Serena Williams announces pregnancy just months after Australian Open win

Williams is in great company as the latest WTA star to thrive amid impending or recent motherhood, as Kim Clijsters came out of retirement after having her first child to nearly immediately win the 2009 U.S. Open (two more Slams followed), while Victoria Azarenka just previous year swept Indian Wells and Miami in the early stages of her pregnancy.

As speculations were rife that Serena's post was about pregnancy, the 35-year-old soon deleted the post triggering a debate among tennis fans about whether or not she was joking.

This will be her first child with fiancé and co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian.

A number of players stand to benefit from Williams' absence for the remainder of the year, including German Angelique Kerber who last year unseated the American from the top of the world rankings. She won her first Grand Slam singles title at age 17 in 1999 and has spent more than 300 weeks at No. 1.

Serena's spokeswoman, Kelly Bush Novak later on confirmed the pregnancy.

"We're losing one of the most powerful brands in the game for a while, but Maria Sharapova is about to return (from a drugs suspension)", he said. But we want to hear from any readers who took on new challenges while they were expecting.

Serena Williams just announced that she's 20 weeks pregnant.

Serena Williams' representative has confirmed the tennis ace is due to give birth in the autumn.

Her victory over older sister Venus Williams broke a tie with Steffi Graf for the most major singles championships in the sport's open era.

In February, the superstar singer posted a photo with her baby bump on Instagram to announce the news.

Williams cited a knee injury in pulling out of tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

While Williams could conceivably choose to continue playing tennis through her pregnancy (track athlete Alysia Montano continued training throughout her pregnancy and ran the 800-meter at the USA track and field championships while almost eight months pregnant), Williams' absence from the tour so far indicates she might not return to competition until after the birth of her child-if she even wants to come back at all. She will miss all the matches in the 2017 season but will probably return to the court next year.

Kim Clijsters was already a borderline Hall of Famer when she retired abruptly at 23, having won the 2005 US Open and spent 19 weeks atop the women's rankings.

  • Leroy Wright