Serena's absence opens the door - Australian Open women's singles in Opta facts

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Russian Maria Sharapova, back in Melbourne for the first time since she failed a doping test for meldonium in 2016 and completed a ban, is another with the experience and firepower to prevail and along with Angelique Kerber is one of only two former champions in the women's draw.

After her heart rate severely dropped during contractions, Ms. Williams gave birth to her daughter on September 1, 2017, via emergency cesarean section. She thought she was having another blood clot, and told the medical staff she needed a CT scan and treatment for blood clots. Coughing from the embolism caused her incision to open up. Now Serena feels stronger and motivated to return to competition, which she is expected to do in March, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

To prevent more clots from dislodging and traveling into her lungs, Ms. Williams told Vogue she underwent another surgery to have a filter inserted into one of her veins.

Serena Williams (new mom, tennis champ and general badass who isn't afraid to advocate for her own health) is sharing her daughter's birth story for the first time. "But on top of everything she was going through, the feeling of not being able to help made it even harder".

"I've been like this my whole life and I embrace me", she said on Good Morning America.

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Vogue says she spent six weeks unable to get out bed.

She quipped to America's Vogue magazine: "I was like, listen to Dr. Williams!"

The American, who won the title past year in Melbourne despite being in the early weeks of pregnancy to take her grand slam tally to 23, decided against trying to defend her title, saying she was not yet fully up to speed. It is not an exaggeration to state that if Williams hadn't been famous, and especially if she were in a hospital in the inner city or a rural area, she may never have returned home with her daughter. "Consider for a moment that your body is one of the greatest things on this planet, and you're trapped in it".

"This is how you know that racism in medicine can impact anyone at any income level", writer Mikki Kendall said.

. I guess that's just who I am. But eventually, they did give her a CT scan, which indeed showed that she had several blood clots in her lungs, known as pulmonary embolisms, according to Vogue. "(The) incredible letdown every time you hear the baby cry ... Or I'll get angry about the crying, then sad about being angry, and then guilty, like, "Why do I feel so sad when I have a handsome baby?" Venus last won a Slam in 2008 but she enjoyed a renaissance a year ago, when she reached two Grand Slam finals and returned to the world top five. Williams was able to discuss the trauma of her birth experience from the safety of her living room, but many other American women, especially those also of color, nearly certainly would not have had the same experience.

"I would hate her to have to deal with comparisons or expectations", she explained.

"She has set high goals for herself, one of which is beating Margaret Court's 24 Grand Slam titles" record and regaining the world no. 1 spot. I'm well aware of the record books, unfortunately.

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