Serena Williams has given birth to a girl, according to the United States Open’s official Twitter account and her coach.
The highly anticipated announcement came late Friday afternoon as Serena’s sister Venus Williams romped over another opponent and into the fourth round of the major tennis tournament in Flushing, Queens.
Asked just before her match on Friday about reports of Serena having given birth and about becoming an aunt, Venus Williams told ESPN’s Pam Shriver she was “super excited,” adding, “Words can’t describe.”
She then proceeded to defeat Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Afterward, she sidestepped questions about the birth of her niece, saying: “I’m definitely available to answer questions about tennis. That’s all right now.”
Serena Williams, 35, has not played a match since winning her 23rd Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open on Jan. 28. It was later discovered that she had been close to two months pregnant at the time, after a photograph was posted on the tennis superstar’s Snapchat story on April 19 that showed her posing sideways in a yellow bathing suit with what looked like a baby bump. The image, which appeared to have been taken in a mirror, was captioned “20 weeks” and was later deleted.
After a wild day of speculation, Williams confirmed she was pregnant. She had unexpectedly announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian, a businessman and the co-founder of Reddit, months earlier, in December.
A spokeswoman for Williams, Kelly Bush Novak, previously told The New York Times that although Serena would miss the rest of the 2017 season, she intended to return to the circuit in 2018.
In an email late Friday, Novak said she could not confirm any reports of Williams having given birth. Williams’s agent, Jill Smoller, did not immediately respond to an email from The Times.
But her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, did congratulate the new mother on Twitter.