Serena Williams was knocked out of the first round of the Silicon Valley Classic, San Jose, this month by Johanna Konta in what is being called one of the biggest defeats of her career.
The match was over in 53 minutes, with Johanna emerging victorious in a stunning 6-1 6-0 victory, something Serena has since explained in a recent interview with Time Magazine.
Explaining the heavily-discussed match, Serena opened up about the extenuating circumstances that led to her ‘underperformance’.
The 36-year-old recalled how she found out that her sister’s killer had been released from prison just minutes before the match, reportedly seeing the news on Instagram.
Serena and Venus’ half-sister, Yetunde Price, was shot dead in a 2003 drive-by shooting in Los Angeles by Robert Maxfield, who was sentenced to 15 years in jail.
Minutes before taking to the court, Serena discovered that Maxfield had been released on parole three years early, due to good behaviour’ – something that she admitted distracted her from the match.
"I couldn’t shake it out of my mind," Serena explained in her interview with Time. "It was hard because all I think about is her kids – what they meant to me and how much I love them."
She continued: "No matter what, my sister is not coming back for good behaviour. It’s unfair that she’ll never have an opportunity to hug me."
When asked if she has forgiven her sister’s killer, she replied: ‘"I’m not there yet. I would like to practice what I preach, and teach Olympia that as well. I want to forgive. I have to get there. I’ll be there."
Our thoughts are with Serena and her family.
This article originally appeared on marie claire UK