Serena Williams has been fighting knee problems and depression since losing the U.S. Open in September, when she ended her season early just short of accomplishing a calendar year Grand Slam. But on Wednesday, while eating Chinese food, she stopped a thief from swiping her iPhone in a flash.

Williams recounted the story on her Facebook page:

Soooooo yesterday at dinner the CRAZIEST THING happened to me. I was sitting enjoying some Chinese food (delicious may I add) and this guy stands next to me. It was only 2 of us sitting at a 4 person table just chatting like we have not seen each other in years. Anyways I digress, so this guy is standing next to me and something (I have now dubbed it my SUPERHERO sense) told me to watch him. My phone was sitting in the chair but I just didn’t feel right. He was there too long. “Is he a customer?” I thought “Is he waiting on the bathroom?” nonetheless I tried to shake his this eerie feeling. However, I kept watching him from the corner of my eye. Than when least expected low and behold this common petty thief grabbed my phone and swiftly left. I looked at the chair, than shouted “Omg that dude took my phone!!” Not thinking I reacted (hence the superwoman photo) I jumped up, weaved my way in and out of the cozy restaurant (leaping over a chair or two) and chased him down.

He began to run but I was too fast. (Those sprints came in handy) I was upon him in a flash!

In the most menacing yet calm no nonsense voice I could muster I kindly asked him if he “accidentally” took the wrong phone. He stumbled on his words probably not expecting this to happen. While he was thinking of the right thing to say and eventually he said “Gosh you know what I did! It was so confusing in there. I must have grabbed the wrong phone.”

Meanwhile My phone was ringing, my superhero sidekick quailman was face timing me so he could not possibly deny the allegations. I swiftly thanked him and left.

Superhero? Maybe? Or HELL YEA!! I’ve got the speed the jumps, the power, the body, the seduction, the sex appeal, the strength, the leadership and yet the calm to weather the storm.

Always listen to your superhero inner voice. Always keep your things close! Fight for what’s right. Stand for what you believe in! Be a superhero!

When I got back into the restaurant I received a standing ovation. I was proud. I just showed every man in there I can stand up to bully’s and other men. It was a win for the ladies!

Just because you are a lady don’t be afraid to step up to any challenge and not be a victim but a hero!💪🏾. SuperSerena and her sidekick quailman 🤓

Did this dude also steal Usain Bolt’s phone too? Or Carl Lewis?

This week Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou soberly told ESPN she has similar knee problems to another longtime player.

“It’s the same as Rafael Nadal,” Mouratoglou said. “It’s just playing for so many years, the cartilage is [almost] gone. Not all of it, but a big part, so the bones just hit themselves. She has bone bruises, and if you keep on playing with this for too long, too much, the next step is a stress fracture.”

Mouratoglou says she’s constantly playing through pain. But that type of stamina can only go so far; Nadal ultimately injured himself and had to stay off the court for one year. Williams is trying to avoid that fate.

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Losing the U.S. Open also hurt Serena worse than many of her heart-broken fans who somewhat comically blamed Drake, her rumored boo at the time, for the loss.

“She was depressed,” he said. “The reaction was quite strong. She was really, really affected, which I think is normal when you are Serena. She does everything with 100 percent of her heart so you are more disappointed when you don’t reach your goal. Plus, she she has a level of expectation that is much higher than anyone.”

Mouratoglou says he didn’t talk to Williams for two weeks after the Open because she “doesn’t want to talk when she’s depressed.” But he added that she’s feeling better after spending time with friends and family and is ready to conquer the competition in 2016. And now that she’s capturing petty thieves by leaping over restaurant tables and weaving through crowds, she seems like she’s getting back to her old self.


Contact the author at Hillary@jezebel.com.

Image via Getty.