Mum's the word as Serena Williams dismisses baby is a girl

Serena Williams and fiance Alexis Ohanian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 1.
Serena Williams and fiance Alexis Ohanian at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 1. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS • Serena Williams said yesterday that she is not necessarily expecting a baby girl, as revealed by big sister Venus.

Venus, playing at the French Open in Paris, told Eurosport on Wednesday: "She's going to call me her favourite aunt. We all like 'baby V, baby Lyn, baby Isha'. We all want the baby to be named after us."

The 36-year-old was referring to the names of Serena's sisters.

The interview led many to believe that the baby, due in September, will be a girl.

However, Serena took to Twitter in an attempt to cool all those cooing on social media for a baby girl.

"I think the surprise of knowing what you are going to have on that very special day you give birth is probably the best surprise you can ever have," wrote the 23-time Grand Slam winner.

"So just to clarify what Venus said, I am always joking with my sisters to see what favours I can get them to do for me next.

"If I want something from one of my sisters, I say baby Venus, baby Lyn, or baby Isha needs it. I did not grow up with any brothers, only sisters and we all say 'she' rather than 'he'."

Serena, who revealed she was pregnant in April, has always refused to discuss the sex of the baby she is expecting with fiance Alex Ohanian, the founder of Reddit.

She was at Roland Garros on Wednesday watching her older sister defeat Kurumi Nara in the second round on the showpiece Philippe Chatrier court.

If Serena - who won her 23rd Grand Slam title in January when she defeated Venus in the Australian Open final - was itching to get out onto the clay herself, she was not showing it. But her coach told a different story.

Patrick Mouratoglou said via the Associated Press that she recently texted him to say: "It's going to sound weird, but I'm going on the court. I don't want to lose my touch."

Serena's layoff will not be long, either. She intends to play in the Australian Open next year, which begins on Jan 15.

"For anyone, it sounds impossible, because it's too short a time after you give birth, but Serena is Serena," Mouratoglou said. "She has a body that is not anybody's body. She has a will that is also completely unusual.

"So, if she says Australian Open, it's going to be the Australian Open."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 02, 2017, with the headline 'Mum's the word as Serena dismisses baby is a girl'. Print Edition | Subscribe