“I’m thinking OK Serena stop looking over there.”
Serena Williams played her first tennis match in the wake of the pandemic today, going up against Bernarda Pera. But, even though she won, her mind was focused off the court — at least for a moment.
In the middle of her match at the Top Seed Open in Kentucky, Serena had a relatable mom moment when her ears picked up the sound of her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
After her win, Serena talked about how she parented from the court mid-match, without anyone noticing, saying of her daughter, in a press conference per Baseline, “I think I heard her cough. I know my baby’s cough. She was drinking, and she was eating grapes. And I’m then like, oh my gosh is she chewing? Make sure you chew.”
“I’m thinking, ‘OK Serena stop looking over there’,” Serena said of her stream-of-consciousness, as her daughter was sitting with her husband Alexis Ohanian.
She managed to communicate to her husband with just a glance from the court: “So I didn’t look over there but I kind of flashed my husband a look like make sure she’s chewing her grapes because she shouldn’t be coughing while she’s eating grapes. That’s the new mom in me and it’s good.”
While this whole situation would be stressful to any mom — let alone a mom during the middle of her work day, or, say, in the middle of a high-profile tennis match — Serena called the “atmosphere” of the game “really chill.”
“I kind of didn’t mind it, it was different,” she said of playing in the middle of a pandemic. “I’ve been through so many things in my career and this was totally different. I think I won today because I was calm for once in my career.”
Hopefully the next press conference she will share with all of us how she manages to maintain that level of zen.
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