Love game for Serena: Spox says Williams is pregnant

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 21, 2017

In December, Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, first sharing that news on the Reddit social media site.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion caused speculation on Social Media via Snapchat, with a Snapchat selfie of herself with the caption simply reading "20 weeks".

Williams has 72 Women's Tennis Association titles and most recently won her 23rd career grand slam, the most of any player in the Open Era. Relatively recent Grand Slam winners such as Li Na and Marion Bartoli retired while Garbine Muguruza has not followed up on her French Open title of 2016.

Marketing experts have said Williams's pregnancy will boost her commercial appeal and open up lucrative avenues into maternal-wear and baby clothes.

The news was later confirmed by one of Serena's representatives.

Williams deleted the photo shortly after it appeared and waited more than six hours to make any public comment, stoking debate among tennis fans about whether or not she was joking.

Other women have left the tour to have children and returned at a high level, although none has done so at Williams' age.

Since her win in Australia, where she beat her older sister Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the final, Williams has not featured in competition, citing a knee injury as the reason for her spell off the court.

She is often regarded as the greatest female tennis player of all time. "We didn't have that", she said.

Court, the woman she's chasing in terms of Grand Slam titles, also won her final three titles in 1973 after giving birth to her son Danny a year earlier.

Germany's Angelique Kerber, the current world number one, also sent her regards to her rival. "She's already done so much, does she need more?" And who can forget the picture of Alysia Montaño running the 800m while 34 weeks pregnant with her daughter?

Maria Sharapova is coming back next week from a 15-month doping suspension while Victoria Azarenka is due to return this summer after having a child of her own.

The younger Williams sister has won 23 Grand Slams, is just one short of Margaret Court, who collected many of hers in an era when the difficulties of global travel often diluted the fields.

Court, 74, was the first mother to win a major as a professional.

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