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Serena Williams hid a family heartache as she won Wimbledon last week. It has been revealed that her dad, Richard Williams, had a stroke and has “debilitating memory issues,” his wife told Lakeisha Williams, 37, Richard’s third wife said he was released from the hospital last week.

“His condition is fair – he’s up and walking around but he’s not at 100 per cent,” she said

Although he’s spry, Lakeisha said that they still have a long recovery battle ahead.

“He needs speech therapy, psychological therapy and physical therapy but for now he refused,” she said. “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.”

Lakeisha married Williams in 2010 and has a three-year-old son, Dylan, with him. Sports fans know just how close Richard was to Serena and sister Venus, coaching them from little girls to the top of the game.

“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.”

Lakeisha believes that 74-year-old Richard does not understand he has had a stroke.

“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.

As of now, it’s unclear if Richard will ever be the same.“We have to let nature take its course. I’ve been with him a long time so I know what he’s trying to say,” she said. “It’s like training yourself for your child – like a baby, you have to think for them.”

(PHOTO: PR Photos)

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