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Serena announces pregnancy, to miss 2017 US Open

Serena Williams defeats Caroline Wozniacki in the women's singles final on Day 14 of the 2014 US Open.

The reigning queen of tennis and one of the greatest players in the game’s history is about to embark on an entirely new adventure: motherhood.

Six-time US Open singles champion and 23-time Grand Slam singles titlist Serena Williams announced Wednesday that she is 20 weeks pregnant with her first child.

“I’m happy to confirm that Serena is expecting a baby this fall,” Kelly Bush Novak, a spokesperson for Williams, said in a statement Wednesday evening. She added that Williams will not play again this year but was looking forward to returning to the court in 2018.

Williams got engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in December 2016 and subsequently won the 2017 Australian Open championship in late January 2017 – meaning she was pregnant at the time of her triumph, which set a record for most Grand Slam singles titles in the Open era. She previously shared the record of 22 with Steffi Graf and currently sits one major crown behind Margaret Court for the all-time mark.

Williams has not competed on tour since the Australian Open, skipping the recent U.S. hard-court events in Indian Wells and Miami, citing a knee injury. Despite the layoff, she will return to No. 1 in the world when the next WTA rankings are released on Monday.

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