Serena Williams plays at the US Open finals Saturday after the difficult birth of her daughter a year ago this week. And her biggest fan wants her to know he’s proud of her.
Her husband, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, posted a 55-second video detailing her long road back to tennis following the birth of their daughter.
“She fought for her life, for our child, for recognition, for equal pay, for women’s rights. She never gives up,” Ohanian tweeted, along with a video that included private footage from a year ago this week. Their daughter, Alexis Olympia, was born on September 1 last year.
The video includes footage from the hospital after Alexis was born by cesarean section due to a dropping heart rate. Williams developed blood clots in her lungs and a pulmonary embolism, which led to intense coughing that popped open her C-section incision. That experience led to a series of health complications.
“A year ago I was fighting for literally my life at the hospital after I had the baby,” said Williams, who is ranked No. 26 in the world. “Every day I step on this court I’m so grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport. No matter what happens in any match, semis, finals, I just feel like I’ve already won.”
Williams brushed aside Anastasija Sevastova in straight sets to advance to the US Open women’s final, taking her a step closer to equaling the all-time record haul of Grand Slam titles.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion will meet Naomi Osaka of Japan in Saturday’s final after the 20th seed beat American Madison Keys 6-2, 6-4. She’s the first Japanese woman to advance to a Grand Slam final.
If Williams wins, she’ll equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.
Osaka, 20, said a desire to play her idol Williams in the final motivated her to fight harder in the semifinals.
“This is gonna sound really bad, but I was just thinking I really want to play Serena,” she said.
The women’s final is at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York at 4 p.m. local time.