Serena Williams is expecting her first child with fiance, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, though the baby announcement came a little earlier than the couple planned.
Speculation that the 23-time Grand Slam winner, 35, was pregnant was first sparked after she posted a picture to SnapChat where she appeared to show off a growing baby bump alongside the caption “20 weeks”.
The image of Serena standing in front of a mirror in a yellow swimsuit was then swiftly deleted from her official account leading to much confusion about whether she was actually expecting.
Hours later her, rep Bush Novak did confirm the news to media outlets and Serena has since admitted she had posted the baby bump picture by complete accident.
Speaking to Gayle King at the TED Talks conference in Vancouver, Williams explained that she had been taking photos every week to track the status of her growing bump and must have hit the wrong button when taking her latest one, making it public rather than private.
In fact, she had no idea she had even posted the photo until she began receiving messages about it: “My phone doesn’t ring that much, and thirty minutes later, I’d missed four calls. So I picked it up and realized, ‘Oh no.’”
She didn’t seem too upset by the mix-up though and said they had planned to go public a few days later.
Williams discovered she was pregnant in January when she was around six weeks pregnant and just two weeks before the final of the Australian Open.
She told Gayle it had made her “nervous” and she questioned whether it would be dangerous for her to play because she was not out of the 12 week period.
She did decide to stay in the tournament and went on to win her 23rd Grand Slam title, beating sister Venus in the final on January 28th all while nearly two months pregnant.
Currently ranked as the world number one, Serena has missed key tournaments since the Australian Open citing a “knee injury”.
She confirmed to Gayle that while she might be out for the rest of the season, fans could expect her back and raring to go in 2018.
Claiming her story wasn’t “over” she cited elder sister Venus, who is still at the top of her game at 37, as inspiration to continue with her extraordinary career and joked her baby would be in the stands “cheering her on” next year.
The tennis champion’s last win saw her equal Steffi Graff’s all-time record for titles in the Open era and brought her one step closer to matching the great Australian, Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam singles titles – more than any other female player.
She can take some inspiration to make her return from Court herself, who won the last three of her titles after the birth of her son Danny.
Serena admitted the thought of snagging the record was a driving factor for wanting to return and even after everything she’s achieved said she’s still “super addictive” to winning.
Serena’s baby news follows swiftly from the surprise engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in December last year.
The couple, who began dating in September 2015, became engaged on a romantic trip to Rome and confirmed the news in a poem posted to Reddit.
Williams has managed to keep her romance with the tech entrepreneur out of the spotlight, but according to close friend Kelly Rowland they’re the perfect couple.
Asked about the exciting news during a Facebook Live interview for AOL Entertainment the former Destiny’s Child member gushed: “I’m so happy for her, and I’m so happy for the incredible gentleman that she has in her life. He [Alexis Ohanian] is just incredible. He knows he’s incredible, and the two of them together just — mmm!”
While most have been delighted by the baby news it hasn’t been without it’s controversy.
Former Romanian player Ilie Nastase issued an apology after making racist remarks about the unborn child during a press conference.
When he was asked at a Fed Cup press conference about the pregnancy news, according to ESPN.com he said: “Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?”
The International Tennis Federation launched an investigation following the comments and Serena published a statement via social media condemning the racist comments towards her unborn child.