Serena Williams: “I could have died”

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Serena Williams had a scary moment last week when she suffered from a pulmonary embolism and hematoma. She could have died…it’s good she caught everything in time. All Serena can think about now is the Tennis court!

“I could have died,” Williams, 29, tells PEOPLE, of the pulmonary embolism and subsequent hematoma that she suffered.

Not grasping the reality of the situation at first, Williams says she felt shock and disbelief. “This can’t be happening to me,” she recalls thinking.

But it was happening – and it was serious. Pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lungs, and a hematoma occurs when blood leaks out of the vessels and gathers in one spot.

The hematoma, in particular, was unnerving for Williams, who didn’t know what was happening. “I started panicking,” she says. “I thought I had a tumor.”

The hemotoma was successfully removed by surgery, and the 13-time Grand Slam singles champion is currently taking blood thinner medication and things one day at a time. But she hopes to be back on the court again soon. “I like having a challenge,” she says. “And this will be my biggest challenge yet.”

Photo from PR Photos

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