Wimbledon champion, Serena Williams, has shared her plans for her sporting future in a new interview with Vanity Fair as she poses in a very risque shoot.
The tennis star, revealed that she hopes to be back on the court as early as January as she prepares to become a mother for the first time.
Tennis star Serena Williams has revealed that she hopes to be back on the court as early as January as she prepares to become a mother for the first time.
The Wimbledon champion shares her plans for her sporting future in a new interview with Vanity Fair as she poses in a very risque shoot.
At 35 years old, the pregnant Williams stuns on the cover of the August issue in a striking portrait photographed by longtime collaborator Annie Leibovitz, who first shot Williams, alongside her sister Venus, when she was 16 years old.
Alongside the shoot Williams gives a telling interview with contributing editor Buzz Bissinger.
Speaking of he career plans the sporting legend says: ‘I don’t think my story is over yet,’ and reveals her plans to be back on the court as soon as the new year after she delivers her first child this fall and weds fiancé and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
Williams recalls first learning she was pregnant, much to her surprise, after feeling physically different roughly a week before the beginning of the Australian Open in January this year.
At the suggestion of her friend Jessica Steindorff, who suspected it was not merely her hormones acting up, Williams relented and let Jessica buy her a pregnancy kit.
Williams explains: ‘I’ll take it just because (a) to prove you wrong and (b) because it’s fun, whatever. It’s like a joke. Why not?’
After taking the test, she forgot about it, thinking it impossible that it could be positive.
When she finally checked the results, she says she ‘did a double take and my heart dropped. Like literally it dropped.’
Her first thought: ‘Oh my God, this can’t be—I’ve got to play a tournament. How am I going to play the Australian Open? I had planned on winning Wimbledon (her third straight) this year.’
To further convince her of the reality, Jessica purchased five more test kits; all proved positive.
After discovering she was pregnant, Williams called Ohanian and, without providing a reason, told him to fly to Melbourne earlier than previously planned.
Ohanian, thinking it was likely health-related, immediately got a flight out of San Francisco. When Williams saw him, she wordlessly handed him a paper bag containing the six positive pregnant tests: Ohanian was as shocked as she had been.
Now, a little more than six months pregnant, she is facing the reality that she is indeed having a baby with her soon-to-be husband. ‘It just doesn’t seem real. I don’t know why. Am I having a baby?’ she says.
Williams tells Bissinger that, as of May, she hadn’t made any preparations: ‘I don’t know what to do with a baby.
‘I have nothing … I’ve done absolutely nothing for the baby room.’
Meanwhile, Bissinger writes that Ohanian is ‘earnestly preparing and already has a tip jar he puts money into whenever he uses profanity so he won’t utter it around the baby.’
I don’t know what to do with a baby… I’ve done absolutely nothing for the baby room
He’s looking forward to the marriage; Williams, on the other hand, tells Bissinger (with tongue in cheek), ‘I’m trying to enjoy the little freedom I have left.’
The couple first met at the Cavalieri Hotel in Rome in May 2015 where, after Ohanian sat at the table beside hers, Williams pretended to know about Reddit, and he withheld the fact that he had ‘never watched a tennis match on television or in real life’.
Their first date saw the ultra-romantic pair roam the streets of Paris for six hours while Williams was in town for the French Open.
Ohanian proposed to Williams in December 2016 at virtually the same spot where he had first met her.
Of Ohanian’s proposal at the Cavalieri, for which he had asked her to fly to Italy under the guise of a spontaneous trip, Williams says, ‘I knew it was coming. I was like, “Serena, you’re 35, you’re ready. This is what you want.”‘
Ohanian says he knew he wanted to marry Williams because she was helping him become the best version of himself: ‘I felt like a door had been opened to a person who made me want to be my best self,’ he says.
‘I find myself just wanting to be better by simply being around her because of the standard she holds.’
The August issue of Vanity Fair appears on newsstands in the UK on July 7.