Serena Williams said she had been battling guilty feelings since the birth of her daughter Alexis Olympia. (Instagram: Serena Williams)
No top ten seeds remain, but normal service continues for Serena Williams as she progresses
Serena Williams says “postpartum emotions” and feelings of guilt about not spending enough time with her baby daughter were behind her decision to withdraw from the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
The 23-time grand slam winner last week announced she was withdrawing for “personal reasons” but did not elaborate.
But Williams posted on Instagram on Tuesday with a caption explaining she decided to withdraw because she was in a “funk” and did not feel like “a good mum”.
serenawilliams: Last week was not easy for me. Not only was I accepting some tough personal stuff, but I just was in a funk. Mostly, I felt like I was not a good mom…
“I read several articles that said postpartum emotions can last up to [three] years if not dealt with. I like communication best,” she said.
“Talking things through with my mom [sic], my sisters, my friends let me know that my feelings are totally normal.
“It’s totally normal to feel like I’m not doing enough for my baby.”
Williams acknowledged her situation was not unique, and that guilt was an emotion most mothers faced.
“We have all been there. I work a lot, I train, and I’m trying to be the best athlete I can be,” she said.
“However, that means although I have been with her every day of her life, I’m not around as much as I would like to be. Most of you moms [sic] deal with the same thing.
“Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art. You are the true heroes.”
Williams, whose last match was a 6-0 6-1 first-round loss to Johanna Konta at the Silicon Valley Classic last month, had her place in the draw taken by Germany’s Tatjana Maria.
The 36-year-old has been making a slow but steady return to competitive tennis since returning in March following the birth of her first child Alexis Olympia.
Williams was number one when she left the WTA Tour last year.
She was unseeded at this year’s French Open and made it through to the fourth round but was forced to pull out of her match with Maria Sharapova because of injury.
She was somewhat controversially seeded at Wimbledon, where she made it to the final but was beaten by German Angelique Kerber.
She has previously recounted the difficulties she faced in childbirth — including a pulmonary embolism which made it hard for her to breathe shortly after Alexis Olympia was born.