Serena Williams recently revealed on Snapchat last week that she was 20 weeks pregnant. The news was initially met with some speculation — Williams quickly deleted the Snapchat in question and didn't mention anything about her pregnancy on Twitter or Instagram, which was unusual considering she announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on r/isaidyes — but a spokesperson for Williams confirmed shortly thereafter that she is indeed pregnant.
Now almost a week following the reveal, Williams has written a short message to her unborn child. In it, she says her baby has given her "strength I didn't know I had" and has taught her the "true meaning of serenity and peace." Williams, who reclaimed her No. 1 tennis ranking as of today, was also happy to "share being number one in the world with you…. once again today."
My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you.... once again today. On @alexisohanian bday. 😉 from the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. -Your Mommy
Williams has not played competitively since her victory at the Australian Open in January, at the time citing knee issues as the reason for her withdrawal from the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open. Some have wondered if Williams will return to tennis following the birth of her child — she's approaching her 36th birthday and holds the Open Era record for Grand Slam titles — but her saying that she "can't wait for you to join the players box next year" should put those concerns to bed for now. Williams, however, will not compete again in 2017.
"Serena said that I should make sure if anyone asks that that is clear," Williams' spokesperson Kelly Bush Novak told The New York Times about her plans to return next year.