Serena juggles motherhood, fashion while chasing history

Serena Williams. (AFP)
Updated 01 September 2019

Serena juggles motherhood, fashion while chasing history

  • The toughest thing right now is being away from my daughter. That’s the only thing that’s tough, says Williams

NEW YORK: While Serena Williams chases tennis history at the US Open, she’s also planning a fashion show and spending as much time as she can with baby daughter Olympia.

The 37-year-old American advanced to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows on Friday by defeating Czech Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2 in only 74 minutes.

Williams, seeking her 24th Grand Slam title to match the all-time record set by Margaret Court, will play Croatian 22nd seed Petra Martic on Sunday for a quarter-finals berth. But she’s spending precious rest time preparing for her clothing line’s presentation at Fashion Week, next week’s apparel spectacular in New York.

And the six-time US Open champion finds that the feeling of missing her daughter is tougher than what opponents put her through.

“The toughest thing right now is being away from my daughter. That’s the only thing that’s tough,” said Williams, who often trains early to spend the rest of her day with Olympia.

“In tournament schedule, it’s totally different, so I’m kind of pushed out of my usual day-to-day life — ‘Oh, my God, I’m not with her,’” Williams said.

“That has been the most, I mean ‘the’ toughest, thing I’ve ever dealt with in my career.”

Two years ago, Williams suffered a lung blood clot during labor while giving birth to Olympia, sparking major concerns and a significant hospital stay. “I don’t really think about it, but it’s cool,” she said. “I think two years ago, I had things attached to my arm, IVs, and it was a miracle that happened, having my baby. It was really a great day for me.

“Then it all went downhill. It all went downhill after that for a good five days. But I’m here and I’m going to be reflecting on my opponent more than anything.”

Now Williams feels sadness at leaving her baby for the tennis court.

“In the beginning, she would really be upset when I left. And now she’s a little bit better. I think I’m a little more upset,” Williams said.

“It’s hard. Sometimes my heart literally aches when I’m not around her. But it’s good for me, I guess, to keep working — and just to all moms out there that it’s not easy. It’s really kind of painful sometimes. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.”

This week, that means work matches around New York Fashion Week plans for her clothing brand.

“I’m obviously super hands-on,” she said. “Right now I’m actually working on the order I want the outfits to go down (the runway), which is shocking. Last night I was making notes on alterations on the fit model.

“I’m like, ‘OK Serena, make sure you stay focused on your tennis.’ But also, I do want to have a successful brand.”

“I’m definitely dedicated to tennis, but I’m definitely going to go home and I have a huge board where I’m going to lay out the order of the show.”


‘Loved and appreciated’ Bale starts as Spurs win, Celtic undone by Milan

Updated 23 October 2020

‘Loved and appreciated’ Bale starts as Spurs win, Celtic undone by Milan

PARIS: Gareth Bale said it felt good to be “loved and appreciated” after helping Tottenham to a 3-0 win over LASK of Austria in the Europa League on Thursday.
The Welsh international started his first match since his return from Real Madrid and played for an hour before Jose Mourinho gave him a break.
Bale had come on as a substitute last Sunday with Tottenham 3-0 up against West Ham before his team collapsed to give up a 3-3 draw.
“It is amazing to be back,” Bale told BT Sport on Thursday.
“It is a big reason why I play well and why I came back. You want to be loved and appreciated. I will give everything for this shirt.”
However, he admitted it will take time to find his feet.
“I am a bit stiff. It is like a mini pre-season for me and I am trying to get minutes into the legs,” he said.
Despite Bale starting, it was on-loan Carlos Vinicius who made an impressive debut in the Group J opener.
Vinicius started in place of the resting Harry Kane and he made goals in either half for Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min, while he would have also netted himself had Andres Andrade not scored an own goal.
Bale made that goal where Andrade put through his own net.
Leicester made the perfect start in Group G with a comfortable 3-0 win over Zorya Luhansk of Ukraine.
James Maddison, Harvey Barnes and Kelechi Iheanacho were on the scoresheet.
In Glasgow, Celtic struggled against Serie A leaders AC Milan who were 2-0 up at half-time thanks to goals from Rade Krunic and Brahim Diaz.
Mohamed Elyounoussi reduced the arrears after the break, but Jens Petter Hauge broke clear to secure Milan’s Group H 3-1 win in stoppage time.
Milan were so comfortable that they could afford to take off Zlatan Ibrahimovic just after the hour.
Earlier Thursday, Arsenal came from behind to down Rapid Vienna 2-1 and Rangers beat Standard Liege 2-0.
After a goalless first half Arsenal went behind when keeper Bernd Leno fluffed a clearance on a night he will want to forget.
Taxiarchis Fountas capitalized on Leno’s clanger, much to the joy of the 3,000 home fans allowed in to watch under coronavirus safety protocol, but the Gunners then turned the game around in four second half minutes.
David Luiz put them level with a deft glancing header off Nicolas Pepe’s free-kick, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then tapping home to bag the three Group B points.
It was an eventful night for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Alongside eight yellow cards, there was an eye-catching display from Thomas Partey on his first start since his transfer deadline day move from Atletico Madrid.
A frustrated follower of the game from his London sofa was Mesut Ozil, who has been left out of both Arsenal’s Europa League and Premier League squad.
“When I can’t support on the pitch tonight, I will support in front of the TV in London.” tweeted Ozil.
The other Group B game was being played out in Dublin where Dundalk, only Ireland’s third ever representative in the group stage, were beaten 2-1 by Norwegians Molde.
In Belgium, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers took on Standard Liege fresh from their Old Firm derby win over Celtic which moved them four points clear in the Scottish Premiership last weekend.
James Tavernier scored from the spot after Noe Dussenne handled in the area to put them into a 19th minute lead.
Then three minutes into stoppage time Kemar Roofe produced a wonder goal from the halfway line, the ball flying over the head of bewildered keeper Arnaud Bodart.
Benfica had claimed the first goal of the night and they went on to beat Lech Poznan in Poland 4-2 in the other Group D game.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen ran riot 6-2 against French side Nice and Spanish side Granada, in their first ever European campaign, beat PSV Eindhoven 2-1.