Behold the power of the Internet. On Wednesday, Serena Williams took over the news with one simple Snapchat. Posting a picture of her stomach and the caption “20 weeks,” the 35-year-old suggested that she’s pregnant.
The news was confirmed later on in the day by her representative.
Serena spokesperson Kelly Bush Novak confirms that Serena is pregnant and expecting a baby this Fall.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) April 19, 2017
In December, she got engaged to Alexis Ohanian, and hasn't played since the Australian Open (which she won over Venus Williams). She won't play again in 2017.
What does this mean for Serena Williams' career? She'll return to No. 1 on Monday, and despite the odds being stacked against her, a 24th Grand Slam doesn't need to be counted out just yet.
One of Williams' chief rivals, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka, is edging closer to her return from the birth of her first child this summer in Stanford. Both women should find some inspiration from three players who returned from maternity leave to lift Grand Slam trophies again.
With 24, Court has one more Grand Slam singles title to her name than Williams (though only 11 of those were won during the Open era). And while Williams won this year’s Australian Open (possibly while pregnant), Court reached the Wimbledon final in 1971 while also carrying her first child. The Australian gave birth to her first child in March of 1972.
Court would return to become the first mother to win the Australian Open, French Open and US Open. She then left the game again to give birth to her second child in 1974. Returning once more, Court won one more WTA title and played her final Grand Slam at the 1975 US Open (reaching the quarterfinals). She would retire in 1977 after becoming pregnant with her fourth child.
The Australian would reach No. 1 in 1976, just one year before having her daughter Kelly in May of 1977. She would win the Australian Open just seven months later, and then take home Wimbledon in 1980.
She’s the only mother to win the Wimbledon title in the Open era. She gave birth to her second child, a son named Morgan, in 1981 before retiring in 1983.
Clijsters is the most recent mother to gain Grand Slam glory after having a child. She first retired in 2007 to have daughter Jada Elle in 2008. But then the Belgian returned to the tour in 2009, winning the US Open in just her third tournament back.
She remains the only WTA player to win more majors with children in tow than without, picking up the 2010 US Open and 2011 Australian Open for four total career majors. Clijsters retired after the 2012 US Open and has had two more children since.
While three success stories isn't a lot, plenty of other moms have successfully returned to the tour including Lindsay Davenport, Kateryna Bondarenko, Tatjana Maria and Evgeniya Rodina.