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Serena Williams seeks summer return after emergency op

Serena Williams

Serena Williams wins Wimbledon 2010 title

Wimbledon champion Serena Williams has targeted "early summer" as her return date following emergency surgery on Monday for a blood clot on her lung.

She is recuperating at home under medical supervision after suffering a haematoma following treatment last week for a pulmonary embolism.

In a statement, the 29-year-old said it had been a "hard, scary" experience.

"While I can't make any promises now on my return, I hope to be back by early summer," she added.

"That said, my main goal is to make sure I get there safely."

Former world number one Williams has not played competitively since winning Wimbledon last July.

Serena is a champion on and off the court, and we along with her millions of fans around the world wish her a speedy recovery

WTA statement

The American has been unable to compete after cutting her foot on glass in a restaurant when celebrating her Wimbledon triumph, and had only recently stopped wearing a protective boot.

It seems unlikely that she will be fit in time for the French Open, which begins on 22 May, and the defence of her Wimbledon title must be in doubt with the championships starting on 20 June.

A spokeswoman for Williams said that the player had suffered the embolism last week and that the haematoma was "another unexpected scare".

"Thankfully everything was caught in time," the spokeswoman continued. "With continued doctor visits to monitor her situation, she is recuperating at home under strict medical supervision."

Williams added: "Thank you everyone for all of your prayers, concerns, and support. This has been extremely hard, scary, and disappointing.

Serena Williams
Williams went to the Vanity Fair Oscar party the night before her surgery

"I am doing better, I'm at home now and working with my doctors to keep everything under control.

"I know I will be OK, but am praying and hoping this will all be behind me soon."

According to spokesperson Nicole Chabot in an interview with People magazine, Williams underwent emergency treatment for a haematoma she suffered "as a result of treatment for a more critical situation".

Chabot explained that Williams was discovered to have been suffering from a pulmonary embolism following her return to Los Angeles from New York.

"She had been in New York for doctor appointments for the ongoing issues with her foot," added Chabot.

Williams can count four Wimbledon titles among her 13 Grand Slam victories, making her the sixth most successful Grand Slam player in women's tennis history.

She has won all four of the world's major tournaments - the US, French and Australian Opens and Wimbledon - and also a gold medal at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

World number one Caroline Wozniacki and number two Kim Clijsters were among the players to wish the Wimbledon champion a speedy recovery, along with the WTA.

"We are very heartened to hear that despite the serious medical situation that she had to deal with, Serena is now recovering and on the road to full health and a possible return to professional tennis in early summer," said the WTA in a statement.

"Serena is a champion on and off the court, and we along with her millions of fans around the world wish her a speedy recovery."

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see also
Serena will miss Australian Open
25 Nov 10 |  Tennis
Serena confirms end of her season
19 Oct 10 |  Tennis
Serena seals fourth Wimbledon win
03 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Medical notes: Pulmonary embolism
02 Mar 11 |  Health

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