Last October was a "disaster month" for Serena Williams. She had one of her multiple foot surgeries, was in a walking boot and got into a bicycle accident in her elderly community that merited a stop from an ambulance passing by.
A secondhand retelling of the story won't do it justice, so here's the transcript of Serena's interview from this weekend in which she reveals the accident for the first time. The discussion began when a reporter compared Serena's recent comeback to getting back on a bicycle after a long absence.
"I literally fell off the bicycle, actually. And I have a horrible scar on my shoulder from it. So it really hurt it. It just kind of can just go about the year. It was painful, but I was able to recover. I got back on that bike and I rode home. So I'm back here and I'm playing again."
The press conference moved on before a reporter followed-up the question a little while later:
Q. Did you say you literally fell off a bicycle sometime in the last year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I literally fell off a bike. It was a disaster.
Q. Details, please.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, it all started, I was riding in my community and I wasn't obeying local traffic laws. I was going too fast. And, uhm, then I just couldn't control the speed and I fell.
It was horrible. It was actually really funny because everyone was laughing at me. I had like this horrible scar.
The ambulance just so happened to be driving by. And I was so embarrassed, because my community is elder people live there. I was just like, Oh, my God. I was so embarrassed. They came over, Are you okay?
Q. This is in L.A.?
SERENA WILLIAMS: This is in Florida.
Q. Did you really get cut?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I have a scar on my shoulder that won't go away. I had a scar on my face, but that went away.
Q. That didn't affect the shoulder?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. You just fall, you get a bruise, that's it.
Q. What kind of bike did you have?
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was a pink Beach Cruiser.
Q. When you're going down, what is going through your head?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I'm thinking, Oh, noooo. All I thought was, Don't fall on my face, don't fall on my face. When I fell on my face, I was like, No.
Q. Have you ridden since then?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I only ride stationary bikes (laughter).
Q. You said an ambulance just happened to be going by. Did you just like hail it?
SERENA WILLIAMS: In my community, there's an ambulance there a lot. I don't know how to say that in a nicer way (laughter). I was embarrassed, like, Get away from me, I don't need it. I got up straightaway. I was like, I'm good, I'm good. I hated that they were there at that moment.
So many more questions! In no particular order: Did the bike have a basket? If so, was there a dog named Toto in the basket? Did anybody see the fall? What caused the fall, besides speed? Was she like all those other hypocritical bikers who say we should all share the road but then blow through stop signs and red lights as if they're impervious to rules of driving? Did she wear a helmet?
Get on it, Wimbledon journalists!
- Serena Williams