Serena Williams was feeling guilty for leaving her daughter. COACH PATRICK MOURATOGLOU

US OPEN. Patrick explains Serena's struggle with her daughter Olympia

A lot has changed in the life of Serena Williams in the past few years. Her status as one of the world’s best tennis players did not stop her from having a vibrant life outside of the court. She married Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in a gorgeous wedding in 2017, attended by the likes of Anna Wintour and Beyonce. But the one change that has the most impact may be the fact that she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. two years ago. 

Patrick Mouratoglou reveals Williams’ thoughts on motherhood

Williams only rested for a few months after her birth before she went back to playing tennis. This had a lot of people impressed because her delivery was marred with complications. In fact, she had to have multiple surgeries and a six-week rest after the delivery so she can recover. 

Her immediate return to the tennis court could perhaps be the reason why she feels a bit guilty about leaving her daughter during training and matches. According to her coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams felt protective of her daughter and she thinks that Alexis Olympia still needed her as she is still growing. 

Patrick commented:

“She was feeling guilty; she was feeling that the baby needed her a lot because a young baby is very weak, and I think as a mother you feel like you need to be here all the time to protect the baby. Whenever she was not here because she needed to practice or to play a match, she was feeling guilty.

And I think it was the first months it was hurting her a lot, because tennis has always been her priority, at least since 2012. And suddenly taking care of the baby becomes a priority for the reasons that I understand. Not that it’s not a priority now, but now she feels less guilty about leaving her to play tennis because she feels she doesn’t depend as much on her as when she was really small.”

The feeling was especially intense during the first few months of her competing. Williams herself admitted that she experienced post-partum depression even a year after her delivery. 

It can be remembered that Mouratoglou was seen in Williams’ documentary “Being Serena.” The documentary, which chronicled her pregnancy and other moments in Williams’ life, was shown on HBO. 

In one scene, Mouratoglou told Williams that she should stop breastfeeding as she might become too thin. Otherwise, it may affect her performances when she comes back. She decided that she had to stop breastfeeding when her daughter was six months old. 

Williams ultimately learned that every person has different bodily responses to pregnancy and breastfeeding. She realized that she should do what is best both for her game and her child. 

Serena Williams as a mother

Ever since becoming a mother, Williams has been refreshingly honest about the struggles she faced juggling her career and motherhood. Many people have praised her for successfully striking a balance. 

Days before her U.S. Open matches, for example, Williams was seen with her husband and daughter strolling around New York City on a leisurely pace. Now, she is already in the semi-finals of the 2019 U.S. Open, with her 24thGrand Slam win within reach. 

If anything, Williams has a chance to become the fourth mother ever to become a Grand Slam champion in tennis. She might have failed to win a Grand Slam in the past two years, but there is a good chance that she will end that drought in the U.S. Open. If she does, she will become an inspiration to mothers all over the world.