22 August 2020

Serena Williams stays in rental house in US Open bubble instead of official player hotel due to lung issues

Serena Williams has opted to stay in a rental house instead of the official player hotel in the US Open bubble following her history of lung complications. 

The 38 year-old American is currently preparing for the Western & Southern Open on the WTA calendar, followed by the US Open.

The WTA Tour has been getting underway after the coronavirus pandemic halted the sport in March. 

Williams, who has won 23 grand slam titles, said: "I want to be here, but I have genuine health issues.

"I didn't want to be in the 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 suffered a pulmonary embolism during labour before she gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia in September 2017. 

Organisers have allowed players to stay with their families in private houses, instead of the tournament-approved hotels, but only if the player agrees to certain conditions. 

She added: "They have to guide you, make sure people aren't leaving, going to nightclubs and restaurants.

"I think that's good, because people might get antsy and might want to go places. I want to know where people are going. I want to make sure we are all keeping ourselves in this giant bubble. 

“There are more people now, with 128 draws. That's a lot of people, so I like to know that everybody is staying to their word and being honest about it.”

The US Open will be an opportunity for Williams to equal Margaret Court's all-time grand slam record of 24.

The Western & Southern Open is scheduled to run from August 22–28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, with the US Open set to begin on August 31. 

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