Serena Williams has resisted saying publicly that she’s retired from tennis and the final she’ll make, but now she has another reason to step away from competition in the near future.
Amidst the glamor of the Met Gala on Monday night, Williams announced, both on the red carpet and on social media, that she’s pregnant with her second child.
She attended the event with her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and said in an Instagram post that she “was so excited when Anna Wintour invited the three of us to the Met Gala.”
On the red carpet before the event, Ohanian placed his hand on his wife’s stomach in a gesture indicating pregnancy. Williams also posted a series of paintings that included a picture of her cuddling her stomach with both hands.
Williams wasn’t the only pregnant star at the ceremony. Actress Rihanna, who wore a white Valentino gown Monday night, publicly announced her pregnancy during her halftime performance at the Super Bowl in February.
Williams and Ohanian had their first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., in 2017. Williams won the Australian Open that year while nearly two months pregnant.
She returned to tennis and achieved four more Grand Slam finals in 2018 and 2019, although she did not add to her total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles.
In August, Williams said she would give up tennis after the US Open. But she said last October that she was “not retired” and that the chance she would return at some point was “very high.” Officially, she is on the list of retirees.
In a Vogue article at the time of her retirement, she wrote: “If I were young, I wouldn’t be writing this because I would be out there playing and earning while my wife did the physical work of extending our family. I would probably be more Tom Brady if given the chance.” A star quarterback in the NFL, Brady played until he was 45 and announced his retirement in February.
Williams, 41, has won 23 Grand Slam singles events, starting in 1999, when she was 17: seven Australian Opens, three French Opens, seven Wimbledon and six US Opens. The total is one short of the record of 24, set by Margaret Court, although about half of Court’s wins came in the amateur era prior to 1968.