Tennis star Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl at a clinic in Florida.
Williams (35), whose partner is Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, was admitted to the St Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach on Wednesday.
The 23-time Grand Slam winner said last month she was planning to return to tennis for the Australian Open in January.
Congratulations have been pouring in from sports stars and celebrities.
News of the birth came as her sister Venus prepared to go out on court at the US Open.
“Obviously I’m super-excited,” Venus said. “Words can’t describe it.”
The couple are yet to confirm the birth themselves but Serena’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, tweeted: “I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion.”
He added: “Btw . . . I wish you a speedy recovery . . . we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
“Hope she doesn’t play tennis”
Serena admitted she had revealed her pregnancy to the world in April by accident after mistakenly uploading a photograph on Snapchat.
She won the Australian Open title this January while newly pregnant, and in an article in Vogue last month she said she wanted to defend her title.
“It’s the most outrageous plan,” she said. “I just want to put that out there. That’s, like, three months after I give birth.”
Other women have left the tour to have children and returned at a high level, although none has done so at Williams’s age.
Kim Clijsters of Belgium retired and had a child before coming back at age 26 and winning three Grand Slam titles. Australians Evonne Goolagong Cawley and Court also won Grand Slam titles after having children.
In June Williams appeared in a nude cover photo for Vanity Fair, saying: “I don’t know what to do with a baby.”
Meanwhile, the news has delighted the tennis world, with Rafa Nadal among the first to tweet his congratulations.
At a news conference Garbine Muguruza joked, “A baby girl? Well, I hope she doesn’t play tennis,” Reuters reported. Fellow American Sloane Stephens said she expected to see a lot of the newborn.
“I am very happy for her,” she said. “I cannot wait to see the little baby girl on tour because I am sure she will be around.”
Singer Beyonce posted a portrait of a pregnant Williams on Instagram, with the message: “Congratulations Serena!”- BBC
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