Serena Williams has revealed she felt like she was “not a good mom” and was “in a funk” before pulling out of the Rogers Cup.
The Wimbledon runner-up withdrew from the Montreal tournament on Saturday citing “personal reasons”.
Earlier in the week she had suffered the worst defeat of her professional career in San Jose when she won just a single game against Johanna Konta.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Williams described her experience of tackling the challenges of motherhood while seeking further glory.
She wrote: “Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom.”
Williams, who suffered life-threatening complications after the birth of daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr, highlighted how “postpartum emotions” can continue for several years.
She explained that, after discussing her emotions with family and friends, she was reassured “that my feelings are totally normal”.
Expressing empathy with other mothers, Williams said: “It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby.
“We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be.
“However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.”
Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom. I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to 3 years if not dealt with. I like communication best. Talking things through with my mom, my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal. It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby. We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be. However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes. I’m here to say: if you are having a rough day or week–it’s ok–I am, too!!! There’s always tomm!
Williams returned to tennis earlier this year after giving birth in September 2017.
The 23-time grand slam winner looked to add to her tally before being defeated by Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon final in July.
Willams stressed at the time that there was nothing normal about her being back in a slam final so soon after childbirth and the life-threatening complications that followed.
She said after the final: “I have so much to look forward to and I’m literally just getting started.”
Eugenie Bouchard moved to within one win of the main Wimbledon draw after battling past Karolina Muchova 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the second round of qualifying at Roehampton.
Canadian Bouchard was Wimbledon junior champion in 2012 and runner-up in the women’s singles two years later as she broke into the world’s top five.
However, after plummeting down the rankings to 191st, Bouchard missed out on a wild-card for this year’s tournament at the All England Club.
It looked like the 24-year-old was on course for a comfortable victory after taking the opening set in Wednesday’s second-round qualifying match at the Bank of England Sports Centre.
Czech 21-year-old Muchova then levelled up to put the outcome in the balance, before Bouchard’s experience saw her through on a first match-point chance.
Bouchard will next face the qualifying tournament’s second seed Mariana Duque-Marino after the Colombian world number 97 defeated Richel Hogenkamp 6-4 6-1.
“I didn’t feel like I was playing all that well, so I am just happy I was able to keep myself collected in the third (set) and find a way,” Bouchard told BBC Sport.
“I would be proud of myself for going through the (qualifying) matches. I have a match tomorrow, that is all I am worried about right now.”
On her journey toward competing at the major events again, Bouchard added: “I have learned a lot and I am just grateful to be able to play tennis.”
Andy Murray suffered a straight-sets defeat to Kyle Edmund at Eastbourne on Wednesday as the two-time Wimbledon champion continued to build his fitness after 11 months out.
Edmund has succeeded Murray as British number one during the Scot’s lengthy injury-enforced absence, and the 23-year-old’s growing authority was clear throughout a 6-4, 6-4 victory in the second round of the Nature Valley International.
The 31-year-old last week began his comeback when he lost to world number 19 Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s Club. He followed that by overcoming Stan Wawrinka on Monday in straight sets, but, if that suggested he had cause for optimism, his performance against Edmund offered a reality check.
Murray then refused to commit to competing at the All England Club from Monday, and against Edmund he showed little that would equip him for up to five sets against some of the world’s best.
He will move up from 156 to 147 in the world rankings, but will be more concerned with the inconsistency of his serve. A double fault at the very start contributed to an early break for Edmund, and the Johannesburg-born player then rescued three break points to establish a 2-0 lead.
Murray temporarily showed signs of improvement through several aces, but, after Edmund earned two set-points with a fine backhand winner and then converted the first, the three-time grand slam winner’s struggles increased.
In the second set he dropped his serve again to go 3-2 down, after a double fault and on Edmund’s fourth break point.
After being broken again to go 5-2 down, Murray impressively responded to claw it back to 5-4, but a further winner from the powerful Edmund secured two match-points and he duly secured victory with a passing shot.
Heading into this match, Murray had won each of his two previous matches against Edmund – and had not lost to a compatriot since a 2006 defeat to Tim Henman.