Serena Williams is making way for her sister Venus Williams to take the crown at this year’s Wimbledon. The all-time tennis star is taking a leave of absence from the grass courts due to her pregnancy, her soon-to-be husband, Alexis Ohanian, being there for support. While this may look like the golden opportunity for Venus to take the throne, it appears the recent traffic accident is causing her to become emotionally unstable.
The 37-year-old tennis player has faced a lot of obstacles in her tennis career. Since 2011, she has been struggling with Sjogren’s syndrome, which is an immune system disorder. In recent years, she has been able to climb the rankings slowly after coming out of her first retirement, and she even faced her sister Serena at the Australian Open in 2017.
However, this June, Venus was involved in a car accident that killed 78-year-old Jerome Barson, who was in the other vehicle. The police report states that “Williams crossed slowly in front of a car driven by Barson’s wife, Linda, and the Barsons’ Hyundai Accent had smashed into the side of Williams’s Toyota Sequoia SUV.”
While she has not been charged, it is obvious from her Wimbledon interviews that she’s emotionally unstable.
“There are no words to describe, like, how devastating and, yeah,” she said according to Washington Post. “I am completely speechless. It’s just — yeah, I mean, I’m just…”
She then trailed off in tears.
This is the first time that Venus Williams has commented about the fatal car crash. The first social media post she made since the accident was about leaving the clay court season in Paris to get revved up for Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, her sister Serena, who is about to enter her third trimester, is in Florida, celebrating the start of Wimbledon in Florida. Despite the fact that her baby bump is very much noticeable, it looks like she is not about to give up on her training.
In a Vanity Fair interview, Serena made it very clear that she is not about to retire anytime soon.
“I don’t think my story is over yet,” she remarked.
According to her close friends, it looks like pregnancy is actually firing up her competitiveness even more.
“[She[ loves being pregnant,” her friend Diondria Thornton said. “[But] I can also see competition creeping in on her. Is this over yet? I think she’s getting this itch… to see her intensity and her workout—’I have to stay fit. I have to get back on the court.’ Very determined to get back on the court.”
To support her as much as he can, soon-to-be husband Alexis Ohanian has made it clear that he will take paternity leave. While he is only taking off six weeks in a country that has remorsefully bad maternity and paternity leaves, this is a luxury.
Do you think Venus will be able to overcome the accident to be able to clinch the women’s title at Wimbledon this year? Do you think the death will take a toll on her performance? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
[Featured Image by Aaron Favila/AP Images]