Serena Williams is the highest paid female athlete in the world, and her greatness is amongst the levels of names such as LeBron James or Jerry Rice.
Back in Dec. 2016 , she announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, on none other than Reddit. This announcement sent social media abuzz.
Williams is a very private celebrity; you hardly ever hear about her unless it’s pertaining to tennis, so it came as a huge surprise on April 19 when Williams announced through a Snapchat post that she was 20 weeks pregnant. This post raised the suspicion of some social media users, “Did Serena do this to be petty?” Many users on Twitter pointed out that April 19 is Williams’ rival, Maria Sharapova’s birthday.
Williams and Sharapova have a long history together, so it’s only logical fans might come to this conclusion. Williams later deleted her Snapchat post, and it was up in the air if the announcement was true. Her pregnancy was later confirmed by one of her representatives.
If you do the math, Williams has been pregnant since Dec. of last year. She won the Australian Open in Jan. of this year, securing her 23rd Grand Slam. Williams has once again taken the number one spot; she was ranked 2nd behind Germany’s Angelique Kerber.
It has also not been specified whether Williams knew about her pregnancy during the Australian Open. The pregnancy suddenly makes Williams’ future in professional tennis unclear. Most women retire from the sport around the age of 25. However, Williams is currently 34 years old, and has been training to play tennis since the age of three. It’s a taxing sport that wears down the body.
With a baby on the way, will this be when Williams finally sets down her racket? It is unclear if Williams will participate in any of the three remaining Grand Slam Tournaments in 2017. Williams would be about 25 weeks along at The French Open, which is set to begin Monday, May 22.
With pregnancy usually lasting around 38 weeks, it isn’t likely Williams will be in a position to compete in the upcoming majors. There isn’t much time between the end of the French Open and Wimbledon either. The French Open ends June 11 and Wimbledon qualifying rounds begin Monday, June 26.
The same can be said for the end of Wimbledon and the beginning of the U.S. Open which fall in consecutive months of one another.
As of right now, Williams’ future as an active tennis player is up in the air. Williams could decide to go out on top, and who can blame her? It’d be a shame if she chooses to retire but at least she would go out on top.
Williams might just have to give up her number one throne, depending on how long she decides to take off after giving birth.
Of course, there are plenty of women who continue play in their sport after they begin motherhood. Ultimately, whether or not Williams will be one of those athletes is up to her; the rest of us will have to wait patiently as she makes this exciting choice.