Courage. Dedication. Sacrifice. Mother’s Day is that special time of the year where you can express your gratitude towards your mother and/or the most important women in your life. Traditionally falling on the second Sunday in May, the Mother’s Day holiday is about honouring and remembering the superwomen in your life.
Behind almost every successful athlete is a mother or mother figure who did what it took to give a son or daughter an opportunity to succeed. The sport of tennis has been blessed with some remarkable mothers including several who are currently active in the women’s game today. On this Mother’s Day, it is fitting to recognize some tennis moms and give them proper credit for juggling their careers and making big contributions to the sport of tennis. There is no doubt they’ve needed added energy to hustle on and off the courts.
There are many famous tennis mothers but we have chosen a few to highlight.
Serena Williams, perhaps the greatest to ever play in the women’s game, became a mother in September, 2017 when the American superstar gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia. However, Williams’ maternity experience came with complications in the form of a pulmonary embolism, a medical condition where one or more arteries in the lungs become blocked by a blood clot. As a result, Williams spent her first six weeks as a mother in bed.
At age 35, Williams was eight weeks pregnant when she won her 23rd Grand Slam, the 2017 Australian Open, gaining her even more admiration from both her peers and fans. Undoubtedly, Williams received great advice from her own mother; Oracene Price, a former tennis player and coach to her daughters Serena and Venus.
After an extended hiatus from professional tennis, Williams fell down the world rankings and had to battle her way back up. At her first major appearance after giving birth, the 2018 French Open, there was some controversy on where to place the former No.1 player. Officials with the French Tennis Federation decided she would play the tournament unseeded, meaning she was more likely to have tougher opponents early on. One month later at Wimbledon, officials seeded Williams 25th, even though she was ranked 183 in the world at that time.
Belgian professional tennis player, Kim Clijsters, a winner of 41 singles titles, including four Grand Slams, has been on a comeback of late, trying to recapture her form from 8 years ago.
At the age of 23, Clijsters retired due to injury and also gave birth to daughter Jada. However, after her maternity leave, the tennis star was itching for competition again and, in only her third appearance after returning to action; she won the 2009 US Open while unranked. Over the next two years, Clijsters successfully defended her U.S. Open title in 2010 and also claiming the 2011 Australian Open, while balancing motherhood.
Clijsters retired again in September 2012. Happily married with three children, Clijsters made news about another return to the game after an eight-year hiatus.
Famously known for being the first coach for both of her sons, Andy and Jamie, Judy Murray was a former player herself and also coached many players at the regional and national level under the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
A winner of 64 Scottish tennis titles, Murray began coaching full-time at the age of 35. Her son Andy made headlines in 2013, becoming the first British player to win the men’s singles championship at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. Doubles specialist Jamie Murray is currently No.2 in the world and also won the Australian Open men’s doubles title in 2016 with partner Bruno Soares.
At the end of 2011, Judy Murray was nominated to lead the British Fed Cup team as their captain, which lasted until her resignation in March 2016. Murray was motivated to raise the profile of female coaches.
Judy Murray endorses the Head Radical tennis racquet series.
Check out our Mother's Day guide for great gift ideas.