Serena absence gives chance for a new superstar to emerge

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But while she might be feeling confident about grand slam number 24, she will have to wait at least until the French Open begins at the end of May.

Russian Maria Sharapova, back in Melbourne for the first time since she failed a doping test for meldonium in 2016 and completed a ban, is another with the experience and firepower to prevail and along with Angelique Kerber is one of only two former champions in the women's draw.

Serena Williams played an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi in late December but pulled out of this month's Australian Open.

However, the days and weeks following the September birth of daughter Alexis Olympia was hard, according to a recent with the tennis champion.When contractions began, baby Olympia's heartrate plunged.

There will be no successful defence of the Australian Open from Serena Williams, who announced last week she would play no part in the tournament.

Little Alexis was fine after her September birth, but Williams said that "everything went bad" for her personally. The Washington Post recently ran a shocking story about the death of one such low-income woman, who most certainly would have had a better shot at life had she been as wealthy and famous as Williams.

She's won 23 grand slam titles, won the Australian Open 2 months into her pregnancy, but childbirth was a tough match for Serena Williams.

Simona Halep arrives as world number one but is yet to win a grand slam title, having fallen agonisingly short at the French Open previous year when she was ambushed by the ferocious hitting of Latvian Jelena Ostapenko. "Maybe this goes without saying, but it needs to be said in a powerful way: I absolutely want more grand slams". I'm well aware of the record books, unfortunately. "It's not a secret that I have my sights on 25 (Grand Slams)".

Williams told Vogue that she instructed doctors to give her a CT scan and a heparin (an anticoagulant medication) drip.

Sometimes I get really down and feel like, "Man, I can't do this". That surgery went well, but soon "everything went bad", Williams told Vogue. At Williams' insistence, a doctor came and did an ultrasound of her legs. The scan showed that several small blood clots had settled in her lungs.

Williams, who has a history of blood clots, started to have trouble breathing while recovering from her C-section. Intense coughing caused her surgery wound to open and a haematoma was found in her abdomen.

Serena revealed that she spent the first 6 weeks of motherhood unable to get out of bed. I'm so happy Olympia has my mom as her grandma (of course she has Alexis Stepmom as well) and I'm happy she has aunts like my sisters Venus, Isha, Lyn and Alexis' sisters Amy and Hayley. "I just feel like she's playing the best tennis right now, playing the most solid tennis". The factors which cause this alarming gap include differences in socioeconomic status, access to health care, education and insurance coverage. So at least we know she's human. "I'm not asking you to like it", she explained in a frank conversation about body critics.