Serena Williams has Life-Threatening Health Scare

My column on

The good news is that they found it, they discovered it.

Serena Williams had a blood clot in her lung, and had a procedure done for it last week. And then on Monday, according to her spokesperson, she had to go back to the hospital for an emergency procedure to remove a hematoma.

“Tough day,’’ Williams wrote on her Twitter account about midnight Pacific on Tuesday.

This is a big deal. Williams had a major medical issue. But she also avoids what could have been a disaster: If she had taken the court for, say Wimbledon, with an undetected blood clot in her lungs, it is possible she could have just dropped right there.

It is manageable from here, and presumably she’s now on blood thinners, and will be for six months or so. But that presents its own problems, as far as her tennis career.

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About gregcouch

I can talk tennis all day long, and often do. And yet some of the people I talk to about it might rather I talk about something else. Or with someone else. That’s how it is with tennis, right? Sort of an addiction. Sort of a high. I am a national columnist at and a FoxSports1 TV insider, and have been a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times. In 2010, I was the only American sports writer to cover the full two weeks of all four majors, and also to cover each of the U.S. Masters series events. I’ve seen a lot of tennis, talked with a lot of players, coaches, agents. I watched from a few rows behind the line judge as Serena rolled her foot onto the baseline for the footfault, a good call, at the 2009 U.S. Open. I sat forever watching a John Isner marathon, leaving for Wimbledon village to watch an England World Cup soccer game at a pub and then returning for hours of Isner, sitting a few feet from his wrecked coach. I got to see Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling joke around on a practice court on the middle Sunday at Wimbledon, placing a small wager on a tiebreaker. Djokovic won, and Soderling pulled a bill out of his wallet, crumpled it into his fist and threw it at Djokovic, who unwadded it, kissed it, and told me, “My work is done here.’’ And when Rafael Nadal won the French Open in 2010, I finished my column, walked back out onto the court, and filled an empty tic tac container with the red clay. I’m looking at it right now. Well, I don’t always see the game the same way others do. I can be hard on tennis, particularly on the characters in suits running it. Tennis has no less scandal and dirt than any other game. Yet somehow, it seems to be covered up, usually from an incredible web of conflicts of interest. I promise to always tell the truth as I see it. Of course, I would appreciate it if you’d let me know when I’m wrong. I love sports arguments and hope to be in a few of them with you here. Personal info: One-handed backhand, serve-and-volleyer. View all posts by gregcouch

2 responses to “Serena Williams has Life-Threatening Health Scare

  • sissi

    After all the unfair criticism she received from you, you sound really fake and apologetic about what she went just through. She could have died, but pathetic writers like you and idiot Mc Enroe Patrick ripped her apart like she was some kind of meat. Shame on you

  • roGER

    Unfortunately, this episode raises uncomfortable questions about what athletes do to their bodies…. I wonder which journalist will be brave enough to ask them?

    Or do we have to have a tennis player die in front of our eyes before the press and tennis authorities talk about the elephant in the room?

    Put it this way – how many healthy 20-somethings suffer from pulmonary embolism?!?

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