Serena Williams has made a series of denials about her state of health at Wimbledon this year, rejecting the idea that she was pregnant, drunk or on drugs.
The world number one was forced to pull out of the women’s doubles at SW19 in July, where she was playing alongside her sister Venus, as she failed to make a legitimate serve in her opening service game.
That retirement came three days after she was surprisingly beaten in the third round of the women’s singles by France’s Alize Cornet, and she was bedridden for the following three days, before returning to action later in July.
It was thought at the time that the 32-year-old had been suffering from a viral illness, based on the Wimbledon doctor’s diagnosis, but there were rumours abound that this was not the case.
But five-time Wimbledon champion Williams has rubbished rumours that the reasons for her lack of mobility were due to more severe reasons.
The American said in an interview with Sports Illustrated: “I have nothing to hide. “No, I didn’t take anything. If you want to ask me if I took drugs, I didn’t take drugs. I’m not on drugs. I’ve heard it all.
“I’m not pregnant; I wasn’t pregnant. Although I think a baby would be great, but there’s a time and place for everything.
“But no, I don’t do drugs. Never did ’em. I’m scared of ’em. I’m not on that stuff.”
Drug testers arrived at Williams’ hotel room the morning after the doubles match against Kristina Barrois and Stefanie Vogele while she was still suffering from sickness.
“At seven, as I was throwing up, she knocks on my door.
“I’m like, ‘come on. They always come at the worst times’.”
The 17-time Grand Slam winner also laughed off the idea that she could have been drunk going into the match, and said it was her determination to please her supporters that forced her to start the match in the first place.
“God no. I wish.
“I hate to let people down. I felt like, ‘I don’t want anyone to be upset thinking I pulled out because I lost. I’m no quitter. I should have just taken that moment and said, What the heck are you doing? Just stay in bed today’.”
Return to action
Williams is currently playing at the US Open, where she beat compatriot Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1 in her opening match on Tuesday evening, and she will face another American, Vania King, in the second round.
The Florida-born player has come into the tournament as the top seed, and she is still seen by many as the player to beat in New York, and she has won two of the three tournaments she has competed in since returning to action, in Stanford and Cincinnati.
This will be her last chance to add another Grand Slam to her trophy cabinet this year, as she has failed to make the quarter-finals of a major so far, with defeats in the fourth round of the Australian Open to Ana Ivanovic and in the second round of the French Open to Garbine Muguruza making it a disappointing year for her.
But some strong performances on the WTA tour have allowed her to keep her spot at the top of the rankings, as she has won five WTA titles in 2014.