Serena Williams vows to play on despite ankle injury in Australian Open

January 15, 2013

Serena Williams spent a few scary moments on the court after hurting her ankle. (Greg Wood / Getty Image

At the moment, a twisted ankle isn’t going to stop Serena Williams.

Williams said she had pain and swelling in the ankle, which she sprained in her first-round Australian Open match. But injuries are nothing new to Williams, who soldiered on in a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Edina Gallovits-Hall. Williams who had won 35 of her previous 36 matches, won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open as well as a gold medal in the London Olympics. With an off-day before her next match, she was optimistic about her health.

“Oh, I’ll be out there,” she said. “I mean, unless something fatal happens to me, there’s no way I’m not going to be competing. I’m alive. My heart’s beating. I’ll be fine.”

(Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)
(Ryan Pierse / Getty Images)

At 31, Williams has had to overcome a number of injuries over the years, including a scare with blood clots in 2011. In the Brisbane International warmup event last year, she suffered a similar ankle injury. That contributed to her early exit from the 2012 Australian Open.

“I’ve played this tournament with so many injuries and was able to come off pretty on top,” said Williams, who has won the Aussie Open five times. “So for me it’s just another page and a great story to tell the grandkids one day.”

She was hurt 19 minutes into the match when she fell chasing a ball on her forehand side. She lay on the court for several minutes, then walked to the courtside chair and had her ankle, which was already heavily taped, retaped.

“I think I was really, really close to panicking because a very similar thing happened to me last year, almost on the same side, the same shot,” Williams said. “So I almost panicked, and I thought, I can’t do that. I just have to really remain calm and think things through.”

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After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · January 15, 2013