Serena: I wasn't drunk, on drugs or pregnant during Wimbledon scare
AUG 25, 2014 5:29p ET
Serena Williams has opened up about her scary on-court struggles at Wimbledon earlier this summer, reiterating to Sports Illustrated in a lengthy feature article published Monday that it was a matter of health and directly addressing rampant rumors on the subject.
The incident occurred July 1, during a doubles match at the All England Club with sister Venus. Serena struggled to do just about everything, slapping serves weakly into the net and even having trouble picking the ball off the ground.
The match was called off with the Williams sisters trailing 3-0 in the first set. Serena was diagnosed with a "viral illness" after the match, but many -- including TV tennis analyst Martina Navratilova -- speculated that something more was going on.
"You don't know what's going on, but virus was not it: That much is clear," Navratilova told ESPNW shortly after the incident.
Theories ran from drugs to drinking to pregnancy, and Serena -- who has said little about the incident since Wimbledon -- refuted all of it to SI:
"I have nothing to hide," she says. "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."
So what caused it? Again, from SI:
Her Wimbledon explanation: After losing meekly the previous Saturday in a third-round singles match to 25th seed Alize Cornet, Williams took to her bed for the next three days, feeling dehydrated, dizzy and feverish, "just in my room, sweating like crazy." She was not examined by a doctor. Venus urged her repeatedly to pull out of their Tuesday doubles match. "Begged me not to play," Serena says.
Serena has played three tournaments since the exit at Wimbledon, winning two. Just two weeks ago, she won the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati -- the last major tune-up before the U.S. Open.
Serena is the No. 1 seed for the year's final Grand Slam, which she has won each of the last two years. She is scheduled to play her first-round match Tuesday.