Serena Williams has confirmed reports that she is 20 weeks pregnant after a Snapchat post went viral showing her baby bump with the caption of “20 weeks”. However that was later taken down only for her spokesperson to confirm the rumours later on Wednesday. This also brings forward the fact that Serena was pregnant when she won the Australian Open – her 23rd Grand Slam.
Serena hasn’t played a tournament since the win in Melbourne over sister Venus Williams and a spectacular fortnight where she didn’t drop a single set. Such has been her dominance within the sport, she will still rise to the top of the rankings next week with Angelique Kerber dropping down to number two spot.
The American tennis player had shared the picture on Snapchat where she wore posed for a photo in a yellow one-piece swimsuit on Snapchat with the caption: “20 weeks.”
“I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall,” Los Angeles-based publicist Kelly Bush Novak said. The publicist also added that Serena will sit out the remainder of the 2017 season and return in 2018.
Williams had gotten engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last December.
Days ago she seemed to quell speculation about impending motherhood with an Instagram post praising a newly published guidebook for new mothers by former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland, adding in the caption: “One of these days I hope to apply this (but for now I’ll stick to my dog Chip).”
Social media chimed in with congratulatory messages, sheer disbelief at her winning a Grand Slam when pregnant and even some jokes.
There’s gonna be a baby GOAT ….. We are so happy, and we know @serenawilliams will be a great mother
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) 20 April 2017
So Serena cheated. Because that’s technically a doubles match.🙌🏽 http://t.co/gkyBYlcHtQ
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) 19 April 2017
Serena joins other tennis players who have left the tour and take up maternity leave. However, none of them have done it successfully at Serena’s age. Kim Clijsters retired and had a child before coming back at age 26 and winning three Grand Slam titles as a mother. Australians Evonne Goolagong and Margaret Court also won Grand Slam titles after having children. Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 27, is currently out of action and missed most of 2016 season. She is due to return to court later this summer.
(With inputs from Reuters)