Serena Williams has hinted that she could make a sensational return to tennis as early as next year.
The 35-year-old recently revealed on Snapchat that she was pregnant with her first child, posting a selfie that showed off her baby bump in a one-piece yellow swimsuit with a caption that read: “20 weeks”.
That post was quickly deleted, but the pregnancy was confirmed soon after by a spokesperson for the American.
The 23-time major champion is now preparing to miss the rest of the 2017 season on maternity leave, but her competitors would be ill-advised to settle into life without Serena.
Having just reclaimed the No. 1 ranking on the WTA Tour for the eighth time in her career, pregnancy doesn’t appear to have suppressed the American’s desire to remain at the top of the women’s game.
Williams, who announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last December, took to Instagram earlier today to express her excitement at meeting her unborn child, and suggested that her new baby will be cheering her on sooner rather than later.
The post read: “My Dearest Baby, you gave me 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 player’s box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you.”
Williams, who it was revealed won January’s Australian Open while in the early stages of pregnancy, certainly has unfinished business in the game, given that she is one Grand Slam away from equaling Australian Margaret Court’s record of 24.
And while Williams continues to conquer Tennis at an age when most of her fellow competitors would have already retired, you wouldn’t bet against her returning from childbirth to lift a trophy or two in front of her new baby next year.