West Palm Beach, Florida. USA. September 2nd: Tennis star, Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl at St Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach Florida, the first child for the former world number one tennis player. The 35-year-old American, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, has not competed since winning the Australian Open in January but has posted several videos to social media showing her hitting balls during her pregnancy.
News of the birth came as her sister Venus Wiliams prepared to go out on the court at the US Open. “Obviously I’m super-excited,” Venus Williams said. “Words can’t describe it.”
The couple is yet to confirm the birth themselves but Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, tweeted: “I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion.”
“Congratulations @SerenaWilliams for your baby girl. I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion,” her coach Mouratoglou wrote. “Btw … I wish you a speedy recovery… we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he added.
Congratulations @SerenaWilliams for your baby girl. I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion. Recover well & enjoy without limitation.
Congratulatory messages have been pouring out from fans, sports stars and other celebrities.
Congratulations to @serenawilliams for giving birth to a baby girl!
Sending you (pic here) from your friends & family at the #USOpen and @WTA
– US Open Tennis (@usopen) 1 September 2017
From @BillieJeanKing to @BMATTEK, players past & present congratulated @serenawilliams on becoming a mom.
– US Open Tennis (@usopen) 2 September 2017
She confirmed her pregnancy in April hours after triggering frenzied speculation when she accidentally posted a short-lived selfie on social media with the caption: “20 weeks”.
Williams, the world’s highest-paid female athlete, was about two months pregnant when she captured her 23rd grand slam singles title at the Australian Open. On 19 April 2017, she announced a hiatus from tennis until 2018 because of her pregnancy. The tennis star is due to return to professional play for the Australian Open in January.
Photo: Pregnant Serena Williama
Serena has been ranked World No.1 in tennis by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) in singles on eight occasions, from 2002 to 2017. Serena Williams has a record of 39 Grand Slam and holds the most titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles combined amongst active players.
Williams has dominated the sport for the past decade and is one grand slam short of Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24 major titles. Serena hers 23 in singles, 14 in women’s doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles.
She told Vogue last month about her bold plan to defend her title in Australia, where the year’s first grand slam will be played from Jan. 15-28. Other women have left the tour to have children and returned at a high level, although none has done so at Williams’ age. Kim Clijsters of Belgium retired and had a child before coming back at age 26 and winning three grand slam titles. Australians Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Court also won grand slam titles after having children.