Serena Williams and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, recount challenges they've experienced as working mothers on Meghan’s first podcast, including stories of having to work soon after scary incidents involving their children. Williams, who said recently "the countdown has begun" to her retirement, recounted on Meghan’s debut "Archetypes" Spotify podcast Tuesday that she played a match at the 2018 French Open after a nearly sleepless night after her daughter, Olympia, broke her wrist. "I somehow managed to win, but I was so emotionally spent and just like so emotionally drained that it was, it was crazy," said Williams, who has indicated that her final tournament will be the US Open, which starts in New York next week.
The tennis great and Meghan, who are friends, spoke at length about the challenges of balancing motherhood with high-profile careers in the public eye, the AP reports. "So when you went and played that match the next morning, no one knew what your night had been like the night before. They forgot that human piece of it,” Meghan said about Williams' French Open experience. After recounting her own experience of having to leave her son to perform official duties, Meghan said, "The focus ends up being on how it looks instead of how it feels, and part of the humanizing and the breaking through of … these boxes that we’re put into is having some understanding of the human moments behind the scenes that people might not have any awareness of."
Williams, who turns 41 next month, said she discussed her retirement with Prince Harry before revealing her decision publicly. "Obviously I’m retiring professionally, but it’s also an evolution. I’m doing more business things. And I really want to expand my family. And, you know, I’ve been putting it off for so long. And as a woman, there’s only so, so long you can put that off," Williams said. Harry and Meghan have a multi-year deal to produce and host podcasts for Spotify under their production company Archewell Audio. Meghan has said the "Archetypes" podcast will focus on harmful labels and stereotypes applied to women. (More Serena Williams stories.)