Serena Williams
Serena William's father has suffered from a stroke AFP/Getty

Lakeisha Williams, the stepmother of tennis stars Venus and Serena, has confirmed that the tennis players' father Richard has suffered from a stroke, just days before Serena's Wimbledon victory.

According to Radar Online, Mr Williams, 74, was released from hospital last week following the stroke but has allegedly been left with memory issues.

The American coach is believed to have had the stroke while his daughters Serena and Venus were competing at Wimbledon but the stars had kept the news to themselves.

In an exclusive interview with the American website, Richard's third wife Lakeisha, revealed: "I'm trying to get him under control and relaxed so that when we come back from out of town we could try to get that going. But he doesn't wish to be bothered with anybody."

"His mind is thinking that they're going to put him back in 'prison' – which is what he calls the hospital," she said. "He thinks we are just going to take him back to the hospital, but that is not correct."

Serena won the women's singles title this year (9 July), while she and Venus won the women's doubles (8 July).

Mr Williams is unaware that he had a stroke and is more concerned with not returning to hospital, Lakeisha said. "His mind is telling him that since he was once in charge of his life, after what's happened he's not accepting it. To him he's a normal person – nothing happened to him," she told Radar.


#TBT Dad thanks for leaning in by helping me become a role model for young girls #LeanInTogether

Una foto pubblicata da Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) in data: 5 Mar 2015 alle ore 05:23 PST

IBTimes UK have contacted the representatives of Serena Williams and are waiting for comment.

Mr Williams coached Serena and Venus through their childhood – starting when they were just four years old – and continued to do so until his health began to deteriorate.

He married Lakeisha in 2010 and they have a three-year-old son, Dylan, together. Lakeisha is just one year older than Venus.