Tennis superstar Serena Williams is pregnant and expecting to deliver her first baby this fall, her spokeswoman said on Wednesday, capping a day of intense speculation set off by a short-lived selfie posting on social media.
The 35-year-old tenniswoman posted a picture of her with the rounded stomach and specified that she was at "20 weeks" of pregnancy. Neither Williams nor her management team were immediately available for comment.
She then went on to win the Australian Open in January, beating sister Venus for her seventh title at Melbourne Park.
Serena is the most successful female tennis player in the modern era with a staggering 23 Grand Slam titles. Serena Williams has not played since. The caption: 20 weeks.
Record-breaking grand-slam tennis champion and former world number one Serena Williams is expecting her first child. "Let that sink in", wrote Twitter user @noelleharmony.More news: Korea trade after its trucks haul missiles
Williams has made no secret of her desire to have a family.
While she was quick to remove the photo from her account, her publicist has since confirmed the news she is pregnant.
Relatively recent Grand Slam winners such as Li Na and Marion Bartoli retired, while Garbine Muguruza has not followed up on her French Open title of 2016.
Maria Sharapova is coming back next week from a 15-month doping suspension, while Victoria Azarenka is due to return this summer after having a child of her own.
"It feels good." Williams said about the engagement last January.