Tennis: Serena Williams poses nude for Vanity Fair, says ‘heart dropped’ at surprise pregnancy

PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ @SERENAWILLIAMS
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian at the Met Gala in New York in May 2017.
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian at the Met Gala in New York in May 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Serena Williams was completely taken aback by her pregnancy, taking six home tests before believing she was expecting her first child, the tennis superstar told Vanity Fair magazine.

Williams, who poses nude on the cover of the magazine for its August issue, said she still had not come to terms with the prospect of being a mother, and said she plans to be back on court in January.

“It just doesn’t seem real. I don’t know why. Am I having a baby?” Williams, 35, said in the interview released on Tuesday (June 27).

The No. 1 ranked tennis player, interviewed in May when she was six months pregnant, said she had made no preparations. “I don’t know what to do with a baby... I’ve done absolutely nothing for the baby room,” she said.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

Williams, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, confirmed in April that she was expecting a baby in the fall after posting on Snapchat, and then deleting, a picture of herself in a swimsuit with the caption “20 weeks.” She said she would take maternity leave through the remainder of 2017.

Must read article. Link in bio

Must read article. Link in bio

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

Williams told Vanity Fair she found out she was pregnant about a week before winning her record 23rd Grand Slam tournament singles title at the Australian Open in January.

She said she had felt off her game but thought her hormones were acting up. A friend suggested she take a pregnancy test and when it came back positive she “did a double take and my heart dropped. Like literally, it dropped.”

She took five more home tests and later presented all six to Ohanian, who was as shocked as she was. She said her fiance now was earnestly preparing and already has a tip jar he puts money into whenever he uses profanity so he will not utter it around the baby.

Williams gave no dates but said she expects to return to the circuit as soon as January, adding “I don’t think my story is over yet.”