Serena Williams Talks Social Distancing: 'Every Little Thing Makes Me Crazy'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2020

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Serena Williams of the United States in action during her Women's Singles third round match against Qiang Wang of China on day five of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)
Fred Lee/Getty Images

Serena Williams has said that social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic is causing her anxiety.

The 38-year-old last played competitive tennis in the United States' Fed Cup win over Latvia in early February:

The spread of the coronavirus has since seen all tennis suspended until June at the earliest:

Last week, Williams announced on Instagram she planned to spend "the next six weeks in solitude."

On Friday, the 23-time Grand Slam champion explained in a post on TikTok (h/t PA Media via the Guardian) how she has been coping:

"I wanted to take a minute and talk about my experience with corona. It started out with me feeling like: 'Oh it can't really affect me.' And then suddenly Indian Wells was cancelled and I was like: 'Oh, OK, that's weird but I have a little time off and I'm going to enjoy that time off.' And then one cancellation led to another and then led to another and led to all this anxiety that I'm feeling.

"Now I've been social distancing for actually a really long time, for probably two weeks now, and every little thing makes me crazy. And by anxiety I mean I'm just on edge. Any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy. I don't hang out with anyone, and when I say anyone I mean my daughter.

"She coughed, I got angry and gave her a side-eye. I gave her that 'angry Serena' and then I got sad. I was like: 'Is she OK? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Is there anything I can do?' I just don't know what to do, so instead of being relaxed I'm really under a ton of stress."

Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcomed their first child, daughter Alexis, in September 2017, just seven months after she won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the 2017 Australian Open.

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Since her return to the WTA Tour in 2018, the legendary American has reached back-to-back finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open but has lost all four matches.

As a result, she remains one title short of matching Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

After being knocked out of the 2020 Australian Open in the third round by Wang Qiang in January, Serena will have likely had her sights set on winning at least one of the remaining Grand Slams of the year.

However, with the calendar now scrambled, there is no guarantee the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open will all still go ahead this year.

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