Serena Williams has only been back to playing tennis for five months after taking over a year off from the women’s tour due to pregnancy and maternity leave, but she’s as impressive as ever. The US Open this year will be huge even for Williams as she chases her 24th Grand Slam, which would tie Margaret Court’s record for the most ever. Last month, she was a runner-up at Wimbledon, losing to Angelique Kerber in straight sets after a remarkable run.
Williams is appearing on the cover of Time magazine this week as she prepares to go for No. 24 again, but as always for Williams, the message is bigger than tennis. Williams, who suffered some major trauma after giving birth last September, hasn’t been shy in discussing her battle with postpartum depression. In her interview with Time,she discussed the balance between being a mother and being a tennis legend whose journey is ongoing.
Williams, who said after losing to Kerber that she was playing for all of the moms, reiterated that in her interview.
“I dedicated that to all the moms out there who’ve been through a lot,” she said during the interview. “Some days, I cry. I’m really sad. I’ve had meltdowns. It’s been a really tough 11 months. If I can do it, you guys can do it too.”
Williams, however, still has unfinished business with tennis. “I’m not done yet, simple,” she said. “My story doesn’t end here.”
Williams isn’t chasing her 24th major, she’s chasing No. 25, as she said in January. She wants to be the undisputed best to ever pick up a racket. But she said that tennis sometimes has to take a backseat.
“I still have to learn a balance of being there for her, and being there for me,” she said of her infant daughter. “I’m working on it. I never understood women before, when they put themselves in second or third place. And it’s so easy to do. It’s so easy to do.”
Williams will begin her chase of Court’s record again on Aug. 27. She’ll undoubtedly have to run through a gauntlet to get there. Between Kerber, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and even Maria Sharapova, the field is as competitive as it’s ever been. Williams has already proven to everyone that she can win — she’s 9-2 in major play since her return — but she’s looking to close the deal at a major for the first time since January 2017.