Serena Williams Just Gave Birth to Baby Girl, Says Coach

September 4, 2017 1:09 pm Last Updated: September 4, 2017 4:55 pm

Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl, the first child for the former world number one tennis player, her coach Patrick Mouratoglou said on Twitter on Friday.

The 35-year-old American, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, has not competed since winning the Australian Open in January but has posted several videos to social media showing her hitting balls during her pregnancy.

“Congratulations @SerenaWilliams for your baby girl. I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion,” Mouratoglou wrote.

“Btw … I wish you a speedy recovery… we have a lot of work ahead of us,” he added.

 Serena Williams (L) and Alexis Ohanian attend the "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between" Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Serena Williams (L) and Alexis Ohanian attend the “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art Of The In-Between” Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Williams and Ohanian have yet to officially confirm the birth, but the reports she had quickly became the talk of the tournament, which Williams has won six times.

“A baby girl? Well, I hope she doesn’t play tennis,” world number three Garbine Muguruza said with a smile during a news conference.

Fellow American Sloane Stephens said she expected to see a lot of the newborn.

“I am very happy for her,” she said. “I cannot wait to see the little baby girl on tour because I am sure she will be around.”

Williams confirmed her pregnancy in April hours after triggering frenzied speculation when she accidentally posted a short-lived selfie on social media with the caption: “20 weeks”.

Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot in the Women's Singles Final against Lucie Safarova of Czech Repbulic on day fourteen of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 6, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Serena Williams of the United States returns a shot in the Women’s Singles Final against Lucie Safarova of Czech Repbulic on day fourteen of the 2015 French Open at Roland Garros on June 6, 2015 in Paris, France. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)
 Williams, the world’s highest-paid female athlete, was about two months pregnant when she captured her 23rd grand slam singles title at the Australian Open, one short of the all-time record held by Australian Margaret Court.

She told Vogue magazine last month about her “outrageous plan” to defend her title in Australia, where the year’s first grand slam will be played from Jan. 15-28.

Other women have left the tour to have children and returned at a high level, although none has done so at Williams’ age.

Kim Clijsters of Belgium retired and had a child before coming back at age 26 and winning three grand slam titles.

Australians Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Court also won grand slam titles after having children.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto and Rory Carroll in New York, editing by Greg Stutchbury