Serena Williams Welcomes Baby Girl
Serena Williams has given birth to her first child, a girl.
Williams checked into the St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, where the tennis star was scheduled to be induced Thursday, according to news reports. The birth comes in the middle of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, which Williams is missing for the first time since 1998.
She was officially in labor on Thursday night. The 35-year-old was induced; her hospital floor was cleared and security has been on hand. This is the first child of both her and fiancé Alexis Ohanian, a Reddit co-founder.
She welcomed her baby girl into the world moments before her older sister Venus took centre court for her US Open third round match against Maria Sakkari of Greece. The elder Williams later won Sakkari in two sets, 6-3, 6-4 and advanced to the fourth round.
Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played since winning the Australian Open in January, revealing in April she was 20 weeks pregnant and would miss the remainder of the 2017 season.
She found out about the pregnancy two weeks before playing against her sister, Venus Williams, in the final round of the Australian Open.
In Vanity Fair’s August cover story, Williams and Ohanian recounted the whirlwind romance that began with a chance meeting in Rome, and seemed to have reached its biggest moment yet when Ohanian proposed, in the same location where they met, on December 10 last year.
Weeks later, Williams asked Ohanian to fly last-minute to Melbourne, Australia, where she wordlessly handed him a paper bag filled with six positive pregnancy tests. She went on to win the Australian Open.
Williams and Ohanian plan to marry in the fall, and Williams plans to return to playing tennis in January — perhaps in time for the next Australian Open, which would give her just over three months to prepare.
Congratulations to the new parents.