Serena Williams suffered the most lopsided defeat of her career last week, dispatched by Johanna Konta in a match that lasted less than an hour, but that’s not what had her worried.
In an emotional Instagram post Monday, Williams said she was in a funk because she felt like she was not a good mom.
Williams, 36, gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., last September. After Olympia was born, Williams needed surgery for blood clots and struggled with postpartum depression.
“Although I have been with her every day of her life,” Williams wrote on Instagram, “I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art.”
Williams lost her opening match of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic last Tuesday night to Konta, 6-1, 6-0, a match that lasted only 52 minutes. On Saturday, she pulled out of this week’s Rogers Cup in Montreal, citing personal reasons.
Williams explained those reasons in her Instagram post:
Williams reached the Wimbledon final in July, losing to Angelique Kerber, and is expected to compete in the US Open at the end of this month. Her next Grand Slam title would tie her with Margaret Court for most all-time with 24.
But that’s not the most important thing on her mind: Her daughter holds that spot now.
Williams told Essence, in a story published Monday, “Every morning when she first sees me, she squeals. Every day, I’d come home from one of my matches and Wimbledon, and she’d just squeal each time she’d see me. I’d try my best to rush home, and I’d miss her still. It’s like nothing I’ve ever heard before — the best thing I’ve ever heard.”