Serena Williams confirms pregnancy, so she won Australian Open while being pregnant?

The news broke Wednesday after Williams offered up a side profile shot of herself in a yellow swimsuit with a caption that read "20 weeks" in a Snapchat posting that quickly disappeared.

Apparently the photograph, which was deleted later, went viral and rapidly caught everyone's attention on Internet.

But age, not motherhood, appears Williams' biggest obstacle in her quest for sporting immortality. It definitely says something very unpleasant that news houses as respected as the BBC are so quick to link her pregnancy to speculations on the end of her legendary career.

In December, Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, first sharing that news on the Reddit social media site. This includes three Grand Slams - the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

World number two Serena Williams is expected to return to the top of the WTA rankings next Monday as two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber's points of winning the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in her home country of Stuttgart, are expected to come off.

The tennis star has not officially given a statement yet if she will play in the Madrid Open next month.

"We have not been informed, nor do we have confirmation".

US Open Tennis responded to Williams' message by saying: "Serena Williams will have a new pride and joy to hug and call her own soon!" Court took another year's sabbatical for the birth of her second child and returned to reach two quarters and a semi at Grand Slam level.

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That seventh Australian title came in her 20th year on the professional tour and more than 18 years after her first Major, which she won as a teenager at the US Open in 1999. Serena's knee injury in March caused her withdrawal from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

Williams' 23 Grand Slam singles titles are a record for the Open era, which began in 1968. The first photo of a baby bump was uploaded by Serena on Snapchat.

Williams is a five-time Tour finals victor, the last of which came in 2014, and was recently picked as the greatest female tennis player of the Open era by BBC Sport readers.

  • Julie Sanders