- (Photo: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
Serena Williams may have won Wimbledon for the fifth time on Saturday due to what some see as pure talent, but the 30-year-old tennis player admitted that her prayers and faith helped her win the oldest tennis tournament in the world.
Willams, a Jehovah's Witness, was in tears after winning Wimbledon on Saturday and recalled the health scare that she endured after her last win in the tournament in 2010.
"Oh my God, I can't describe it,"Williams told reporters after winning the tournament. "I almost didn't make it, with that time in hospital. But now I'm here again."
After her 2010 Wimbledon win, Williams was forced to undergo foot surgery when she cut both of her feet on glass while leaving a restaurant in Germany. However, two operations on her right foot also led to a discovery of blood clots in Williams' lungs, resulting in the tennis star being forced to inject herself with blood thinners.
Still, Williams endured more complications last year after she was forced to undergo an emergency procedure to treat a tumor-like collection of blood located outside of her blood vessels. After undergoing the emergency procedure to treat the hematoma in March 2011, the tennis star told her fans that she was praying for a return to the tennis court.
"Thank you everyone for all of your prayers, concerns, and support. This has been extremely hard, scary and disappointing," Williams told fans in a statement last year. "I know I will be OK, but am praying and hoping this will all be behind me soon."
On Saturday, Williams seemed to have her prayers answered. After her big win, the tennis star described some of the hardships that she endured with her health over the past few years.
"I had been on the couch for two days and I was praying, saying, 'I can't take any more. I've endured enough. Let me get through this,'" she told reporters. "I had a tube in my stomach and it was draining constantly. I had a blood clot, lung problems, and I couldn't do anything. I felt at the lowest of lows."
However, the tennis star managed to overcome the obstacles to win the tournament for the fifth time in her career. After her most recent win, Williams said she had no plans to stop competing in the sport. The tennis player said she planned to compete in the same tournament next year, along with the U.S. Open, the Australian Open and French Open.
However, Williams chose to focus on the moment when thanking Jehovah after her tennis match.
"I want to thank Jehovah for letting me get this far. I almost didn't make it a few years ago, but now I'm here again and it's so worth it," Williams said. "I'm so happy. I've dreamed of being here again. It shows if you never give up, you can achieve anything."