Serena Williams has revealed the uncomfortable circumstances behind her stunning 6-1, 6-0 defeat to Johanna Konta in the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose earlier this month – the heaviest defeat of her career.
Speculation over the shock scoreline began almost immediately after Konta thrashed Williams in just 53 minutes and now, in a wide-ranging interview with Time Magazine, Williams has admitted that her focus was compromised after looking on Instagram just minutes before she took to the court and discovering that the man convicted of killing her half-sister, Yetunde Price, had been released from prison on parole, Telegraph reports.
Williams’ elder half-sister was shot dead by Robert Maxfield in 2003 in a drive-by shooting not far from where they grew up in the Compton district of Los Angeles, aged 31. Maxfield was jailed for 15 years in April 2006 and Williams attended the sentencing. He has been freed on parole three years early due to good behaviour.
“I couldn’t shake it out of my mind,” Williams told Time. “It was hard because all I think about is her kids (who were 11, nine and five at the time of their mother’s death) – what they meant to me and how much I love them.
Williams added: “No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behaviour.
“I would like to practice what I preach, and teach [daughter] Olympia that as well. I want to forgive. I have to get there. I’ll be there.”