20 weeks gone and set to take a long break from the circuit, world’s number two Serena Williams has left mouths agape with the heartwarming news of her pregnancy. Spokesperson for the tennis player, Kelly Bush Novak confirmed on Wednesday, April 19, that Williams and her fiancé Alexis Ohanian a businessman and the co-founder of Reddit; are expecting their first child.
Serena Williams is surely full of surprises. While the world is still jubilating over her unexpected announcement of engagement to Alexis Ohanian, in December; she feeds us with another jaw-dropping news.
This news has brought an end to the widespread speculations and conjectures which engulfed the media, within a few moments of her swiftly yanked-off baby bump photo on snap chat.
The news broke Wednesday after Williams posted a side profile shot of herself in a yellow swimsuit with a caption that read “20 weeks” in a Snapchat; which was quickly deleted. However, very fast fingers succeeded in grabbing the shot which subsequently spread around the internet like wildfire.
Following mixed reactions, speculations, and questions regarding the authenticity of the “rumor”, her management quickly confirmed the news. According to Kelly Novak, Williams who would turn 36 in September, will miss the rest of the 2017 season, including major titles and would return to the games in 2018.
Why Serena Williams Has been Absent in Matches
News of Serena’s pregnancy has given a significant justification to her absence during matches in recent times. The 35-year-old has not played since the Australian Open in January, where she beat her sister Venus 6-4, 6-4 for her 23rd grand slam title. (According to calculations, she was 2 months gone at the time). Last month Serena Williams pulled out of Indian Wells and Miami Open citing a knee injury.
With her first child due around August 2017, the best women’s tennis player of this era will not play until 2018, according to her spokesperson
Williams, who will return to World Number One next week, would be eligible to retain her ranking under the WTA special ranking rule, only if she is ready to play her first tournament within 12 months of giving birth.
Serena is the second leading women’s tennis player to announce a pregnancy in the past year. Former No. 1 player and a two-time Grand Slam titlist, Victoria Azarenka gave birth to her first child in December and is expected to return to competition at the end of July.
Sports Theorists Explain Serena Williams’ Pregnancy Victories
Is pregnancy some good luck charm; regarding Williams’ incessant wins in recent times?
According to calculations, Serena was around eight weeks pregnant during the Melbourne Park event when she won seven straight matches, including the win against her sister, Venus. This remarkable feat which has earned her the description, GOAT -The Greatest Of All Time, now draws more speculations concerning the possible drive behind her pregnancy victories
A supposed irony or a proven fact? we cannot fully ascertain, But some experts have got the best explanations for Williams’ pregnancy triumph.
Sports theorists have come up with the speculation or notion rather, that Williams’ performance during the year’s first grand slam was boosted by her pregnancy. Studies they say, have shown that early stages of pregnancy can make a significant difference to athletic performance. This is because of the human body’s response to produce more red blood cells and directly increase the body’s ability to carry oxygen to muscles.
This is further emphasized in an athletic study by Lisa Jarvis in 2003, where it was discovered that; The benefits of pregnancy include an increase in oxygen-rich blood, which in turn helps boost muscle capacity, as well as an increase in the production of progesterone, a sex hormone said to make muscles and joints more flexible.
Aside from winning Wimbledon and the Australian Open seven times Serena Williams has been the world No 1 for 316 weeks in total which ranks her third in the Open era.