Last night, Serena Williams took to Snapchat to reveal that she is 20 weeks pregnant – and her representative has since confirmed that the 35-year-old is due to give birth in the autumn.
Which, when you do the maths, means that the tennis champion was roughly eight weeks along into her pregnancy when she won the Australian Open in January.
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The athlete, who has been ranked world number one by the Women’s Tennis Association no fewer than six times, famously beat her sister Venus Williams in the final with a cool 6-4, 6-4 win.
At the same time, she set an incredible new record: she is currently the only tennis player – man or woman – to win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the open era.
“It’s such a great feeling to have 23,” said Williams of her victory. “It really feels great. I’ve been chasing it for a really long time. It feels like, really long time.
“When it got on my radar, I knew I had an opportunity to get there, and I’m here.”
Bush Novak, Williams’ publicist, has confirmed that the tennis champion intends to sit out the remainder of the 2017 tennis season and return next year.
And, judging by the flood of congratulatory messages she’s been receiving on Twitter, absolutely everybody believes that the tennis champ will be back doing what she does best (aka winning all the titles) in no time flat.
Serena Williams was pregnant when she won the Australia Open in Jan. but I cant even get out of bed when I'm on my period. Sis is superwoman— Taryn Finley (@_TARYNitUP) April 19, 2017
Can't wait for 53-year old Serena and her kid to win the 2034 Wimbledon doubles title (mixed doubles if its a boy)— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) April 19, 2017
Serena Williams, 35, is expecting her first baby and will return to World No. 1 next Monday.— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) April 19, 2017
Congrats to Serena Williams' unborn child and future Grand Slam record holder— Charlotte Wilder (@TheWilderThings) April 19, 2017
Serena Williams was pregnant when she won her 23rd grand slam tournament at the Australian Open. And did not drop ONE SET. Let that sink in.— The Live Revolution (@noelleharmony) April 19, 2017
Williams, the world's highest paid female athlete, announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in December.
Writing on her official Reddit page, she chose to mark the occasion with a poem.
I came home
A little late
Someone had a bag packed for me
And a carriage awaited
To escort me to my very own “charming”
Back to where our stars first collided
And now it was full circle
At the same table we first met by chance
This time he made it not by chance
But by choice
Down on one knee
He said 4 words
The pair met in 2015 but have kept their relationship mostly private until Williams’ announcement.
“It feels good,” she said of her engagement at the Australian Open in January 2017. “He’s incredibly – a really nice person. I think he definitely treats everyone the same, which is really cool to see. Really, really nice to see.”
The couple are expected to marry later this year.
Images: Rex Features