Serena expecting baby this year

- Agence France-Presse, LOS ANGELES

Apr 21, 2017-Serena Williams is expecting a baby and will not play again this year but aims to return to the women’s tour in 2018.

The 35-year-old posted a picture of herself captioned “20 weeks” and her publicist Kelly Bush Novak made an official announcement. “I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall,” the publicist said in a statement. While Williams won’t play again this year, “she looks forward to returning in 2018,” Bush Novak said.

Williams’ social media post showed the 35-year-old in a yellow swimsuit that revealed the baby bump. But the post was quickly taken down, lending an air of mystery to its meaning. The Women’s Tennis Association deleted one congratulatory tweet because they did not have confirmation of but later said: “It’s official! @SerenaWilliams and @AlexisOhanian are expecting a baby this fall.”

In December, Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, first sharing that news on the Reddit social media site. If Williams is 20 weeks into her pregnancy, that means she was already expecting when she won her record-setting 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January—where she beat her elder sister Venus in the final.

For fans and friends the announcement underscored Williams’ superwoman status. Retired ATP Tour player Andy Roddick cheered the news. “There’s gonna be a baby GOAT.....We are so happy, and we know @serenawilliams will be a great mother,” the fellow American wrote on his Twitter account.

Williams hasn’t played since her Australian Open triumph, which saw her surpass Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open Era. Only Australian Margaret Court has won more, capturing 24. The last of those came in 1973—the year after Court gave birth to a son. Williams wouldn’t be the first top women’s player to return to competition after having a baby, but she would be the oldest. 

Published: 21-04-2017 08:41

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