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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Serena's compatriots express concern


SANTIAGO, Chile -- It's said that word always travels fast and that is the case about Serena Williams' current health scare.

The U.S. Davis Cup squad -- Andy Roddick, John Isner, and Bob and Mike Bryan -- is in Santiago getting ready for first-round Davis Cup action this weekend. Word filtered to the team that Williams had a pulmonary embolism last week, and that earlier this week she underwent emergency treatment for a hematoma at a Los Angeles hospital.

Roddick grew up in South Florida, as did Serena and her sister, Venus, and they all know each other well. He told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he first heard about Serena at the beginning of the week.

"It's scary," said Roddick, in the hotel lobby following a practice session. "I actually learned through Brooke, she was actually with her, hanging out with her two, three nights ago. We didn't know the severity of it.

"Obviously, first and foremost, you just want her to get back to health. That's some serious stuff. Obviously, we're worried about it."

Roddick had already headed to Chile when Decker, a star of the new movie "Just Go With It," went to an Oscar party Sunday night that Williams also attended.

"They were at one of the Oscar functions and they were hanging out all night," Roddick said. "They kind of went through what was happening. We knew about the first part of it that happened last week. But we didn't know about this relapse."

Roddick said he's sent Williams a message but hasn't heard anything back.

Bob Bryan also expressed concern about Williams on Wednesday.

"I just read an article about it, like one second ago," said Bryan, inquiring for a more precise medical explanation for her condition. "I'm so sorry to hear that, she's a good friend of ours. I wish her all the best with her recovery now. You know, luckily she's young, she's strong and she's a fighter, and I think she'll recover very well."

Bryan, who's played mixed doubles with Venus, said he's ready to pair with Serena whenever she's ready.

Jim Curley, the USTA's chief or professional tournaments officer and U.S. Open tournament director, said he spoke with Williams' agent, Jill Smoller, on Tuesday.

"When you get news like this all you can think about is her health and her getting better," Curley said. "Tennis takes a backseat.

"Tennis is just secondary now. You know, between her foot and this, you wouldn't wish that upon anyone."