Days after confirming her pregnancy, tennis champion Serena Williams is back at the top of the Women’s Tennis Association’s rankings and vows to return to the sport after her baby arrives.
“I can’t wait to meet you. I can’t wait for you to join the players’ box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you … once again today,” Williams wrote on Instagram Monday, April 24, after sharing a photo featuring her growing baby bump. “From the world’s oldest number one to the world’s youngest number one — your Mommy.”
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My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you…. once again today. On @alexisohanian bday. 😉 from the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. -Your Mommy
Williams, who implied she hopes her little one will join the family sport someday, acknowledged her return to the No. 1 spot on the WTA rankings. At 35 years old, Williams is now the oldest woman to be at the top, taking the title from Margaret Court, who was 31 when she held the position in 1973.
Williams originally revealed she and her fiancé, Alex Ohanian, are expecting their first child in a Snapchat posted Wednesday, April 19. She deleted the image, but fans quickly took notice and pointed out she must have been pregnant during her historic win at the Australian Open. Williams’ publicist, Kelly Bush Novak, later confirmed the 23-time Grand Slam winner would welcome her bundle of joy in the fall.
Many of the superstar athlete’s fans celebrated her announcement, but The Sydney Morning Herald questioned whether or not Williams would want to continue playing tennis after her baby is born.
“Would the younger Williams want to fight her way back to the top of the game in 2018, having become a mother sometime around the U.S. Open in early September?” the article, originally mentioning there were “fears” for her career, said. “The real question relates to motivation: How much would she want her career back? Even Williams herself may not know the answer to that one yet.”
Williams’ recent Instagram post shows her confidence in returning and her publicist confirmed as much.
“Saying exactly when she will come back [next year] is not something she cares about right now, but she does not want to stop there,” Novak told AFP. “She won the last Australian Open [in January when she would have been eight weeks pregnant]. … She feels she can still dominate tennis.”
Many fans wondered why such an article would be written in the first place.
— kalsop (@kalsop) April 20, 2017
One deemed the initial headline sexist.
— Nicole Melanson (@WordMothers) April 19, 2017