Serena Williams turned her ankle badly during her first round victory at the Australian Open on Sunday but has pledged to fight her way through the tournament.
The 31-year-old was enjoying a comfortable 4-0 lead over Romanian Edina Gallovits-Hall when she reached for a forehand and landed heavily, twisting her ankle. Williams, winner of five previous Australian Open titles, received medical treatment on the court before getting back to her feet to beat her opponent 6-0 6-0.
After cruising to her easy triumph, Williams was keen to let her rivals know that her ankle would not be holding her back in future rounds:
“Unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing. […] I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine. I’ve been injured before. I’ve played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top. So for me it’s just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day.”
Williams added she would let her medical team decide whether she needed a scan. However, if a serious injury is revealed, the tennis ace said she’d rather not hear about it:
“I know one year I won this tournament and had two bone bruises in both knees. I had no idea. I just knew I was in pain. I think sometimes what you don’t know cannot hurt you.”
The American has already clinched the Aussie Open crown in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2010 and remains a firm favorite to grab a sixth title. Winning the 2013 tournament would see her return to the number one spot in the world rankings.
Williams’ second round tie against either Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova or Garbine Muguruza of Spain will take place on Thursday.
You can watch highlight of Serena Williams’ first round Australian Open victory below: