Is Serena Williams preparing for another title: Mother?

Serena Williams celebrating her Australian Open victory in January. She hinted yesterday that she is 20 weeks pregnant, meaning she was with child when she won at Melbourne Park.
Serena Williams celebrating her Australian Open victory in January. She hinted yesterday that she is 20 weeks pregnant, meaning she was with child when she won at Melbourne Park.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Tennis star Serena Williams hinted yesterday via a Snapchat photo that she is pregnant, reported Sports Illustrated.

The 35-year-old world No. 2, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, posted a photo on Snapchat with the caption: "20 weeks."

Williams, who has won a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era, has not been in action since January's Australian Open final win over sister Venus.

In early March, the American pulled out of tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, citing a knee injury.

Meanwhile, her rival Maria Sharapova has brushed off criticism from her rivals as she prepares to make her return next week in Stuttgart following her doping ban.

"That is the least of my concerns," the 30-year-old Russian told Stern magazine."I haven't wasted a single thought on it. I know that I am respected in my field. I see it in how my opponents play against me."

The five-time Grand Slam champion had an initial two-year suspension by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) reduced to 15 months after she tested positive at last year's Australian Open for meldonium.

She makes her return on Wednesday - the first day she is eligible to play - having been given a wild card for Stuttgart's WTA tournament, with some rivals disapproving of the organisers' decision.

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki said the Stuttgart tournament's decision to grant Sharapova a wild card is "disrespectful to other players and the WTA".

However, Sharapova could not have picked a better place to make her return, as has won the clay-court event three times. She can expect a warm welcome from the organisers as she is an ambassador for luxury car manufacturers Porsche, who are the sponsors.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Is Serena Williams preparing for another title: Mother?'. Print Edition | Subscribe