Former world no 1 Serena Williams is preparing to return to the tour, starting with the new WTA Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky. However, the 38-year-old admits that she has been a ‘recluse’ ever since the tour was suspended in March because of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’ve been a little bit of a recluse. I started social distancing in early March,” she said on Saturday in a virtual press conference before the WTA event.
“I don’t have full lung capacity so I’m not sure what would happen to me. I’m sure I would be OK but I don’t want to find out.”
Back in 2011, the 23-time Grand Slam champion had been diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary embolisms which caused blood clots in her lungs that damaged a portion her lung tissue.
In 2017, she had a relapse after she gave birth to daughter Olympia.
“I have like 50 masks that I travel with. I’m super, super careful with what I’ve been doing, and everyone in the ‘Serena bubble’ is really protected,” she said.
“Because at the end of the day it’s cool to play tennis, but this is my life and this is my health, so I’ve been a little neurotic to an extent but that’s just what I have to be right now.”
Williams had already made clear her decision to play the US Open.
After that, she intends to travel Paris for the French Open, followed by the remaining tournaments scheduled, should they take place.
“I see myself doing it all if it happens,” she added.