Serena Williams said she learned 10 minutes before the worst defeat of her professional tennis career that the man who killed her older sister had been paroled, Time reported.
Williams, who owns an Open-era 23 Grand Slam singles titles, lost 6-1, 6-0 in 52 minutes to Johanna Konta on July 31 at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.
Time published an interview Thursday that detailed Williams’ comeback after her pregnancy and the challenges of balancing motherhood and her professional career.
Williams told the magazine that she learned that Robert E. Maxfield, who was convicted in 2003 of killing 31-year-old Yetunde Price, was paroled three years short of his full sentence, ESPN reported.
"I couldn't shake it out of my mind," Williams told Time.
"I have so many things on my mind; I don't have time to be shocked about a loss that clearly wasn't at my best right now," Williams said after her loss to Konta. "When I was out there, was fighting. That's the only thing I can say."
Williams said she found out about Maxfield's parole while checking her Instagram account, ESPN reported.
"It was hard because all I think about is her kids and what they meant to me," Williams told Time. "And how much I love them."
"No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behavior. It's unfair that she'll never have an opportunity to hug me."
Williams was asked if she could forgive Maxfield but told Time she was "not there yet."
“I would like to practice what I preach, and teach (daughter) Olympia that as well.” Williams told the magazine. “I want to forgive. I have to get there. I'll be there."
Cox Media Group