23-time Grand Slam singles title holder, Serena Williams, took to social media platform Snapchat to announce that she is 20 weeks pregnant. Interesting to note is that she made the announcement on her rival Maria Sharapova’s 30th birthday.
Hours after her announcement, Williams’ spokesperson Kelly Bush Novak confirmed the news in an email to ESPN that read: “I’m happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall”.
In January this year, Williams won the Australian Open which earned her her 23rd Grand Slam single title, and it just so happens that she was two months into her pregnancy at the time.
READ MORE: Serena Williams announces pregnancy
This was a historical moment for the player as she set a new record for Grand Slam single titles in women’s tennis in the Open era. She surpassed Steffi Gras who previously held the record with 22 Grand Slam singles title wins under her belt.
Her representative also confirmed to Reuters that Williams would not be playing any professional tennis for the remainder of this year but that she’s looking forward to returning to the game in 2018.
“If Serena wants to come back after having a baby, she’s proven at this point that age is not a big factor for her. She may even feel she can take a little lesson from Roger Federer. I know it’s for different reasons, but look how he’s come back at age 35,” Pam Shriver, a former leading player in tennis and analyst told New York Times.
“I don’t think it really matters if you’re 35 or 37 or 38. You’re part of that same age group, and once you’ve gotten over that mental hump of competing at this higher level in your 30s, which she obviously has, it is certainly possible.”
Williams is currently the World’s No. 2, and Angelique Kerber holds the World No. 1 spot. But in the strange way in which these rankings are set up, New York Times reports that Williams will reclaim her top spot on Monday despite the fact that she hasn’t played in any tournaments since her Australian Open win in January.
Kerber just hasn’t been able to match Williams’ results from last year and will thus lose her top spot.
The Twitterati had a field day with Williams’ pregnancy announcement, here are some of the best reactions:
Serena Williams is 20 weeks pregnant, which means she won the Australian Open while being pregnant and didn’t drop a single set. The GOAT.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) April 19, 2017
Serena Williams: Im pregnant
Black men: how could she betray us like this 😪 we lost another queen
Us: but yall called her a man…..
— Glazed Honeybun (@DavinaAgawu) April 19, 2017
Beyoncé gave us iconic performances pregnant and Serena Williams won her 23rd grand slam while pregnant. Black women are on another level. pic.twitter.com/RACfnh5e2F
— Ᏸecca🥀 (@MJStarLover) April 19, 2017
“No Serena Williams slander shall ever prosper.”
– An African American Proverb
— X (@XLNB) April 20, 2017
Serena Williams was doing this at Grand Slams while pregnant. Meanwhile, today I complained about allergies. pic.twitter.com/QktRPFf3Gi
— Matt Dowell (@TheMattDowell) April 19, 2017
Media: Serena Williams announces she’s 20 weeks pregnant
— TheShadeRoom (@TheShadeRoom) April 19, 2017
me watching Ciara, Beyoncé, & Serena Williams prosper despite the hate they get for just being happy from insecure men and self-hating women pic.twitter.com/fbOpzc4mPb
— black history heaux (@localblactivist) April 19, 2017
Serena Williams announcing her pregnancy on Maria Sharapova’s birthday pic.twitter.com/t7t8R9Uu0q
— chrissy (@chRIHssy) April 19, 2017
Serena Williams’ baby and Beyoncé’s twins might be the Harry, Hermione and Ron we need to vanquish Tangerine Voldemort.
— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) April 19, 2017
Serena Williams is doing unheard of athletic things while pregnant.
and here I am, sitting on the couch, not pregnant, refusing to move.
— Meg Julia (@megannnjulia) April 19, 2017
Additional sources: Reuters, ESPN, New York Times