LONDON -- Serena Williams said Sunday she is debating whether to "go for 120 [mph]" with her serve given the recent right pectoral muscle injury that forced her to withdraw from this year's French Open.
Williams' serve has always been one of the most potent parts of her game, but the seven-time Wimbledon champion said she actually took a break from practicing the move until recently.
"I didn't serve actually until I got here, to be honest," Williams told reporters ahead of her first-round match Monday against Arantxa Rus. "Still, I'm debating if I should go 120 or whatever. I haven't yet, but it's been good. I often find the less I serve, the better I serve, which is totally weird."
Weird, and likely a warning sign of sorts to her upcoming opponents considering she took almost three weeks off from serving before arriving in Europe. From there, she said she practiced her serve just once before arriving in England.
"Once I got here, I started serving more consistently," she said. "For me, it was mostly just about the serve. ... [I was] just doing an incredible amount of rehabilitation for my shoulder, like twice a day. I don't think I've ever done that much, like, consistently back-to-back rehabilitation for something. I think it worked because, so far, so good. I'll see how it goes."
Williams, who received a 25th seeding here at Wimbledon, said physically she has been fine, balancing decisions along the way during her comeback from giving birth to her daughter, Olympia, back in September 2017. One of those tough choices was to stop breast-feeding at the recommendation of her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, who was concerned about Serena's overall fitness (a conversation documented in the HBO series "Being Serena").
"I had planned on stopping in January. Then January became March. March became April. I was still breast-feeding," Williams said Sunday. "For me, it was really important to make it through three months, then it was important to make it to four months. I was like, 'OK, I can do six months.' I was training and everything. ... I feel like everyone says, 'You're so thin when you breast-feed.'
"I'm going to be totally frank. ..."
Williams then looked at a female reporter in the press room who said, "That's a lie."
Williams laughed and said, "Isn't it? Thank you."
She said she went vegan -- "Not French fry-eating vegan" -- and didn't eat any sugar, but still struggled to get to the weight she should have been at even if she wasn't following that specific diet. She said she kept reading articles and articles that said women usually lose weight or get thin while breast-feeding, which is what fed into her frustration.
"What I've learned through the experience -- every body is different, every person is different, every physical body is different," Williams said. "For my body, it didn't work, no matter how much I worked out, no matter how much I did, it didn't work for me. Once I got to six months, I felt good about it. Then it was just emotionally letting go. That was a different thing. I literally sat Olympia in my arms, I talked to her, we prayed about it. I told her, 'Look, I'm going to stop. Mommy has to do this.' I cried a little bit, not as much as I thought I was. She was fine. She was totally fine."
Williams said that after she stopped, she lost 10 pounds in a week.
"It was crazy. I just kept dropping. That's when I learned that everything was different," she said. "Sorry to go on about that, but I wanted to say that so women out there know that's not true [losing weight while breast-feeding]. Everyone takes things different. I think it's important for us to share that message."