20 March 2020

Tennis legend Serena Williams admits she is suffering anxiety due to social distancing

Serena Williams says her six-week self-imposed social distancing is causing her mental health problems.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion shared a video on Instagram revealing she would spend six weeks at home due to coronavirus, but has now posted to TikTok to share the difficulties this is causing her.

In the video the 38-year-old mother of one said: "I wanted to take a minute and talk about my experience with corona. It started out with me feeling like, 'Oh it can't really affect me'. 

"And then suddenly Indian Wells was cancelled and I was like, 'Oh, OK, that's weird but I have a little time off and I'm going to enjoy that time off.

"And then one cancellation led to another and then led to another and led to all this anxiety that I'm feeling.

"Now I've been social distancing for actually a really long time, for probably two weeks now, and every little thing makes me crazy.

"And by anxiety I mean I'm just on edge."

She admitted that it is her two-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia who bears the brunt of her anxiety adding: "Any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy.

"I don't hang out with anyone, and when I say anyone I mean my daughter.

"She [Alexia] coughed, I got angry and gave her a side-eye. I gave her that 'angry Serena' and then I got sad.

"I was like, 'Is she ok? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Is there anything I can do?' I just don't know what to do, so instead of being relaxed I'm really under a ton of stress."

Williams' frustration comes after the pandemic threw the tennis schedule into turmoil, initially cancelling tournaments such as Indian Wells and this week postponing the French Open until September.

The WTA and ATP also announced that the entire clay-court season would be called off and there will be no tournaments until June at the earliest.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox