Serena Williams made her return to the court after nearly a year off, defeating Tsvetana Pironkova 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the AEGON International Tuesday. The tournament is a tune-up for Wimbledon, which was Serena’s last tournament before health-related issues kept her out of the game.
Williams needed two foot surgeries after stepping on glass a few days after winning Wimbledon last year. As if that wasn’t enough, her real health scare came in March when Serena found out she had pulmonary blood clots.
Serena described her condition to reporters Monday. “I was literally on my deathbed at one point,” she explained. “The doctors said I had several clots in both lungs and a lot of people die from that condition because they don’t realize they exist.
“I couldn’t breathe and I just thought I was out of shape, so I thought I needed to get on the treadmill or hit the gym. It could have gotten a whole lot more serious a day or two later – it could have been really not good, possibly career-ending, but for the grace of God we caught it in time and I was able to recover.”
It’s amazing that she went through this health scare three months ago and is already back and playing tennis. Not only that, she’s one of the favorites to win Wimbledon next week. She, Maria Sharapova, Li Na, and Kim Clijsters are all favored by oddsmakers. If Serena is able to win the tournament, it will be one of her most impressive feats given what little practice she’s had leading into the Grand Slam event.Google+