While other tennis pros are competing in the U.S. Open, Serena Williams welcomed her her first child. The Nike-sponsored athlete was induced at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., and delivered Friday morning.
Williams learned she was pregnant shortly before the Australian Open in January. Though shocked, the news didn’t disturb the Grand Slam champion’s game — she went on to defeat her sister Venus Williams during the tournament, winning her 23rd Grand Slam singles match. Nike called Williams the “greatest athlete ever” after this win and honored her in an ad.
Still competing in the U.S. Open, Venus Williams was unable to go meet her new niece yet, but was sure to tell ESPN reporters, “Obviously I’m super excited. Words can’t describe,” before stepping onto the court on Friday.
Williams accidentally shared the news of her pregnancy publicly when she was 20 weeks along, posting an image to Snapchat rather than sending it to a few friends as she had intended.
The new mother has announced that she plans to take the rest of the year as her maternity leave, resuming training in November. She hopes to return to the tennis scene ready for the next Australian Open in January.