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Serena Opens Up About Foot Injury, Expects to be in NY to Watch US Open

Sep 2, 2010 – 10:28 AM
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Hal Spivack

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Serena Williams finally revealed details surrounding the puzzling accident she suffered when her feet were cut by glass at a restaurant in Munich on July 7. Serena was forced out of this year's U.S. Open due to the injury, but plans to make an appearance at Flushing Meadows to watch her older sister, Venus, play on Friday.

In an exclusive interview with the USA TODAY on Wednesday evening
, Serena spoke publicly about the accident in detail for the first time. Serena underwent surgery at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles on July 15 to repair a lacerated tendon on the top of her right foot.

The 28-year-old top-ranked American tennis star said she does not know exactly how she was injured, but pieced what she knows together in the USA TODAY interview.

"We were walking out of the restaurant and, all of a sudden, I felt pain," she said. "The pain felt like kind of a stubbed foot, like 'Ow,' and I thought, 'Wow, I stubbed my foot.' Then in 20 seconds, or a minute, I started walking again. And it hurt some more. So we looked down and there was glass all over the floor. I was standing, recovering, thinking I got a little cut and telling my nephew, who was with us, to be careful. Then my practice partner put a cellphone down to the floor so we could see, and there was a huge puddle of blood. I said, 'OMG, I don't think this is good.' "

Serena was wearing sandals and suffered severe cuts on both of her feet.

From her recollection, Serena noted to USA TODAY, "I don't know how it happened. Honestly, I think someone may have dropped something, which is how I got cut on both feet."

She went to an emergency room in Munich where she received 12 immediate stitches in her right foot, six inside the cut and six on top of the foot, and another six stitches on the bottom of her left foot.

Still, after initially cutting her foot, Serena played in an exhibition match with Kim Clijsters in Brussels. In her interview with USA TODAY, she noted, "I had a lot of pain in Belgium and was getting nervous because that was when I noticed my toe was drooping," Williams said. "I got a shot and then played, and at the time, my left foot hurt way more, but I thought the pain and swelling would go away and that I'd probably be all right in a week."

When Serena returned home to the United States, her feet were still not feeling better. She saw a specialist in New York and then flew back home to Los Angeles where she hosted a housewarming party on July 12 at her new home.

She was photographed wearing high heels at the party and the picture led to many questions about how serious her injury exactly was. In response, Serena told USA TODAY, "I was bummed about wearing the Band-Aid at my party, you know me, but there were six stitches under there, so I didn't want those to show. I love heels, I'm a sucker for heels, so if I have to get the (surgical) procedure anyway, at that point, the doctor told me I needed to do it, so I took the pictures with those shoes, then wore flats the rest of the night. I couldn't have worn heels the whole night."

Serena's not letting the critics bother her, however. She added in her interview, "I heard just recently that there had been doubt, but at the end of the day, I have to answer to me. It's unfortunate I had to have surgery, but I'm not lying or denying, because it is what it is."

Serena underwent surgery on July 15 at Kerlan-Jobe -- a week after receiving her initial stitches in Munich -- to repair the lacerated tendon on the top of her right foot.

Serena was expected to begin playing competitively later this month in Tokyo at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. However, it has been reported that she will not be returning for that tournament now. There is no target date for her return to the tour as of now. Serena professed in her USA TODAY interview, "...this whole experience will make me stronger. I plan to come back better than ever."
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