Tennis superstar Serena Williams has confirmed her plans to return to the sport after giving birth following the announcement of her first pregnancy on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old has not played a match since winning her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open at the end of January – a historic victory over her sister Venus Williams as she was already almost two months pregnant.
Williams, who became the most decorated tennis player of the Open Era by that victory, is also within touching distance of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 majors.
But while the American will realistically miss the next four Grand Slams, she is planning on returning to the WTA Tour in 2018, confirmed her spokeswoman Kelly Bush Novak, who earlier said “I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this Fall.”
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After recently announcing her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s co-founder, Williams announced the news of her ’20 weeks’ pregnancy on Snapchat, posting a photograph of her and her baby bump in a yellow swimsuit.
Williams would not be the first player to leave the game for pregnancy and enjoy roaring success upon her return, with Belgian star Kim Clijsters winning the US Open in 2009 and 2010 and the Australian Open in 2011 following the birth of her daughter in 2008.
Margaret Court also won her final three titles in 1973 after giving birth to her son Danny a year earlier; and Victoria Azarenka is set for a return to the Tour later this year after giving birth to her son in December.
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