Serena Williams is a tennis queen. As the highest-paid female athlete in the world, she knows the taste of victory well. But perhaps her greatest achievement yet has been bringing baby girl Alexis into the world. Only two weeks old and the girl is already winning hearts just like her mom. With 70,000+ followers on the infant’s Instagram, it’s clear that Serena is happy to share the spotlight. But many have wondered if Serena will return to the court, or if she has traded in her tennis racket for a bottle and blanket.
Back in June, Williams sat down with Hollywood Life to discuss pregnancy and what life will look like afterward. She opened up about the thrill of being a mother, but also the hesitancy of raising a child. “I don’t know what to do with a baby. I have nothing…I’ve done absolutely nothing for the baby room.” Still in the prime of her career at 35, it’s easy to understand the uncertainty. Williams has been winning Grand Slams for almost two decades with no signs of slowing down until now. She has already passed the average age at which athletes typically peak and then fade out, and yet has continued to stay strong.
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open while nine weeks pregnant. With all of those recent successes, it was no small feat for the athlete to sit out the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open this year. Though she has faced hurdles with sickness, slight injuries and disappointing defeats, she always comes back tough as nails. Now, she shares that this is still her plan; she will not retire, but will “pick her spots moving forward.” This could be as early as January.
Though her world has already changed dramatically. On September 1, Alexis Olympia Ohanian made her grand entrance into the world, and Serena looks completely in love with her little girl. In an open letter, she thanked her own mother for being a huge role model in her life and shared her hopes of raising Alexis in the same way. Stepping away from the game has only been the first step in bringing up a strong, beautiful daughter.
“I would like to leave a mark,” Williams once said about her standing in the tennis world. “I think obviously I will, due to the fact that I’m doing something different in tennis. But I don’t think I could ever reach something like a Martina Navratilova—I don’t think I’d ever play that long—but who knows? I think I’ll leave a mark regardless.”
Yes, the new mother’s legacy will surely live past the awards and tennis court successes and extend to her baby girl. Stepping off the court was surely not a step away from greatness.