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Serena Williams thanks unborn baby after returning to world number one

Serena thanks unborn baby after returning to world number one
By Reuters

24/04/2017 at 16:23Updated 25/04/2017 at 08:42

Serena Williams returned to the top of the WTA world rankings on Monday and immediately shared the news with her unborn baby.

The American, who is skipping the rest of the year after announcing last week that she was pregnant, took to social media to offer her first public thoughts on impending motherhood.

"My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn't know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace," the 35-year-old who owns 23 grand slam titles, said on Instagram.

"I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year," she continues.

" But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you... once again today. From the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. - Your Mommy."

Williams set off a day of frenzied speculation last Wednesday with a selfie posted on social media – posing for a photo in a yellow one-piece swimsuit on Snapchat – with the caption "20 weeks".

She deleted the post shortly afterwards but her Los Angeles-based publicist Kelly Bush Novak later confirmed that the player, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was indeed expecting her first child.

Alexis Ohanian, fiance of Serena Williams of the United States smiles after her semifinal victory against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia on day 11 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia

Alexis Ohanian, fiance of Serena Williams of the United States smiles after her semifinal victory against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni of Croatia on day 11 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2017 in Melbourne, AustraliaGetty Images

It seems likely she was several weeks pregnant when she won this year's Australian Open to move to within one grand slam title of matching Australian Margaret Court's record of 24.

Her message on Monday appears to underline her resolve to return to action next year.

Despite not having played since January when she moved ahead of Steffi Graf as the most successful tennis player in the professional era by beating sister Venus in the Australian Open final, she replaced Germany's Angelique Kerber as world number one in the rankings on Monday.

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