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Go ahead and add another title to Serena Williams’ collection: Mom. The tennis star announced via social media on Wednesday that she gave birth to a girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Williams posted about…
Go ahead and add another title to Serena Williams’ collection: Mom.
The tennis star announced via social media on Wednesday that she gave birth to a girl named Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
Williams posted about her baby on Instagram and Twitter accounts and is heard saying in a video, “We had a lot of complications, but look what we’ ve got.”
The 35-year-old Williams said in late December that she was engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Williams wrote Wednesday that their daughter was born on Sept. 1 and weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces. One posting also says about the newborn, “Grand Slam Titles: 1.”
Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam singles championship at the Australian Open in January — while she was pregnant.
She has not competed anywhere since but has said she intends to return to competition by next year’s Australian Open, which starts on Jan. 15,4½ months after her baby was born.
“If she’s ready, she’ ll play. If she’s not, she won’ t play. I’ m not a doctor. I can’ t decide when she’s going to be ready to practice. If we can have enough practice so she can be ready, she’ ll play, ” Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams’ coach, said last weekend at the U. S. Open.
“I don’ t want her to go compete if she’s not ready, ” Mouratoglou said. “I told her: ‘You come if you’ re ready.’ And I will do everything for her to be ready for Australia. But if she is not ready, of course she won’ t compete.”
There is recent precedent for tennis players to return to action after giving birth.
Kim Clijsters, inducted this year into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, retired to start a family after having won one U. S. Open title, then came back to action in 2009 and won three more Grand Slam trophies. Another former No. 1 and major champion, Victoria Azarenka, returned to the tour this year after having a son, although she missed the U. S. Open because of a custody dispute involving the baby.
Williams’ 23 major titles are a record for the professional era, which began in 1968; she broke a tie with Steffi Graf in Australia this year. Only one woman has won more: Margaret Smith Court, who claimed a portion of her 24 during the amateur era.
As word made the rounds during the U. S. Open that Williams had given birth, Garbine Muguruza — the reigning Wimbledon champion who is ranked No. 1 as of Monday — offered up quite a punchline.
When a reporter told her that Williams gave birth to a daughter, Muguruza responded: “Baby girl? Well, I hope she doesn’ t play tennis.”
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