, was seeded 21st for the Australian Open, where she will meet compatriot Anna-Lena Friedsam in the first round.

In the tie of the opening round, fifth seed Venus Williams faces Belinda Bencic, who was part of Switzerland's Hopman Cup-winning team last week with Roger Federer.

World No. 1 Simona Halep will face Australian wildcard Destanee Aiava, while unseeded Maria Sharapova will meet Germany's Tatjana Maria, who is ranked just one spot above her at 46th. - AFP