Serena Williams has given birth to a baby girl, according to reports in the United States.
There was no official confirmation from Williams or her management but, asked how it felt to become an aunt again ahead of her third-round US Open match, Serena’s sister Venus told ESPN: “Obviously I’m super excited. Words can’t describe.”
Venus declined to answer any questions about the birth following her victory over Maria Sakkari but family members including her mother Oracene were absent from her box and messages of congratulations have begun to flood in.
Serena’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou wrote on Twitter: “Congratulations @SerenaWilliams for your baby girl. I am so happy for you and I feel your emotion. Recover well & enjoy without limitation.”
The Frenchman then followed up with a message reading: “Btw @serenawilliams I wish you a speedy recovery… we have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Serena accidentally revealed her pregnancy in April when she posted a picture of herself in a yellow swimsuit, showing off a prominent bump, on the social media app Snapchat.
It came with the caption ”20 weeks”, but was then deleted without explanation before official confirmation came several hours later.
The 35-year-old, who announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian last December, discovered she was expecting shortly before the Australian Open in January but nevertheless went on to win the tournament without dropping a set.
She has not played on tour since her grand slam success Down Under, when she overtook Steffi Graf to set a new Open era record of 23 slam singles titles.
Serena has insisted she will return to the tour and has targeted a comeback at the Australian Open in four and a half months’ time.
World number two Simona Halep of Romania will face Russian wildcard Maria Sharapova in the first round of the US Open as the draw was conducted in New York on Friday.
Sharapova, making her first Grand Slam appearance since a 15-month doping ban, has a 6-0 career record against Halep, who last Sunday lost for the third time in as many months with a chance to advance to world number one with a victory.
Former world number one Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, was issued a two-year suspension after testing positive for the banned heart and blood boosting drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban on appeal.
She said that she had taken it for several years and did not know it had been placed on the banned list at the start of 2016.
Sharapova made her return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals as a wildcard, but such invitations sparked criticism from some WTA rivals, saying she should have to work her way back without such benefits, and some suggesting a life ban.
Sharapova was refused a wildcard by French Open organizers and missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury.
Sharapova has missed three of the past four US Opens, her last visit ending in the 2014 fourth round.
Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain humbled Halep 6-1, 6-0 in last Sunday’s final at Cincinnati to deny her the top ranking.
Halep also lost playing for number one in the French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko and the Wimbledon quarterfinal against Johanna Konta, each time after taking the first set.
Alexander Zverev has been selected as the final member to represent Team Europe at this year’s Laver Cup.
The 20-year-old World No.7 was announced as the latest team member at a press conference in New York on Wednesday ahead of the US Open.
Zverev, who marked his real breakthrough season with victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, will team-up with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych at the O2 arena in Prague from September 22-24.
Legend Bjorn Borg will lead the star-studded six as they take on a Rest of the World team, captained by another great – John McEnroe.
“I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity,” the German told the Laver Cup website.
“My idol when I was growing up was Roger Federer, so to even compete against him was already extremely special. Now to be on a team with him is almost surreal.
“Then on top of that you have Rafael Nadal and other big stars in the same team. It’s going to be an incredible time.”
Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov and Juan Martin Del Potro were announced as two new members of the ROTW team.
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) August 23, 2017