Serena Williams Chooses to Rent House in U.S. Open Bubble Because of Lung Issues

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 21, 2020

Serena Williams returns a shot to Shelby Rogers during action in their WTA tennis tournament match in Nicholasville, Ky., Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Timothy D. Easley/Associated Press

Serena Williams will be living away from the official player hotel during the U.S. Open due to a history of lung issues.  

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Williams explained she will be living in a rented house near the National Tennis Center to reduce her chances of illness throughout the year's second grand slam tournament:

"I want to be here, but I have genuine health issues. I didn't want to be in the [official player] hotel because I have lung issues and felt it was a big risk for me personally. In a house, I can control more, there's no housekeeping [staff], none of that stuff. I needed to put my mind at rest so that I could perform in New York."

Williams endured numerous health complications in September 2017 after giving birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia. She told Vogue's Rob Haskell in January 2018 that "several small blood clots" developed in her lungs the day after Alexis was born. 

Haskell noted the blood clots were "the first chapter of a six-day drama" for Williams. The six-time U.S. Open champion delivered via C-section, but the wound popped open because of coughing spells stemming from a pulmonary embolism. 

When doctors were doing surgery, they found a "large hematoma had flooded her abdomen, the result of a medical catch-22 in which the potentially lifesaving blood thinner caused hemorrhaging at the site of her C-section."

Williams announced in June she would take part in the U.S. Open, stating she felt comfortable the United States Tennis Association would take all precautions to ensure "everyone is safe."

Leading up to the U.S. Open, Williams has taken part in the Top Seed Open where she lost to Shelby Rogers in the quarterfinals. The 38-year-old is scheduled to compete in the Western & Southern Open starting on Saturday. 

The 2020 U.S. Open will begin on Aug. 31.